Industry Mourns Subaru Industrial Power President

Posted on August 12, 2011

Jay Peck, president of Subaru Industrial Power Products, passed away Aug. 10 at age 59 after a brief and quiet battle with cancer. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jay,” said Brad Murphy, Subaru’s vice-president of sales and marketing in a statement. “We’ve lost more than a leader, colleague and visionary. We’ve lost a friend.”

Peck began his career in the industry while attending college at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, spending his summers working for Teledyne Total Power’s Power Center outlet store in New Berlin, Wis. At the time, TTP had recently purchased Wisconsin Motors and Continental Motors, based in Milwaukee. After graduating UW with a degree in Business Management, Peck joined the company full time as the Power Center’s branch manager.

In 1985 at the age of 34, he became the youngest vice-president in Teledyne’s history when he was named vice-president of distribution, a move that took him to TTP’s new headquarters in Memphis, Tenn. He was promoted to vice-president of sales and marketing in 1988. He assumed the responsibility for the sale of Robin engines, which were being marketed in North America under the Wisconsin Robin brand as part of an agreement with Fuji Heavy Industries, Tokyo, Japan.

Peck left TTP in 1991 to start his own company, Wisconsin Industrial Products, back in his home state of Wisconsin. In 1993, he was chosen to lead the team that would plan and open Robin America in Wood Dale, Ill. He began his career with Robin America as vice-president of sales and marketing, and soon after took over the role of president in 1996.

Many in the industry paid tribute to Peck’s memory. “Of all the vendors I came in contact with during my 27 years at Wacker, Jay Peck was the hardest working, most persevering and a person of such high integrity that whenever I hear Subaru, I always think of Jay first and foremost,” said Dave Christifulli, Wacker Neuson Corp. “I have many fond memories of Jay throughout the years, whether it be at trade shows, golf outings, Japan trips or just talking in my office.”

Eric Rhonehouse of Makita USA called Peck “a breath of fresh air from a retailer buyer’s standpoint - passionate about his product, considerate of other’s time, and a man of his word. One could not ask for more. He will be missed.”

The Peck family has established a charitable memorial on the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in his honor.