People and Positions July 2013

Trailer, truck, & body OEMs

Mark Weber, who has served as Wabash National Corp’s senior vice-president–chief financial officer and treasurer since August 2009, has been named senior vice-president–group president of the Diversified Products Group business segment. Jeff Taylor has been appointed vice-president–acting CFO and treasurer for Wabash National. Previously with King Pharmaceuticals in Bristol TN, Taylor joined Wabash National in July 2012 as vice-president of finance and investor relations. Brent Yeagy, who has served as vice-president and general manager of Commercial Trailer Products since January 2010, has been appointed senior vice-president–group president of Commercial Trailer Products. He will remain responsible for all Lafayette IN van trailer operations and Transcraft operations in Cadiz KY. Wabash National has named Bill Pitchford senior vice-president–human resources and assistant secretary. Previously with Ford Motor Co, he joined Wabash National in December 2011 as vice-president of human resources. He will succeed Tim Monahan, who plans to retire at year-end.

General Motors has appointed Gerald Johnson as North America manufacturing vice-president effective July 1. His most recent role was executive director of Global Program Quality and Launch, where he led several key quality initiatives to improve global product launches. Johnson succeeds Diana Tremblay, who was named vice-president of GM’s new Global Business Services group.

Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies announced that Luke Chilson has been named regional sales manager for the eastern United States. He will be responsible for selling Johnson composite truck bodies in a territory including Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. Chilson will work from Johnson’s parent company branch, Great Dane Trailers in Mount Joy PA.

Component manufacturers

Hutchens Industries has added Justin Clopton to its sales team as regional manager for Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, extreme northwest Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. He studied business management at Missouri State University and has lived his entire life in Springfield MO, location of Hutchens’ main office.

Fontaine Fifth Wheel has hired Todd Kuipers to serve as both its key account manager for the Atlantic Coast region and as marketing manager. Kuipers is based in Leesville SC. He spent the past seven years as a regional manager at engine cooling component manufacturer Horton Inc.

Air-Weigh has promoted Christy Brown to trailer OEM sales manager responsible for account management of all trailer OEMs in the United States and Canada. During her five-year tenure with the firm, she previously held sales roles focusing on fleets and small to mid-size manufacturers.

Haldex announced that Tim Shaw has been named national sales manager–remanufactured components. Serving with the company for 21 years, he most recently was reman product manager. Scott Malone has joined Haldex as director of trailer sales–East. With more than 25 years of experience in the trailer segment, he formerly served with Stemco/Motor Wheel, Talbert Trailers, and Fontaine Specialized Trailers. David Wisdom has been named Haldex’s director of trailer sales–West. Serving with the firm since 2004, he most recently was product manager.

Phillips Industries has hired Brett Harlan as eastern regional sales manager and Ryan Taylor as Central California territory sales manager. Harlan joins Phillips from Newell Rubbermaid, where he was employed for nearly 10 years, most recently as key account manager. Taylor previously was the West Coast sales manager for Ublighting.

Sika Corporation, Industry Business Unit has promoted Timothy Zobrist to regional sales manager–East, Transportation/A&C Business Unit. Beginning his career with Sika in 1994, he most recently has driven specific Business Unit growth initiatives while mentoring newer employees.

Tom Otter, vice-president of sales and marketing for Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, has been named co-chair of the leadership team for the annual Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW ‘14). The conference will be held January 27-30, 2014, at The Mirage in Las Vegas NV. Edward Neeley, president of Truck Supply Co of South Carolina, joins Otter as co-chair. John Bzeta, Fleet Brake president and chief executive officer, was selected as HDAW vice-chair.

Gary Schuster, president and chief executive officer of OMCO, has been named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 Northeast Ohio finalist. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs in companies with high growth who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Industry association profiles

Al Cohn, director–new market development and engineering support for Pressure Systems International (PSI), has been named chairman of the Cleveland Chapter of SAE International. Cohn, an SAE member for 22 years, also chairs the Maintenance Committee of the organization’s Commercial Vehicle Conference.

The board of directors of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) announced the appointment of Julie A Fream to president and chief executive officer, effective  October 1, when she will also join the board of directors. Effective on the same date, current president and CEO Cornelius “Neil” De Koker will be named president emeritus. Fream has served in several positions in her 30 years in the automotive industry including positions at General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co, TRW, and Visteon.

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