Brian Papke

Brian Papke

Executive Advisor to the Board, Mazak Corporation

Brian J. Papke was appointed Executive Advisor to the Board of Mazak Corporation after serving as President from 1990 through 2016 and Chairman and CEO until recently at which time he assumed his current position. His focus now is developing new strategies.

Mazak Corporation is headquartered in Florence, Kentucky and is the North American manufacturing and marketing unit of Yamazaki Mazak Corporation Japan, one of the world’s largest machine tool manufacturers with 10 plants throughout the world.

Since joining the company in 1987 as VP of Sales and Marketing, Mr. Papke and Mazak sustained a pattern of continuous growth and improvement through a commitment to U.S. manufacturing with a focus on high tech manufacturing operations including automated flexible CNC cells and multitasking machines. Mazak’s iSmart factory of digitally connected operations in Kentucky has expanded 16 times. In 2019, the North America site will be expanded for the 17th time.  Another focus was to grow a series of 9 unique North America technology centers. A core strategy has been a continuous commitment to innovative technology advancement and support of customers to advance implementation of 5 axis, Palletech automation, and advanced Smooth Control with MTConnect digital concepts.

In his current capacity, Mr. Papke has been a strong proponent of Hybrid Manufacturing Technology. Some important collaboration agreements have been forged to move ahead on this technology including a 5-axis machining center with Hot Wire Laser Deposition capability, the VC500 5x HWD, just installed at ORNL.

Prior to his appointment as President and then Chairman, Mr. Papke served in several management positions with Mazak, including Executive Vice President and Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

Mr. Papke has distinguished himself throughout his long year career in the machine tool industry.  A graduate of the University of Illinois, Papke began in the machine tool industry in a management training program while attending graduate school at Northern Illinois University then progressed through various sales and management positions until eventually becoming president of Mazak Corporation.

Mr. Papke has been involved with numerous trade association committees and has been a long-standing member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

Locally, Mr. Papke is on the Board of Advisors for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and is a former member of the Advisory Board of the College of Business of Northern Kentucky University, where he also served as a professor teaching an MBA course on leadership and business ethics. During his tenure at Mazak Corporation, Mr. Papke has developed relationships with local leadership and educational institutions to support workforce development through apprenticeship programs and community awareness. In 2018, Mr. Papke was honored to become a member of the Northern Kentucky Business Hall of Fame.