The Real-World View - A Global Perspective

Ken Davis - Founder, Greentree Advisors, LLC

After a recent retirement, Ken Davis has established Greentree Advisors, LLC, a Naples, FL-based consulting company to the global vehicle industry.  Ken manages consulting agreements within the automotive and transportation industries.  Additionally, Ken currently serves on several boards of directors - Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies, Southwest Michigan First, and the Gilmore Car Museum.

Prior to his retirement, Ken held executive positions at Eaton PLC, including nine years as a corporate officer and six-and-a-half years as a vehicle group president.  As a group president, Ken was responsible for the design, manufacture, and sales of automotive and commercial vehicle products, which included engine air components, torque components, truck transmissions and clutches, and hybrid power systems.  Ken's group secured approximately $3.5B in group revenue; he oversaw 14,000 employees within 46 facilities in 15 countries; and he managed eight joint ventures within the group.  He has extensive experience in international operations and joint ventures.  He his prior member roles on several joint venture boards of directors.

Ken is a past member of the HDMA board of directors.

Ken holds a BSBA from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Dean Engelage - President, Great Dane

Dean Engelage is president of Great Dane.  He joined the company in 2011 as executive vice president of sales and strategic planning and was named president in 2013.

As president, Dean brings extensive experience as a business leader, and his strategic leadership style encourages innovative solutions at Great Dane.  Dean is dedicated to maintaining Great Dane as a world-class leader in transportation equipment and related services.  His focus is on reducing total cost of ownership by creating the best customer experience in the trailer industry.

Before joining Great Dane, Dean worked for American Airlines and General Dynamics in marketing, purchasing, and finance.  Most recently, he spent more than 16 years with Great Dane's parent company, CC Industries, in various management positions.

Dean began his career with CC Industries in 1996 in the marketing department of Woodard, a Crown-owned furniture company, ultimately becoming president in 2004.  After Woodard was sold in 2008, Dean worked on the Johnson Truck Bodies and Trail King acquisitions and also managed Crown Asia's operations.  Today, he retains an oversight role with Trail King and Crown Asia's operations in both the furniture and transportation industries.

Dean is a graduate of Texas A&M University and has a master's degree in finance.

Roger Nielsen - President & CEO, Daimler Trucks North America

As president and CEO, Roger Nielsen is responsible for all aspects of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and its affiliated companies - Freightliner Trucks, Western Star Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, and Detroit Diesel Corporation.

Previously, Roger was the chief operating officer responsible for the entire DTNA manufacturing network, as well as all levels of operations in quality, supplier management, logistics, and customer application engineering.

In addition, Roger has overseen continuous improvement programs for Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, and DTNA.

Roger joined DTNA (then Freightliner Corporation) in 1986 as an industrial engineer.  Since then, he has held various positions at DTNA in the U.S. as well as at Daimler's Commercial Vehicles Divisions in Germany.

Roger is a graduate of Oregon State University and holds a B.S. in industrial engineering.

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., and FleetPride, Inc., and he is still an active member of the boards of Modine Manufacturing Co., Finning International, Inc., and AxleTech Inc.

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


The Ever-Changing and Evolving Aftermarket

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.

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.


The Global Economic Overview

Bill Strauss - Senior Economist & Economic Advisor, Chicago Federal Reserve

William (Bill) A. Strauss is a senior economist and economic advisor in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which he joined in 1982.  His chief responsibilities include analyzing the current performance of both the Midwest economy and the manufacturing sector for use in monetary policy.  He also organizes the Bank's Economic Outlook Symposium and Auto Outlook Symposium and conducts industrial and manufacturing roundtables throughout the year.

Bill has taught as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago and Webster University in Chicago.  He currently teaches at DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business and at the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.  His research papers include analysis of the manufacturing sector, the automotive sector, the Midwest regional economy, the trade-weighted dollar, business cycles, and Federal Reserve payments operations.  Bill has been interviewed on numerous television and radio shows and quoted in the major business magazines and newspapers.  He has also provided testimony concerning manufacturing issues to the U.S. Senate.

Bill is a current and past president and board member of several association and university economics boards and councils.

Bill earned a B.A. in economics and geography from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an M.A. in economics from Northwestern University.  He is also a Certified Business Economist (CBE).

