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This profile was last updated on 7/8/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Wilmer Wil Cooksey Jr.

Wrong Wilmer Wil Cooksey Jr.?


Phone: (901) ***-****  HQ Phone
Local Address:  United States
International Council of Corvette Clubs
2625 Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Memphis , Tennessee 38118
United States

Company Description: ICCC is comprised of numerous Corvette Clubs from  as far East as South Carolina and far West as Texas.  Our preamble is to promote participation in Corvette ...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board Member
    National Corvette Museum
  • Board of Trustees
    Tennessee State University Foundation
  • Board Member
    United Way of Bowling Green
  • Vice Chairman


  • Bachelor of Science degree , electrical engineering
    Tennessee State University
  • Master's degree , industrial engineering
    University of Toledo
  • postgraduate doctorate work , mechanical engineering
    Michigan State University
  • bachelor's degree , electrical engineering
    Tennessee State University
  • graduate degree
    Michigan State University
122 Total References
Web References
PRESIDENT Wilmer ..., 8 July 2015 [cached]
PRESIDENT Wilmer Cooksey
Wil is the President of ICCC , but not new to the position . He has led ICCC for many years previously and we are glad to have him back. He brings a wealth of knowledge, management skills, and Corvette creditability to the club. Wil was the Corvette Plant Manager from 1993 - 2008 and remains one of Corvette's most dedicated fans. He is still active in many organizations to include the National Corvette Museum. Wil has always kept at least one Corvette in his garage since 1969, now he has too many to count! he
Wil ..., 8 July 2015 [cached]
Wil Cooksey
Wil Cooksey Jr.
Seminars, 4 Nov 2009 [cached]
Featuring: John Ballard, Wil Cooksey, Dave Chrisley, Paul Graham,
Wil Cooksey
(As our second Grand Marshal, Mr. Cooksey will appear in our parade, conduct seminars, sign autographs with other celebrities and he will pick his favorite car from among the participants in our shows.)
A Man At The Heart Of The Corvette
Wil Cooksey has spent much of his life in command of the Corvette assembly plant located in Bowling Green. As plant manager for many years retiring in 2008, he made sure that Corvettes leaving the plant achieved an uncommon level of quality. He is currently Chairman of The Board of the National Corvette Museum. He has amassed a huge amount of knowledge concerning the car that captures our passion, the Chevrolet Corvette. He is truly a celebrity in the Corvette world and is known far and wide.
Wil Cooksey Long time plant manager at the GM Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Wil brings a real depth of knowledge to seminars at the NCH. He will be instructing in a seminar that focuses on the museum this year.
Corvette Action Center | History | Wilmer Cooksey, Jr., Bowling Green Assembly Plant Manager [cached]
History >> Wilmer Cooksey, Jr.
Wilmer Cooksey, Jr., Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant Manager Print Friendly and PDF
Wilmer Cooksey was named plant manager of the world's only Corvette plant in February of 1993. As a lifelong fan of the car, it was a dream job come true.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Cooksey received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Tennessee State University in 1965. He earned a Master's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Toledo in 1972 and completed postgraduate doctorate work in mechanical engineering at Michigan State University.
A Distinguished Graduate of the Officer's Training School, Cooksey served as an executive officer in the U.S. Army Artillery, 1st Lieutenant. His last assignment was a year in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts.
Cooksey's General Motors career is the epitome of achievement, beginning with his first job as an assistant professor in industrial engineering at GMI in Flint, Michigan. In 1976 he transferred to the St. Louis plant where he held several positions before being transferred to the Doraville plant in Atlanta, GA. After working at various superintendent positions at Doraville, he was named production manager at the Fairfax plant, the position he held until his current assignment as the plant manager of Bowling Green assembly plant. Under Cooksey's direction, the Corvette has received numerous awards including "America's Best Automobile of the Year" by Automobile Magazine, "Best Premium Sports Car" by J.D. Power, and "Best Sports Car" by Money Magazine. In May of 2002, the Bowling Green Assembly Plant was awarded two prestigious awards. J.D. Power & Associates named Corvette as "Best in Segment" for the second year in a row and recognized the assembly center as North America's Silver Plant.
Cooksey takes an active role in the community. He currently serves on the boards of the National Corvette Museum, Greenview Hospital, Tennessee State University's Foundation Board of Trustees, Western Kentucky University School of Business Advisory Board, Western Kentucky University College of Education and Behavioral Science, Drug Abuse Resistance Education Advisory Council, and Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering Executive Advisory Board. Cooksey serves as the General Motors Key Executive for Tennessee State University and the Key Organization Liaison for Career Communications.
