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October 19, 2009

John Collins is new Nichols Bros CEO

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, Washington. A veteran executive in the metals industry, Collins was most recently the president and CEO of Sustainable Solutions International, LLC, a Birmingham, Alabama 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 October 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 Bros 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 earned an MBA with a Marketing emphasis at Georgia State University in 1972 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Collins replaces Len York, whose involvement with the yard was initially as an adviser to Ice Floe LLC which bought the shipbuilder's assets when it was in Chaper 11 bankruptcy. 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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