Defense Picture

Marion Defense Builds On Success


Marion Defense has been building a diverse line of truck bodies for the US Military and our Allies for over three decades.  With proven platforms like the Oshkosh Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) deployed globally, Marion has earned a reputation for delivering rugged and innovative vehicle components. 

“We have the capabilities to build exactly to your written spec, or we can help you design and build a body to meet a new requirement,” said Larry Czarnecki, Manager of Engineering at Marion.  “We’ve built more than 25 different types of defense bodies for Oshkosh, BAE Systems, Mack Defense and Navistar Defense.”  Some programs are steady production line contracts for hundreds of bodies like Oshkosh’s HEMTT or Navistar’s General Troop Transport (GTT) while others are limited specialty runs. 

“We recently completed 11 bodies for Navistar Defense that were sold to Peru.” said Czarnecki, “One was a unique mobile workshop for remote vehicle repairs that included a generator, welder, lathe, drill press and other tools.  We outfitted the entire body with all the equipment, power requirements and storage systems.”  Many builders would not have been willing to tackle such a short run, but Marion has a 113 year history of building specialized vehicles and custom fire apparatus.  “We are comfortable looking at any spec, we are not going to be scared away by the unusual or unfamiliar,” Czarnecki continued.

In addition to new body manufacturing, Marion also performs vehicle resets on used and damaged bodies.  As part of complete teardowns by the OEM, Marion will receive truck bodies, disassemble them, and sandblast to remove paint.  The pieces will then be fully inspected, and repaired or replaced to meet the OEM spec.  Parts will be repainted and returned to the OEM for reattachment to the chassis.  This extends the service of the vehicle while saving taxpayer dollars.

Marion employs more than 100 American Welding Society (AWS) Qualified welders led by a Certified Welding Inspector.  Their contributions, along with the rest of the design and build team has recently earned Marion the Navistar Diamond Supplier Award. 

Given annually to an elite group of suppliers, the Diamond Supplier Award recognizes the top half of one percent of Navistar’s global supplier network.  Marion’s ability to go above and beyond Navistar’s expectations for quality, support, response time and production flexibility were key factors in earning this prestigious award.  “The team at Marion is proud of what we provide our customers like Navistar.  We will continue our 30+ year history supporting our US Warfighters and our Allies around the world,” said Curtis Ignacio, President & CEO at Marion.


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Company Culutre

The Proof is in the Culture


The Proof is in the Culture


Company culture in the manufacturing industry is usually described as bland, uninviting, and dreadful. At Marion Body Works, it's far from. Enhancements to work-spaces, co-working areas, company policies, and much more, Marion has expanded their employees experience greatly. As stated by Rachel Heineman, Quality Engineer, “Marion’s Culture is very family friendly and you are given the opportunity to express your ideas and make an impact."


With the company continually growing, now over 300 employees, Marion strives to provide the exceptional quality to employees they have been for decades. The company is representing individuals from many regions of the state including; Wausau, Antigo, Shawano, Green Bay, Appleton, Stevens Point, Oshkosh, and Waupaca to list a few. So why do they go out of their way to come work an hour plus from home? It's simple: the proof is in the culture.


A company that treats their employees with integrity, honesty and compassion receives the same from them. Marion is holding the keys to the future of work place culture by paving the road for manufacturers' company culture. Many industries are integrating employee freedom and a laid-back, yet responsibility driven, culture through a variety of work options. Marion Body has taking the initiative to do just this. What it does is allow individuals to create balance with family, work, events and more.


They believe in being family focused at work and home. By bringing in new ideas, technologies and policies, Marion Body Works has created an environment allowing for focus on both areas of life. Thomas La Via, Systems Analyst, shares, "Marion Body is family friendly and creates a laid-back culture making it easy for employees to feel welcomed and appreciated at work."


Even in a small town, giant personality can arise by companies dedicated in improving their employees satisfaction. Marion Body Works continues to drive on a path towards ever-increasing success and being a role model for manufacturers across the nation. If you wish to learn more about company culture and careers at Marion, follow us on social media and subscribe to our e-newsletter for updates.

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Growing Board of Directors welcomes Jim Ransom at Marion Body Works

Growing Board of Directors welcomes Jim Ransom at Marion Body Works

Marion Body Works graciously welcomes Jim Ransom to the Board of Directors. He brings with himself a career dedicated in improving leadership and business strategy skills effective in corporations of various size. Along with his inheritance of fifteen years of experience at Bemis Corporation, in the packaging industry, Ransom totes a long list of exemplary practice driven in building business strategy and leadership. Prior to Bemis, Ransom served as President and CEO of Promo Edge. Graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a degree in accounting and finance, Ransom has shifted workplace culture into a topic that is both enjoyable and rewarding to partake in.

Upon “retiring,” Ransom has picked up various board positions both with privately held and public organizations. Additionally, he actively participates in an advisory business focusing on strategy and organizational design. His involvement doesn’t stop there as he serves as a member on the UW-Oshkosh College of Business faculty while teaching strategy and leadership courses in the executive MBA program.

We welcome Jim to our team and look forward to the advancements he too will bring to Marion Body Works.