In 1997 Cooksey received the "Black Engineer of the Year President's Award. In the same year, Austin Peay University named him "Achiever of the Year" in their Focus Program. Cooksey received a Presidential Citation from the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education in recognition of exemplary experience that honors Tennessee State University. He has been honored as an Outstanding Graduate of Tennessee State and named a "Black Achiever in Industry" by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Cooksey was presented a certificate from General Motors in recognition of his dedicated service to volunteer activities. Cooksey has been featured in numerous publications including Dollars & Sense Magazine, Contempora, African Americans on Wheels, Vette, Corvette Quarterly, and Corvette Fever magazines. General Motors selected Cooksey this year as a representative for ads in Ebony and Essence highlighting GM's support in the area of diversity.
In his free time, Cooksey likes excitement. His hobbies include drag racing and flying airplanes. He resides in Bowling Green with his wife, Elizabeth, a professor at Western Kentucky University.
We Love Corvettes - Corvette News, 15 Feb 2008 [cached]
Wilmer "Wil" Cooksey, general manager of the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant, will retire in March.
Paul Graham, who is currently assistant plant manager of GM's Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kan., will succeed Cooksey on Jan. 1.
Cooksey said now is the best time to leave - following the successful implementation of GM's new global manufacturing system at the plant, as well as recent negotiations with the United Auto Workers union that secured local jobs and future production of the Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac XLR.
"It's great to go out when you're on top (rather) than when you're struggling," he said. "Basically when I look at where I am today, my plant here in Bowling Green is in the best position than it's ever been in."
Looking back at 1993 - when Cooksey was brought in after serving in Fairfax, Doraville and St. Louis assembly plants - he saw an operation that needed a reality check or was otherwise on the verge of closing.
Before everyone was acutely aware that changes had to be made, Cooksey rolled up his sleeves to address the concerns from upper management - concerns many employees weren't even aware of.
"You would be amazed at some people's thoughts that some people thought everything was fine or OK and not really realizing what home office thought," Cooksey said.
Under Cooksey's leadership, the plant saw $30 million in changes before the Corvette C5 was launched. A new cleaning room apparatus and auto storage retrieval system decreased painting defects and cut down the time it took to fix cars with paint problems. Cooksey also started using the concepts of "lean manufacturing" in 1994 to revamp workplace standards and was met with some opposition.
But what was once a pocket of resistance to implementing GM's concepts of lean manufacturing - eliminating waste, keeping costs in line and other values - ended up being a shining star for both Cooksey and the plant.
A recent corporate audit that gauged employees' level of understanding on operating in a global manufacturing system showed 83 percent proficiency - better than all of GM's other plants in North America, he said.
"We ended up being number one in the corporation right here in Bowling Green, Ky.," Cooksey said. "We're looking at being 100 percent next go-round. You never go back, you keep focusing forward. We don't have the low hanging fruit anymore, you have to go way up high on the tree."
Cooksey said what he will miss the most is the people he's worked for and with.
The Fort Worth, Texas, native describes himself as a tolerant leader who listens to people and makes decisions based on loads of information he gathers.
When Cooksey noticed many of the employees were driving cars made by GM's competitors, he established a parking lot for non-GM vehicles in the back of the plant. He wanted to send a message.
"Somehow, I had to give them some awareness on how serious it is to support the company."
Eldon Renaud was bargaining chairman for UAW Local 2164 when Cooksey arrived.
Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker, meanwhile, said Cooksey is a man who "brings people together to achieve" and is committed to the local community.
Cooksey said he will remain in Bowling Green and continue serving in leadership positions for several local organizations, including the boards of the National Corvette Museum, Greenview Hospital, Tennessee State University's Foundation Board of Trustees (he completed his undergraduate work there in 1965), Western Kentucky University's School of Business Advisory Board and the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Science.
Cooksey can also be seen as GM's representative for ads in Ebony and Essence magazines in support of the company's diversity efforts.
In retirement, Cooksey plans to increase his pursuit of his hobbies, which include drag racing and flying airplanes. Although he plans to squeeze in 25 days of vacation before he officially hangs up the reins in March, he said he looks forward to spending much more time with his wife, Elizabeth, a professor at WKU, his two children, David and Crissy, and three grandchildren, J.D., Katrina and Kieara.
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