Dan Ariens, chief executive of snowblower and lawn mower manufacturer Ariens Co., on Friday was elected chairman of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state's leading business lobby association.

According to the 3,500-member state chamber of commerce, Ariens will continue the WMC's focus on pro-business, pro-growth policies as well as workforce development. He will "educate the public about issues important to businesses," WMC said.

"The fact that jobs in Wisconsin go unfilled while we have an unemployed population is a very real structural skills mismatch that must be on the agenda," Ariens said in a statement. "When you factor in the aging demographic in the state, this has the potential for long-term implications for the state's economy."

Established in 1933 in Brillion, in northeastern Wisconsin, Ariens is a family-owned fourth-generation manufacturer. According to WMC, "Ariens is well-known as a Lean Manufacturing innovator."

Ariens succeeds outgoing WMC Chairman Todd Teske, of Briggs & Stratton Corp. Robert Kamphuis, president and chief executive of Mayville Engineering Co., was elected to serve as WMC vice chairman. He succeeds Ariens in that position.

Ariens lives in Green Bay with his wife, Julie, and five children. He serves on the executive committee of the Green Bay Packers. He's also the vice chairman of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which is part of the state government.


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