Nichols lands CEO from Alabama

John Collins - Submitted photo
John Collins
— image credit: Submitted photo

John Collins, an expert in improving operations in project driven companies, has recently been named Chief Executive Officer of Nichols Bros. Boat Builders of Freeland.

A veteran executive in the metals industry, Collins was most recently the president and CEO of a Birmingham, Ala., based consulting firm specializing in improving competitiveness by implementing sustainable flow based, process-oriented operational and organizational strategies.

“The people at Nichols Bros know how to build great boats and they have been doing it for 45 years,” Collins said. “We are making changes now that will help our skilled team continue their work with fewer hassles, less interference and fewer delays.”

Since his arrival as CEO on Oct. 1, Collins has implemented new systems to improve scheduling and yard control. Company management has been reorganized to combine traditional vertical organizational structures with cross-organizational responsibilities to improve the flow of materials and work.

“Nichols Brothers is definitely back on its feet after it went through bankruptcy two years ago,” Collins said. “The new systems we are putting into place will help us in the next phase of growing our business.”

Collins replaces Len York who led the company through its 15-month transition from bankruptcy to its current solid footing in the industry. Although he has not announced his plans, York is considering several corporate turnaround offers.

Collins and his wife, Judy, have placed their house in Birmingham on the market and are in the process of house hunting on Whidbey Island. His past employment has included top executive positions at Alumax, one of the world’s largest aluminum companies, which was acquired by Alcoa in 1998, and several companies in the metals fabrication sector.

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