Moderator: Ann Wilson - Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, MEMA

Ann Wilson is the senior vice president of government affairs of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) in Washington, D.C. She joined the association on June 1, 2004.

Wilson works with the association’s Washington office staff in overseeing federal and state legislative and regulatory monitoring, reporting, and advocacy. She develops and promotes association members’ views on legislation and regulations affecting the motor vehicle supplier industry. 

Wilson came to MEMA from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), where she served as the senior vice president of government affairs. At RMA, Wilson worked closely with the association’s board and committees to create, manage and implement policy directives. Her areas of expertise included transportation, tire safety regulations, state and federal taxes, international trade, and international harmonization.

Prior to joining RMA in 1998, Wilson was the vice president of government affairs for the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), based in Alexandria, VA. She served as state legislative council for the American Trucking Associations from 1989 to 1991, when she joined the AMSA.

Wilson earned her law degree and the National Order of the Barrister from the Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, MO. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree in child advocacy.


Aftermarket Industry Economy & Outlook

John Blodgett - Vice President, Sales & Marketing, MacKay & Company (see above)

Dr. Bob Dieli - President & Founder, RDLB, Inc.

Dr. Robert (Bob) F. Dieli is 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.


Realities of Current & Future Technologies on the Aftermarket

Mike Foster - Chief Technology Officer, Allison Transmission

Since 2017, Mike Foster has been the chief technology officer and the executive director, innovation research and development at Allison Transmission.

Mike began his career at the Allison Transmission division of General Motors in 1992 as a summer intern in the Product Engineering organization.  Following graduation in 1994, he joined Allison Transmission performing mulitple engineering roles on both conventional and hybrid products. In 2007, Mike joined the GM Powertrain Hybrid Engineering team, serving the role of group technical lead for the Hydraulics and Electro-Mechanical Component group.  In 2013, he returned to Allison Transmission as a senior staff engineer in the IVT/CVT architecture group.  In 2014, he assumed the role of manager, advanced engineering, responsible for new product design for Allison Transmission.  In 2016, he was named director, new and emerging product engineering.

Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Kent Jones - Vice President, Global Business Development & Sales, ZF Group

Kent Jones is a vice president of ZF and responsible for ZF’s market representation for the North American Commercial Vehicle OEM & Aftermarket.  ZF products include transmission, chassis, steering, and powertrain technologies. Kent also represents the development of ZF’s new technologies of advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and e-mobility technologies into the CV market space.  

Kent has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for 20 years with companies such as Delco Remy, Remy International, TRW, and now ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Technologies in various OEM and aftermarket business positions.  Kent is the current chairman of HDMA’s Heavy Duty Business Forum, has held other industry leadership positions with AAIA, and is a current member of the TMC.

Kent holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Kettering University and an MBA from Purdue University - Krannert School of Management.

Sandeep Kar - Chief Strategy Officer, Fleet Complete

Sandeep Kar is a global thought leader in the commercial vehicle industry.  He leads corporate strategy at Fleet Complete with a mission of developing the company as a leading global provider of IoT solutions for the widest array of on and off-highway commercial vehicle industry eco-system partners.  Sandeep is creating growth opportunities in a flat-world eco-system and implementing growth strategies power Fleet Complete's pivotal role as a synergisitc partner to all connected vehicle and mobile/stationary asset stake holding groups.

Sandeep routinely speaks in many industry events and is regularly quoted by media on issues of strategic importance to the commercial vehicle industry.  Sandeep also serves on advisory boards of innovative companies, helping them find economies of scope and scale.

Sandeep holds a bachelor of engineering in mechanical engineering degree from Birla Institute of Technology and a master of applied science degree in automotive engineering with a specialization in heavy truck dynamics from Concordia University.

Jon Morrison - President, Americas, WABCO

Jon Morrison was appointed president, Americas in June 2015.  Prior to his current role, he served as president, North America for American Axle and Manufacturing since November 2014.  Before then, he held the position of vice president, vehicle dynamics and controls with WABCO.  From 2006 through 2014, Jon served as president and general manager of Meritor WABCO, the joint venture between Meritor and WABCO.

Before then, Jon held various positions during a 15-year career with Dana Corporation including general manager, plant manager, and global director of sales and engineering.  In addition, Jon spent seven years working with PBR International, an Australian-based light vehicle foundation brake manufacturer.  At PBR, Jon started as president of a joint venture between Delphi and PBR.  Jon later became vice president of sales and product planning for North America.  His 30-year career includes responsibilities in finance, manufacturing, sales and marketing, engineering, and managing global customer relationships.

