James M. Kotek to retire as Menasha corporation president and CEO; board appoints Christopher D. Drees as successor

James M. Kotek to retire as Menasha corporation president and CEO; board appoints Christopher D. Drees as successor

February 15, 2023 Off By Sebastian Reisig

Menasha Corporation announced that James M. Kotek will retire from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer in March. The Menasha Corporation Board of Directors has appointed Christopher D. Drees to succeed Kotek effective March 13, 2023. Drees will also join the Menasha Corporation Board on that date. 

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, the executive leadership team, and Menasha Corporation’s 7,500 employees, I want to thank Jim for his 32 years of dedicated service to our company, 14 of those years as President and CEO,” said Donald C. Shepard, III, Chairman of the Board, Menasha Corporation. “Jim led Menasha Corporation through a period of unprecedented growth while maintaining a singular focus on a guiding principle—people first. The Board and our shareholders are sincerely grateful to Jim for his dedication to Menasha Corporation and wish him all the best in his retirement.”

“It has been an extraordinary honor to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Menasha Corporation,” said Kotek. “To have had the opportunity to lead such a unique and historic business has been humbling. I’m proud of the success we achieved and of every employee who contributed to making that success possible. Finally, I’m confident that Chris Drees is the right leader to build on that foundation and drive the Company to even higher levels of success in the future.”

Drees joins Menasha Corporation following a successful 24-year career at Brunswick Corporation, during which he progressed through successively more responsible operational and general management roles culminating in his 2019 appointment as President of Mercury Marine, Brunswick’s largest division.

“The Board is excited about the future of the Company under Chris’ leadership. As we have gotten to know Chris better, it became clear that his strategic vision, deep manufacturing and operations experience, and impressive leadership skillset make him a tremendous fit for Menasha Corporation’s CEO role,” said Shepard.

“I want to thank Jim Kotek for his distinguished leadership at Menasha Corporation and the Board for its confidence in me as I step into this role,” said Drees “I am honored and excited to lead a company with such a long history of success and one that also gives so much back to the communities in which it operates.”