Daniel Ariens

Chairman and CEO, Ariens Company

Based in Brillion, Wis., Ariens Company is a privately owned and operated corporation focused on outdoor products serving the needs of both consumer and professional customers. Established in 1933, the company manufactures original outdoor power equipment under the Ariens®, Gravely®, Sno-Tek®, Countax® and Westwood® brands. As a distributor of specialty equipment, supplies and gear, Ariens Company serves niche outdoor segments through direct marketing brands Gempler’s®, Ben Meadows® and AW Direct®. Manufacturing facilities are located in Brillion, Wis., Auburn, Neb., and Oxford, U.K. 
 
Dan Ariens, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ariens, joined the company in 1983 and became CEO in 1998. Since then, Dan’s leadership has been defined by a set of five core values and 15 management principles that clearly outline management expectations. His core values are simple and unwavering: Be Honest; Be Fair; Keep our Commitments; Respect the Individual; and Encourage Intellectual Curiosity.  A strong proponent of Lean manufacturing principles, Dan has created a culture of continuous improvement that has resulted in the creation of world-class manufacturing facilities by Lean standards. He was personally recognized in 2007 with the Eli Whitney Productivity Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and is frequently tapped as a mentor by organizations promoting Lean leadership. In 2012, Dan was inducted into the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Hall of Fame in recognition of his ability to inspire others in their pursuit of manufacturing excellence. 
 
Over his tenure, he has led several strategic acquisitions, creating a family of brands that represent some of the most respected names in outdoor equipment, gear and supplies. Dan is also an active participant in industry issues, having served on the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) Board of Directors since 2000, including two terms as Board Chairman.  Dan plays leadership roles in the Wisconsin business community, serving on several Boards of Directors for non-profit economic development groups in the state, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Authority Board (Past Vice Chair); Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (Past Chair); and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development – Council on Workforce Investment and the UW System Business Council. He holds the position of Corporate Secretary as a member of the Executive Committee of the Green Bay Packers’ Board of Directors. He is also on the Boards of Directors for Research Products Corporation, Sartori Company, U.S. Venture, Inc. and the Shrine of Our Mother of Good Help.