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Meet Paul Darley

National Advisory Council Member


Paul C. Darley is Chairman, CEO & President of W.S. Darley & Co. In 1997, he became President and COO and was appointed CEO in 2003. He was named Chairman in 2011. Under his leadership, sales have increased over 5000% to over $625 million in 2021. He began in pump sales in 1985 and was named Vice President for the Fire Pump Division of Darley in 1990.


Founded in 1908, W.S. Darley & Co is a fourth-generation family business, led by Paul and an executive team that has transformed this 114-year-old company into a world leader in the firefighting and defense industries. 


Paul is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago and he holds a BS Degree in Marketing and Finance from Marquette University.  He earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He recently earned a two-year graduate certificate from the University of Illinois in Emotional Intelligence.



In 2010, W.S. Darley & Co was named the Loyola University Illinois Family Business of the Year and was recognized by Marquette University as Alumnus Family Business of Year in 2009.  He has numerous family business speaking engagements including “Resolving Sibling Conflict in Family Business” at the annual Family Business Magazine Conference and is a regular speaker at Northwestern on family business. In 2017, Darley was named the Best Midsize Board in America ($250 - $350 M), by Board of Directors Magazine.


Paul has traveled to 80 countries in his 35-year tenor and has made over 500 industry speaking engagements. He is involved with numerous charitable, business and service organizations. He is a former Chairman of the Chicago Windy City Chapter of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and is currently a trustee for Dominican University.  


He is the author of the book Sold! The Art of Relationship Sales.  The book highlights emotional intelligence and authentic leadership to sell more, work your way up the corporate ladder…and what to do once you get there.


He is a Past President of the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers Association (FAMA) after serving on its board for the past 5 years. He also served on the Board of Directors of Fire & Emergency Manufacturers & Services Association (FEMSA) for seven years. Paul Darley currently serves on the Board of the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA) for the Great Lakes Chapter.


Paul is married to his high school sweetheart for 36 years and together they raised three daughters in Elmhurst, IL.


Meet the Board and Advisory Council

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