Jay Peck, 59, president of Subaru Industrial Power Products in Lake Zurich, Ill., passed away Aug. 10 after a brief battle with cancer. Peck began his career in the industry while attending college at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, spending his summers working for Teledyne Total Power’s (TTP) 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 from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in business management, Peck joined the company full time as the Power Center’s branch manager.
In 1985, Peck was named vice president of distribution, the youngest vice president in Teledyne’s history at the age of 34, 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 and 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 in Tokyo.
Peck left TTP in 1991 and moved back to Wisconsin to start his own company, Wisconsin Industrial Products. His wife, Lynn, took over the business in 1993 when Peck 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 took over the role of president in 1996. Robin America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, the manufacturer of Subaru industrial engines and power products.
Brad Murphy, Subaru’s vice-president of sales and marketing, released a statement on behalf of the company. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jay. This is a tragedy beyond measure, not just for us here at Subaru, but for our entire industry. We’ve lost more than a leader, colleague and visionary. We’ve lost a friend.”
Peck is survived by his wife, Lynn, their three children, Jenny, Jonathan and Jessie, and seven grandchildren. The family has established a charitable memorial in his honor. Donations can be made in Peck’s name to the Pancreatic Cancer Fund through the FirstGiving website.