In July 2010, Wil James became the seventh president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK). He leads Toyota's largest automotive manufacturing plant in the world, which produces the Camry, America’s best-selling car; Avalon; and the ES 350, the only U.S.-produced Lexus. Additionally, James champions quality initiatives for Toyota’s fourteen North American manufacturing plants.
James’ career with Toyota began in 1987, supervising a team of about 20 people. He has since served in several senior leadership positions across Toyota’s manufacturing network in the United States, from Kentucky to Indiana to Long Beach, California. As president of TMMK, he oversees a nearly $6 billion operation, which employs over 7,500 people.
James lends his personal talents in service to several civic and community organizations, including serving as immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in 2016. He is also a board member of the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement and Central Bank & Trust along with the National Urban League. James is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Additionally, he has been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.
A native of Norfolk, Virginia, James received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Old Dominion University in 1978. Additionally, in 2013, James received an honorary doctorate of engineering from the University of Kentucky in recognition of his life’s work, and his leadership with Toyota. In 2015, James also received an honorary degree from the University of Pikeville.
He and his wife, Michaelene, reside in Lexington, Kentucky, which places him close to his children and their families..