(Pictured above: - Jim Ransom)

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Marion Body Works Named Navistar Diamond Supplier Award Winner

Marion Body Works named Navistar Diamond Supplier Award Winner

Navistar honored an elite group of suppliers the night of February 15th at their Lisle Ill headquarters.  This group of 32 top performing suppliers were awarded the Navistar Diamond Supplier Award.  The suppliers recognized, represent the top one half of one percent of the supply base.

Curtis Ignacio, President CEO and Mike Foley, Vice President of Sales and Marketing were honored to represent Marion Body Works and receive their first Navistar Diamond Supplier Award.  In the words of Dave McKean, Navistar Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, “Marion provides Navistar Commercial and Military custom engineered truck bodies. The award recognized the organization for rapid responses to complex proposals, with extraordinary support and excellent quality on many different Model 7000 trucks offered under the MilCOTs programs.  Marion Body Works supported Navistar Defense in providing products ahead of production schedules, which allowed Navistar to deliver additional vehicles to the US Government and helped them exceed their goals.  Marion Body Works is a diverse supplier that has designed, built, and is in production currently building seven different vehicle body variants for Navistar Defense for five different countries.  Ignacio said “The team at Marion is proud of what we provide our customers like Navistar.  We will continue our 30+ year history supporting our US Warfighters and our Allies around the world.”

(Pictured above: - Troy Clarke-President and CEO Navistar, Mike Foley VP Sales and Marketing Marion, Curt Ignacio-President and CEO Marion, Phil Christman-President, Operations Navistar, Persio Lisboa-COO Navistar)

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Marion donates to the House of Hope Building Fund

Marion was very proud to recently donate $5000 to the House of Hope Building Fund.  This wonderful organization provides support in a variety of ways to the citizens of the Marion area.

The House of HOPE has five Christian ministries that are supported through donations.  These areas are: The Resale Shop (Clothes Closet), subsidizing HOPE Counseling, The Marion Food Pantry, BackPack Program and Two Transitional Apartments.  The goal of this building fund is to bring all five of these ministries under one roof. The House of Hope has a major impact on the community and Marion is proud to be a continued supporter of this non-profit. 

The fundraising project is almost complete but donations are still needed to make this happen.  Any further donations may be directed to House of HOPE.  

The House of HOPE is a 501 c (3), non-profit Corporation; therefore, your donation can be used as a tax deduction. 

(Pictured above: Lynne Simpson -  Co-Owner of Marion, Jacqueline Suehring - Chair-House of HOPE, Curt Ignacio - President of Marion, and Nancy Ignacio - Co-Owner of Marion. 

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Marion Receives ISO 9001:2015 Certification

ISO 9001:2015 Certification 

Marion Body Works transitions from (ISO) 9001:2008 to the highly sought after (ISO) 9001:2015 certification. This certification acknowledges Marion's well-documented internal processes and practices for our quality management system. This certification for Marion was obtained eight months ahead of the September 2018 deadline. 

Marion has always been commited to providing the best product to our customers and having this certification is a testament to that.

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In Loving Memory of Bud Simpson  1928-2018

Marion Body Works is sad to announce the passing of previous owner, Bud Simpson. 

Vinson Raleigh (Bud) Simpson, Jr., age 89, recently of Clintonville, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully at home in Green Valley, Arizona, on January 1, after a short illness.

Bud Simpson was a businessman, philanthropist, trombonist, runner, cross country skier, lake swim leader, racquetball player, snorkeler, reader, Eagle Scout, canoer, and water skier. In 1946, Bud graduated from Proviso High School in Maywood, IL, where he met his first love and life partner, Elizabeth (Betty) Matte Simpson. In 1950, Bud proudly became the first college graduate in his family and to the end could break into his M.I.T. fight song on a moment’s notice.

Bud and Betty were married on September 29, 1950. Their honeymoon was brief, a drive in a borrowed car to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where Bud began the following Monday in the student training class at the Trane Company. Bud rose steadily through the ranks at Trane while earning an MBA from Indiana University in 1955, and was ultimately named President and Director. During his time there, he was able to take Trane public on the NY Stock Exchange. From 1976 to 1980, Bud was President and Director of Marathon Electric Manufacturing Corporation, Wausau, Wisconsin.

In 1980, Bud’s entrepreneurial dreams came true with the purchase of Marion Body Works, Marion, Wisconsin. Strengthening the company and building a legacy at Marion was a challenge and labor of love until his retirement in 2003. 

Bud’s legacy continues; his family owns and manages Marion Body Works, Inc., that has grown 20-fold since his purchase in 1980.  He diversified the product offerings to five distinct markets and that has sustained us into our 113th year of continuous operation in Marion.

The Marion product is in every state and scattered around the world as our Defense products support our warfighters and Allies. Bud served his country as an officer with Strategic Air Command of the USAF earning the United Nations Ribbon, the Korean War Ribbon and the Commendation Medal.

Bud was a community leader serving on numerous industry and nonprofit boards throughout his life. 

Friends and co-workers at Marion salute Bud, he made a difference and left a legacy.

Memorial Service Info
Visitation from 9-11 will precede an 11:00 service, Friday, January 12, at Christ Congregational Church, Clintonville, WI. Lunch will follow at Northwinds Banquet Hall, Marion, WI. A service was also held January 5, at Valley Presbyterian Church, Green Valley, AZ. 

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Bud’s memory to Rotary International at or the Salvation Army at

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