Diane Wilhelm
Chief Engineer Advanced Manufacturing
Harley-Davidson Motor Company


"My father taught me at a young age to strive for excellence and create new paths for women wherever possible. Manufacturing has been that path for me, leveraging my successful Army career. It is challenging and exciting, yet very fulfilling."


Diane is a proven and respected manufacturing leader who has delivered exceptional business results across a range of functions in her 16-year career at Harley-Davidson. She sets clear expectations for herself and her team; applies high standards for performance and assumes accountability for every area she has led. Diane has been instrumental in leading the organization through difficult, high-stress product launch situations where she relies on her technical, management, and leadership skills to accomplish objectives.
 
Diane not only achieves results, she also excels at attracting, developing, and retaining key talent - people want to work for her. Whether she’s working with seasoned leaders or entry-level manufacturing engineers, Diane ensures they thrive through understanding the purpose of the team, its metrics, and associated processes.  She tailors development plans for everyone and is effective at holding courageous conversations, putting real issues on the table in a constructive manner and providing the support necessary for success. She is a highly sought mentor and has been effective in that role throughout her professional career, from the U.S. Army to General Motors to Harley-Davidson. 
 
Diane and her family are very active in church community service projects and activities, including serving the homeless at the Kansas City Rescue Mission, painting schools, clearing park trails, collecting food for Harvesters of Kansas City and volunteering at Love Inc of Liberty. Diane is Vice President on the Board of Directors of a local non-profit, the Hospital Hill Run. Leveraging her passion for fitness and running, she has completed six marathons, five in support of various charities. Lastly, she is a published author, Bold Moves: Diary of a First-Time Marathoner, an endeavor to inspire readers to overcome fears and obstacles, emphasizing that it is never too late to make a difference. She models her tag line and mantra, “You cannot always choose your circumstances, but you can always choose your attitude.”   

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