John Ryan of Kohler
John is the Vice President, Sales and General Manager, Professional Channel, Kitchen & Bath Americas of Kohler Co. He has been with Kohler Co. since 1989 starting as a Sales Trainee working with wholesale plumbing distributors in the northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., area. Since then he has held a variety of roles in general management, sales, marketing, sales training, and human resources.
John grew up in Wisconsin and has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Marquette University. He is also a graduate of the Kohler Leadership Forum. Outside of work John is active in support of mental health issues and enjoys travelling the world, savouring a dirty martini, and every so often indulging in decadent chocolate.
RL: What is the essence of the Kohler brand?
JR: That’s a very good question. I think it can be looked at in two ways: what we behind the brand feel and what our consumers perceive. For me, the essence of the brand rests in our mission of enhancing the everyday lives of our customers through the products we create. That can be perceived by consumers through technologies, such as our new Touchless flush toilets or the smart functionality in our kitchen faucet sprays.
RL: What added value does the customer take when obtaining a Kohler product?
JR: Kohler offers products across all price points, in a variety of styles, all of which are manufactured with a singular level of quality. Kohler values innovation, design leadership, and technology advancement, which is demonstrated in the craftsmanship and details of our product lines.
RL: What has differentiated Kohler in the industry and the market?
JR: As a company we are known for leading in design. Our tagline, "The Bold Look of Kohler," in essence speaks for itself. To me, design creates emotion. It’s very personal. At Kohler, we are passionate about the creative process.
Our management spends a day or two every month in design reviews of new products, and we strive to deliver products that provide an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Staying abreast of what’s happening around the world, identifying and anticipating trends, and having people on the ground in influential countries and cultures are reasons that we are successful. With design studios in the US, UK, Paris, and Shanghai, we are ideally positioned to create leading-edge designs for a global market.
Globally speaking, we have the broadest offering of faucets and plumbing fixtures in the industry. Our goal is to provide the consumer with a palette of products that includes different styles, functionalities, materials, and colours that allows for a completely customised choice.
RL: What does the Kohler Showroom offer the Cayman Islands market?
JR: This new showroom offers consumers the ability to experience the Kohler brand and products firsthand, to be inspired by the designs and products that speak to them. Through A. L. Thompson’s, we offer trend information and design consultations. Consumers and traders alike can begin to plan their kitchen or bath space, select products, and feel confident in the high-quality products and services provided by Kohler and A. L. Thompson's.
RL: What are Kohler’s growth plans in the Cayman Islands?
JR: We strive to lead in every market we participate in, and our long-term goal in this market is to become a trusted resource for architects, designers, building trades, and consumers.
JR: The A. L. Thompson’s Showroom showcases the wide variety of products from Kohler, including showers and faucets, toilets, bathtubs, and kitchen sinks. Some to highlight are the innovative Kohler Intelligent toilets and digital showering platforms, striking faucet styles and finishes, and the beautiful Artists Editions sinks.
RL: What innovations do Kohler products have for water saving?
JR: Kohler’s toilets, bathroom faucets, and showerheads are WaterSense-certified, a United States Environmental Protection Agency certification that ensures the product saves water while maintaining excellent performance.
We also work to find better ways of designing and manufacturing products that use less material and less water, yet are still efficient, functional, and design-driven.
Designer – Campion Platt
Artist – Vincent Van Gogh
Material – Cashmere
Room in the home – Bathroom (and not because I work for Kohler!)
Hotel – One and Only, Los Cabos
Book – Any book by Pat Conroy
Food & Drink – Tapas, Dirty Martini
Charity – National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
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