Jon holds a bachelor's degree in general management from Purdue University and an MBA from Bowling Green University.

Session Leader: Brian Daugherty - Chief Technology Officer, MEMA

Brian Daugherty is the chief technology officer for the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). 

Before joining MEMA, Brian was the director of global intellectual property for Visteon Corporation.  At Visteon, he managed intellectual property and advanced development programs including advanced driver assistance programs (ADAS) and vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems (V2X).  Prior to that, Brian was Visteon's director of advanced global development.  During his 16-year tenure, Brian was also responsible for blind spot detection (BSD) systems for Honda and Chrysler and led the team that developed a FlexRay-based, failsafe steer-by-wire system for GM's Chevrolet Sequel.

Prior to Visteon, Brian spent ten years at Ford Motor Company where he worked on robotics and advanced manufacturing as well as the development of electric power steering systems (EPS) and anti-lock braking systems (ABS).

He received a B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. from Stanford University, both in mechanical engineering.  Brian has eight patents.


Changing Distribution Model - The Growing and Emerging Players

Mike Harris - Senior Vice President of Sales and Branch Operations, Fleet Pride

Mike Harris joined FleetPride in January 2016 and is the senior vice president of sales and branch operations.  Since joining the company, Mike has held the roles of vice president of sales and most recently the vice president and general manager of the national accounts business unit.  Mike brings over 20 years of experience in the OEM and aftermarket trucking industry.  Prior to joining FleetPride, Mike spent 13 years with Navistar in various leadership roles including vice president of sales, North America parts and director of product management. Prior to Navistar, Mike spent eight years in the independent aftermarket in sales and branch operations roles.

Mike earned his bachelor of arts degree from DePaul University in business management and organizational leadership.

Stefan Kurschner - Senior Vice President, Aftermarket, Daimler Trucks North America

As senior vice president, aftermarket, Stefan Kurschner leads the company's aftermarket functions, including central service, parts sales and marketing, parts distribution, dealer operations, and remanufacturing.  With 25 years of distinguished global experience with Daimler, he has held a variety of management positions for the company around the world, including Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, and the U.S.

Previously, as president and CEO of Daimler Vehículos Comerciales Mexico, Stefan led dramatic growth, including positioning the company as the undisputed market leader, rebuilding the dealer network, and driving significant culture change.

Prior to that, Stefan served as president of Detroit Diesel Remanufacturing LLC.

Stefan holds an MBA degree.

Carl Mesker - Vice President of Sales Americas, SAF-HOLLAND Inc.

Carl Mesker is vice president of sales for SAF-HOLLAND Inc.  SAF-HOLLAND Inc. is a tier one manufacturer of fifth wheels, landing gear, truck and trailer suspensions, pintle hooks, couplers, and kingpins.  Carl is responsible for the OEM, national fleet, aftermarket sales, and service for all of the Americas.  Carl has over 38 years of experience in the trucking industry, and while working for SAF-HOLLAND, Carl has held positions of vice president of aftermarket, director of product planning, OEM account manager, regional manager, plant manager, and sales manager.  Prior to working for SAF-HOLLAND, Carl worked for a warehouse distributor andheld positions of branch manager, outside sales representative, counterman, and mechanic.

Carl holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Tiffin University and degrees in accounting and auto diesel technology from the University of Northwestern Ohio.

Walt Sherbourne - Vice President, Marketing, Dayton Parts

Walt Sherbourne is vice president of marketing and partner for Dayton Parts, LLC and directs all aspects of marketing, product management, pricing, and customer service.  Walt utilizes his successful history of leading both national and international sales and marketing teams to optimize business performance and sustain profitability.

A 34-year veteran of the commercial vehicle industry, Walt has enjoyed a dynamic career, including numerous executive positions with key industry organizations.  Prior to joining Dayton Parts in 2014, he spent 20 years with Meritor, Inc.  There, he served in numerous leadership roles including senior director of sales for the company's aftermarket business.  In this role, Walt was responsible for leading effective distribution channel partnerships to drive significant and sustained sales volume growth.

