Vinnie Johnson, chairman and CEO of Piston Group, announced the appointment of Wilbert W. James Jr. to the company’s board of directors.
James served as the seventh president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, which is Toyota’s largest automotive manufacturing plant globally with more than 10,000 team members. He also served as manufacturing executive champion for quality, morale, and policy, and diversity initiatives for all of Toyota’s 14 North American manufacturing facilities. He was a charter member of Toyota’s Diversity Council.
Over his 30 years with Toyota, he led Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky to its platinum, silver, and bronze J.D. Power Awards. He is now retired.
“Wil’s career achievements, leadership experience, and industry knowledge are unquestionable and will be a tremendous asset to the Piston Group’s continued growth and expansion in the automotive industry’s global market,” Johnson says. “We truly appreciate his lifelong commitment to quality, performance, and diversity, and thank him for joining our board of directors.”
James has served on numerous community, economic, and educational boards including the National Urban League, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky State University, and North Carolina AT&T School of Engineering, among others. He currently serves on the boards of Atkore International, Cornerstone Building Brands, and Columbia Forest Products.
James holds degrees from Old Dominion University and honorary degrees from the University of Kentucky and University of Pikeville.
Piston Group employs nearly 10,000 people at more than 20 locations across North America. It designs, engineers, assembles, and manufactures a variety of automotive parts and systems. Piston Group was founded in 1995 by Vinnie Johnson, former NBA champion, and is minority owned. Last year, the firm posted revenues of $2.9 billion.