Former Caterpillar CEO endorses Greg Folley for HD 81 open seat
Greg Folley, via Folley campaign.

Greg Folley
Folley previously served as chief human resources officer for the manufacturing firm.

Greg Folley worked with former Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens for years leading the manufacturing company. Now, Owens is endorsing the Marco Island Republican’s House bid.

“I’ve known Greg Folley since we worked together at Caterpillar in the mid-1990s,” Owens said.

Folley, a Marco Island City Council member running in House District 81, worked for Caterpillar over decades, starting in human relations in 1995 and rising to president of logistics and chief human resources officer before retiring in 2017.

Owens, meanwhile, worked at the company first as a corporate economist in 1972 and rising to be President and CEO from 2004 through 2010.

During the time both men worked in executive positions at the company, Owens said he came to trust Folley and saw skills that will serve the state well.

“In our first encounters, Greg worked in HR and played a key role in our labor negotiations with the UAW, managing our spiraling health care costs for all payrolls and managing our pension obligations,” Owens said.

“We had to manage these well to maintain global competitiveness while improving engagement from all employees. These goals were achieved, and Greg was instrumental in our success. Greg transitioned from his senior leadership roles in HR to very effectively running a major components business, and again exceeded high expectations.”

Folley said he was proud of the accomplishments both men saw at Caterpillar, and he’s proud to have the endorsement from his old boss.

“I’m incredibly honored to have Jim Owens’ endorsement,” Folley said. “His legendary leadership at Caterpillar transformed and strengthened the company and ensured its continued success after his retirement. His brilliant mind for business and unparalleled interpersonal skills have always inspired me to become a better leader to those around me. I cannot thank Jim enough for his support and strong endorsement in this race for House District 81.”

Owens has remained a respected economist, even serving on Democratic President Barack Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board in 2009.

Folley is running as a Republican for an open seat held now by Rep. Bob Rommel, a Naples Republican who cannot seek another term thanks to term limits. Folley faces Gladyvette Benarroch in a Republican Primary.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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