In the business world, the term “succession planning” is often used, but challenging to actually execute, particularly when the owner of a business has been such an important front-facing part of the brand. For Kevco Builders’, Joe Ziler — longtime owner, CEO, and “face” of Kevco — this came with an added layer of challenge. For 15 years, Joe has built the Kevco reputation around his drive, dedication, company core values, and community engagement. Finding the right person to perpetuate and build upon that foundation for Kevco’s next chapter was going to be critical. He worked too hard, too long, to just pass the torch to just anyone.
After much conversation and mentoring, Joe found his replacement within the organization. In May, long-time division president of Kevco’s Central Florida operations, Ian Kaneshige took over as President of Kevco Builders, Central Florida’s #1 Custom Home Builder.
“For more than 40 years, Kevco Builders has been committed to providing our customers with innovation, integrity, and excellence,” said Ziler. “These are values I never took lightly and needed to be confident that whoever assumed my position would be equally dedicated. Ian has been a valued and vital member of my leadership team and has earned my full confidence that he will continue to deliver on what we proudly refer to as, “The Kevco Difference.”
Added Kaneshige, “Some people work their entire lives hoping to be presented with their dream opportunity. Joe has been an incredible mentor, helping me build upon more than 15 years of new home sales, operations, and homebuilding experience. He set standards for Kevco Builders that are in perfect alignment with the kind of company I’ve always aspired to lead.”
For Ian, his focus is making sure the experience for all current and future custom home customers is both seamless and continues to live up to the Kevco brand.
For Joe, he’ll continue to serve in a consulting role while also advancing the efforts of his MIKE Endowment (Mental Illness and Kindness Endowment) which was created in memory of his brother, Mike who died by suicide in 2013. Among other areas of community impact, to date, MIKE has donated more than $40,000 helping over 600 Lake County residents by funding initial mental health counseling sessions in partnership with Dr. Isaac Deas.