In addition to his role at Dayton Parts, Walt currently serves on several industry boards, including the Heavy Duty Marketing Sales Forum and the VIPAR Supplier Board.  He has also served on the boards of the Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN) and Spring Service Association (SSA) and was a senior adviser for GenNext HD.  Walt was also the 2013 co-chair of Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week and is a regular speaker at trucking industry events and various business leadership forums.

Walt holds a bachelor of science in business administration degree from West Chester University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Session Leader: Lucas Deal - Editor, Truck Parts & Service

Lucas Deal joined Randall Reilly in 2011 as associate editor of Truck Parts & Service and Successful Dealer and was promoted to editor in 2013.

In addition to guiding the continuing growth of those media entities, Lucas also manages the Truck Parts & Service Distributor of the Year program and the Successful Dealer award.  He was a founding board member of GenNext, has served as a task force secretary for the American Trucking Associations Technology & Maintenance Council, and remains involved in both associations.  In 2016, Lucas and Truck Parts & Service were honored by the Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network for their continuing support of the independent aftermarket.  Prior to joining Randall Reilly, Lucas spent four years in the newspaper business.

Lucas earned a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Parts & Service: The Fleet Perspective

Mike Palmer - Vice President of Fleet Services, Estes Express Lines

Mike Palmer is vice president of fleet services for Estes Express Lines.  He assumed this position in 2009 after having been director of fleet services.  He has been with Estes for 30 years.  Fleet maintenance includes staffing and training for 68 service centers, 600 technicians and support staff; budgeting, purchasing, and reselling equipment; procurement of fuel, parts, tires, licensing, and permits; and managing outside vendor costs.  Estes is the sixth largest LTL carrier in the U.S. with over $3B in annual revenue.

Mike began his career in 1983 at Overnite Transportation with hands-on training alongside the technicians.  While at Overnite, he managed the initial implementation of the software package Maximus, designed specifically for fleet maintenance.  Mike also spent time with Fruehauf Trailer Manufacturers (1987-1988) as a salesman selling vans, flatbeds, tankers, and dump trailers.

Mike received a B.A. in business management from North Carolina State University.

Gloria Pliler - Director of Purchasing, Daseke

Gloria Pliler recently became the director of purchasing for Daseke, where she works with operating companies to lower costs of maintenance parts and services.

Prior to Daseke, Gloria was the director of parts procurement and warranty at Swift for over 12 years. Gloria has also held several roles with Daimler Trucks North America - including head of sales administration in aftermarket parts, accounting manager, and supervisor of internal audit: franchise compliance, and with Volvo Trucks North America - including the supervision of cost accounting and controller for four dealerships throughout the northwest.

Gloria holds a B.S. in business management from the University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business.

Lee Quinn - Maintenance Director, Point Ready Mix

Lee Quinn started his career with Northern Illinois Mack Inc. (now Central Illinois Trucks, Inc.) as a sophomore in high school and became a full-time mechanic upon graduating.  While working as a mechanic for Northern Illinois Mack Inc., Lee also operated heavy recovery equipment for their joint towing company. Lee was sent to multiple manufacturing training classes during his career with Northern Illinois Mack Inc., and he eventually became a machinist.  Lee worked for Northern Illinois Mack Inc. for 21 years before joining Super Mix Inc. (now Point Ready Mix). Lee has been the shop foreman, managing truck and equipment matainenance, for the last four years.

Brett Wacker - Vice President of Maintenance, Dart Transit Company

Brett Wacker joined Dart Transit Company in 2014 as the vice president of maintenance.  Prior to Dart, Brett has held various industry positions such as the technical services manager for Volvo Group, the vice president for Smith Tranport, the director of maintenance for Stevens Transport, and the vice president for Arnold Transport Services.


Session Leader: Stu MacKay, MacKay & Company

Stuart (Stu) S. MacKay is president emeritus and founder of MacKay & Company.  MacKay & Company concentrates the majority of its research and consulting activity in the truck, heavy equipment, agricultural equipment, engine and parts, and service distribution businesses.  MacKay & Company maintains an extensive database on the truck, parts, engine, and equipment industries.

MacKay is the author of several articles on the truck industry, trucking, distribution, and related topics.  MacKay has served on the staffs of the Cummins engine company, its division Fleetguard, Inc., and Red Star Express Lines. 

MacKay holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Cornell University and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

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