Michele Wiggins McDowell and Michael Marzhal are young executives affiliated with Wiggins Lift Company. Ms. McDowell may be the first female chief executive officer of a forklift design and manufacturing company in the US and Marzhal the president of XLLifts, a Wiggins dealer.
As the third-generation Wiggins to become the chief executive officer of the leading manufacturer of marina forklifts in the world, Michele will tell you that her blood lines may have provided the connection, but her qualifications for the job are a result of learning the forklift business from the bottom up. She began working at the Wiggins factory in Oxnard, California at age fourteen.
Michele is the daughter of second generation Wiggins CEO Mike Wiggins, and granddaughter of company’s founder Mel Wiggins. She began her career running parts, working as head janitor, office assistant and lead go-for. After a four-year separation to attend college at Abilene Christian University, Michele returned to the factory as director of purchasing and then chief financial officer before taking the helm after father Mike Wiggins stepped down. Mike still works and has assumed the title of president of the company.
Wiggins is the world’s leading manufacturer of marina forklifts, shipping product throughout the globe. They have designed the world’s largest marina trucks, used to lift yachts from the water, transport them back to boat storage facilities and insert them into their multi-level slots. Wiggins has also produced forklifts for the agricultural fields of California, for the U.S. military, for nuclear power plants and specialty lift trucks for the marine terminal industry…
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