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The Real-World View

Session Leader: Chris Patterson – Independent Director

Chris Patterson spent his entire working career in the commercial vehicle manufacturing industry, beginning with Canadian Kenworth Co., then Freightliner Corp., Volvo Trucks North America, and Daimler Trucks North America — from which he retired in 2009 as president and CEO.

Since then, Chris has served as an independent director for Tomkins, PLC (owner of the Gates Corporation at the time), JELD-WEN, Inc., AxleTech, Inc., and FleetPride, Inc. He is still an active member of the boards of Modine Manufacturing Co. and Finning International, Inc.

Chris holds both a bachelor of arts degree in economics and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario from his native Canada.

Government Affairs & Impacts on the Aftermarket

Ann Wilson – Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, MEMA

Ann Wilson serves as the senior vice president for government affairs for the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).  In this position, she acts as the chief lobbyist for motor vehicle suppliers and MEMA's four market segment associations including AASA, HDMA, MERA, and OESA.

Ann has represented various industry groups before Congress and state legislatures including the Louisiana Municipal Association, the American Trucking Associations, the American Moving and Storage Association, and six years as the chief lobbyist for the Rubber Manufacturers Association representing the major U.S. tire manufacturers.

Ann is a graduate of Washington University School of Law.

The Global Economic Overview

Dr. Jeffrey Rosensweig – Director, John Robson Program in Business, Public Policy, and Government, Goizueta Business School of Emory University

Jeffrey Rosensweig is the director of the John Robson Program in Business, Public Policy, and Government at the Goizueta Business School of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Rosensweig specializes in global strategy, global economics, and international finance and has published several papers in academic journals including the Journal of International Money and Finance, the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, the Journal of Development Economics, and Economic Inquiry. He is also the author of Winning the Global Game: A Strategy for Linking People and Profits and Age Smart: Discovering the Fountain of Youth at Midlife and Beyond.

Prior to joining Emory, he was senior international economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In addition to Emory, Rosensweig also taught at MIT, where he earned his PhD in economics, as well as in the economics department and the School of Management at Yale University, where he received his M.A. and B.A. Rosensweig was recently selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top 12 professors in Executive MBA programs worldwide.

A frequent economic commentator for CNN, Rosensweig is also often quoted in Forbes, Fortune, and BusinessWeek.

Moderator: Tim Kraus – President & COO, Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association

Tim Kraus is the president and chief operating officer of the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) and is a vice president of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). An industry veteran, Tim joined HDMA and MEMA in 2004. HDMA is MEMA's heavy duty market segment association that exclusively serves the suppliers of components to the commercial vehicle industry, both on and off-highway.

Kraus is responsible for the overall business operations of HDMA and is its primary spokesperson to the industry. He is an industry advocate and provides leadership for the staff and membership on industry issues for the various events, forums, and councils of HDMA. He also serves on the editorial boards of several industry trade publications and is active in industry associations and publications.

Prior to joining MEMA, Kraus served more than 20 years in executive positions with various HD and LV Industry suppliers. Having spent his entire career in the motor vehicle parts industry, Kraus brings a strong background and knowledge base to the association.

As a 25+ year HDMA/MEMA member, Kraus was active in the association's activities since the early 1980s. He served nine years on the HDMA board as a director and was its 2001 and 2002 chairman. As a 14-year member of the Heavy Duty Business Forum, Kraus also served several years on its board of governors and as chairman in 2000.

Kraus holds a BSBA in marketing from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Aftermarket Industry Economy & Outlook

John Blodgett – Vice President, Sales & Marketing, MacKay & Company

John Blodgett started working for MacKay & Company, a specialized market research and consulting firm, in 1994 as a project manager overseeing single and multi-client research projects.  Today, Blodgett is vice president sales and marketing, responsible for client contact for single and multi-client projects.  Prior to MacKay & Company, Blodgett worked for John Fluke Manufacturing, Gould Electronics, and Syracuse Supply Company (Caterpillar Dealer) in a variety of sales positions.

Blodgett has served as vice president of the MPSA (Midwest Parts and Service Association) and is a member of TMC (Technology & Maintenance Council), AEM (Association of Equipment Manufacturers) and IAC (Intermodal Association of Chicago).  Blodgett received his B.S. in interdisciplinary engineering and management from Clarkson University and an MBA from Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Dr. Bob Dieli – Economist, MacKay & Company

Dr. Robert (Bob) F. Dieli is the economist for MacKay & Company.  He is also president and founder of RDLB, Inc., an economic research and management consulting firm based in Lomboard, IL.  In addition to being an advisor to firms in the manufacturing, trucking, management consulting, and financial services sectors, RDLB, Inc. also publishes Mr. Model, a monthly series of reports on current and prospective conditions in the U.S. economy.

Bob received a B.S. in finance, with honors, from Boston College in 1968, an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977.

Technology & Distribution

Al Dragone – Chief Executive Officer, FleetPride

 Al Dragone became CEO of FleetPride in 2016 after being chosen for the role by the company's Board of Directors.

Prior to FleetPride, Dragone was president and CEO of GCA Services Group and CEO of Unisource Worldwide Inc.

Dragone has over 30 years of executive management experience in leading large, national companies in the service sector. He began is career with Champion International in 1978 and served in various roles including vice president of Sales and Marketing for international and newsprint.

