Kawasaki Engines names new director, OEM sales

1610_OPE_IN_Kawasaki_Kurt Forrest

Kurt Forrest

Kawasaki Engines, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based division of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC), has announced the appointment of Kurt Forrest to head the company’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sales efforts. As director, OEM sales, Forrest will be responsible for oversight of KMC’s extensive relationships with the OEM community.

Prior to coming to Kawasaki, Forrest spent several years in the contract furniture industry, including a broad background in distribution channel development for Herman Miller North America. He has also served in leadership positions with related industry brands such as Haworth and Knoll.

“Kurt comes to our team with significant experience in strategy development and program implementation that will fit well with our OEM-servicing group,” said Kawasaki VP Rodger Howe. “Additionally, Kurt’s strong skills in collaborating and building solid relationships will further enhance the partnerships with our OEM customers.”

The recent move of the engine division’s research and development group from Maryville, Mo., to the expanded Grand Rapids headquarters allows for a more cohesive team for future engine planning and product development. “The consolidation of all of our customer-facing functions under a single roof will greatly enhance our ability to support and service our OEM customers going forward,” said Forrest.

The Kawasaki team reporting to Forrest consists of four OEM sales managers, as well as an experienced sales support and coordination team. All are located at the division’s Grand Rapids headquarters.

“The OEM segment of the business is critical to the company’s success, and I’m looking forward to helping our customers identify growth opportunities and achieve success with their own brands,” said Forrest.

A University of Michigan graduate, Forrest is married with two sons and active in numerous community programs in western Michigan.