Dragone has an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Amos Truck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Kent Jones – President, Americas, SAF-HOLLAND Inc.

Kent Jones is president of Americas for SAF-HOLLAND Inc. He is a commercial vehicle expert and P&L leader who has specialized in managing a premium heavy duty brand and driving global revenue growth with both OEM and aftermarket customers.

Prior to his current role, Jones served as vice president, Commercial Vehicle Steering and ADAS Components at ZF Group and in several executive roles at Remy International.

Jones has his MBA from Purdue University Krannert School of Management and his undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Kettering University.

Wayne McKitrick – Vice President, Sales, N.A. Williams Company

Wayne McKitrick is vice president of Sales at N.A. Williams Company. An aftermarket veteran, McKitrick was a longtime regional account manager for the Farrell Company team at N.A. Williams before being promoted to sales manager at the Farrell Company in 2016 and then VP, Sales in 2018.

McKitrick previous served as general manager at Virginia Linen Service and district sales manager at Standard Motor Products.

In addition to his role at N.A. Williams Company, McKitrick is active in ATA's TMC (Technology & Maintenance Council), where he is currently Vice Chairman of Secretaries and has been presented with the Recognized Associates Award. McKitrick is an active member of HDMA's Heavy Duty Manufacturers Representatives Council (HDMRC).

Wayne has his undergraduate degree in Business from Marshall University and his MA in Finance & Accounting from Virginia State University.

Tyler Robertson – Owner & Chief Executive Officer, Diesel Laptops

Tyler Robertson is the founder and CEO of Diesel Laptops, an industry provider of diagnostic products, services, parts, and repair information to the commercial truck, construction, agriculture, off-highway, marine, and automotive markets. Prior to Diesel Laptops founding in 2014, Robertson worked for Carolina International Trucks, Inc. as service manager, parts manager, and then in IT/Marketing. With an IT background and over 15 years of experience working at commercial truck dealerships, Robertson has created a unique company that provides efficiency solutions to repair facilities across the U.S.

Robertson is a graduate of The College of St. Scholastica and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Moderator: Tim Kraus – COO, Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (bio above)

Parts & Service: The Fleet Perspective

Gerry Mead – Executive Vice President, Maintenance & Equipment, Hub Group

Gerry Mead is EVP of Maintenance & Equipment at Hub Group. Previously he held roles at Phillips Industries, US Xpress, PAM Transport, Walmart, JB Transport Services, Inc., District International, and Yellow Freight Systems Inc. Mead also served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he received several certificates of commendation as well as being awarded two Department of the Navy Achievement Medals for Maintenance Excellence. Mead has also served as vice chairman of the Technology Advisory Board of MEMA.

Mead has received several industry accolades including International Service Diamond Club Award (2002), Fleet Maintenance Magazine maintenance scholarship (2012), HDT Magazine Fleet Heavy Duty Trucking Innovator of Year (2016), Tennessee Trucking Association Maintenance Professional of the year (2017), and Commercial Carrier Journal CCJ Innovator (2017).

He holds a certificate in maintenance management from Kansas University and is a certified VMRS Specialist, CNG Fuel System Inspector as well an ASE-certified medium/heavy duty vehicle technician.

Mari Roberts – Senior Director, Transportation, Frito-Lay

Mari Roberts is the senior director of Transportation at Frito-Lay where she leads a team of 2,900 employees and is responsible for the safety, cost, and service performance of 29 Frito-Lay Traffic Centers in the U.S.

With two decades of service at Frito-Lay under her belt, Roberts has most recently previously served as director of go-to market optimization; logistics, distribution, and transportation - Dallas Metroplex; and logistics, distribution, and transportation - Optimization & Technology.

Roberts earned her undergraduate degree in Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University.

Amanda Schuier – Senior Vice President, Quality Transport Co.

Amanda Schuier is senior vice president of Quality Transport Co where she is responsible for oversight of sales, dispatch, driver relations, safety programs, and new technology initiatives. Schuier previously served as vice president of Marketing & Driver Relations with Quality Transport Co. She has been involved in the trucking industry since 2006, holding positions in marketing, sales, and driver recruitment at dealer, supplier, and fleet levels.

Schuier is actively involved in the Technology and Maintenance Council and currently serves as the study group chairman for the Fleet Maintenance Management Study Group — making her only the fourth woman study group chairman in the history of the organization. She is a proud nominee for TMC’s 2021 Board of Directors. She led the efforts to design both the Nebraska and Missouri SuperTech Competitions and is a previous chairman of the Missouri Maintenance Council, where in 2017 she was honored with its Maintenance Professional of the Year. Schuier is also a proud member of Women in Trucking and the Truckload Carriers Association.

Schuier was honored as a recipient of the 2017 class of Emerging Leaders in Transportation, as published in Heavy Duty Trucking magazine. She is a 2019 inaugural class graduate of the TMC Leaders of Tomorrow program, and in 2020, she received the Women in Trucking's "Top Women to Watch" award. She was also one of Fleet Owner magazine's 2020 "Women Leaders in Transportation."

Schuier earned her undergraduate degree at Creighton University and currently resides in the Kansas City area.

Session Leader: John Blodgett – Vice President, Sales & Marketing, MacKay & Company (see bio above)