Fleet Forum

MATS Fleet Forum is a conference for fleet executives and Heavy Duty/Commercial Vehicle industry VIPs. The forum will combine the resources and expertise of trucking’s two major publications (Fleet Owner & Heavy Duty Trucking) and the largest trade show, to provide an in-depth look at the future of equipment and trucking.

Fleet Forum

March 22, 2017

Wednesday11AM - 6PM


The forum will take place in the South Wing Conference Room C203.

Registration Closed

Questions? Contact Exhibit Management Associates at 502.899.3892


11:30 AM

Doors Open

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Presentation by Eric Starks, President, FTR

Transportation and economic expert Eric Starks will provide an economic outlook for 2016 and address questions.

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM


2:15 PM - 3:40 PM

The Connected Truck

Moderated by Jim Mele, Fleet Owner

Today’s truck is always connected, always part of multiple networks that are beginning to radically change the trucking industry from top to bottom. This panel of experts representing truck makers, safety system developers, information technologists and fleet executives will explore the unexpected ways connecting trucks is rapidly changing equipment designs, maintenance practices, freight distribution, customer relationships, fleet productivity and even the lives of drivers. Learn how to best exploit all the new capabilities of your connected truck.

3:40 PM - 3:50 PM


3:50 PM - 5:15 PM

On the Leading Edge With HDT’s Truck Fleet Innovators

Moderated by Jim Park, Equipment Editor, HDT

Trucking is changing rapidly, and it takes creative thinking to truly stay on top of your game. Heavy Duty Trucking’s 2016 Truck Fleet Innovators show that innovation is happening in all sizes of fleets and in every area of the trucking business. After a presentation of the awards to the 2016 Innovators, this interactive panel discussion will explore how this year’s honorees are pursuing new ideas, technologies and ways of thinking in areas such as:

  • • Using younger drivers to address the driver shortage
  • • Aggressively pursuing higher fuel economy
  • • Crunching data to maximize uptime and shop efficiency
  • • Treating drivers as importantly as customers
  • Meet the HDT Innovators

5:15 PM - 6:00 PM

Cocktail Reception

Forum concludes with a reception to meet the panelists and network with attendees and sponsors.

2016 Speakers

Eric Starks President FTR Transportation Intelligence

Eric Starks is the President of FTR, the industry leader in freight transportation forecasting. Eric has spent his entire career in the freight transportation sector and is a leading researcher in freight modal share analysis and forecasting. His background includes research in both rail and truck freight movements and asset equipment purchases. He currently is one of the premier industry forecasters on transportation equipment demand for rail cars, commercial trucks and trailers. All of the agency's safety initiatives over the past four years reflect her strong commitment to saving lives by reducing large truck and bus crashes, injuries and fatalities. Eric is a frequent speaker at Wall Street analyst meetings, association events, and private meetings.
He has a unique ability in communicating to his audiences how the economy, logistics, freight, and equipment demand impacts their respective business. He is also an active member of the transportation community and is privileged to sit on the Board of Directors for the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL). Eric holds a BS in Finance from Indiana University and is married and resides in Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife Shannon and four children (all boys) who keep them busy. As an avid athlete he enjoys participating in endurance sporting events that include swimming, biking and running. His most recent pursuit being a 1/2 Ironman triathlon.

Jim Mele Editor-in-chief Fleet Owner Magazine - Penton Media

Nationally recognized journalist, author and editor, Jim Mele joined Fleet Owner in 1986 with over a dozen years’ experience covering transportation as a newspaper reporter and magazine staff writer. Fleet Owner Magazine has won over 45 national editorial awards since his appointment as editor-in-chief in 1999. He spearheaded the magazine’s move to online media in 1995, and continues to expand its digital footprint with an evolving web presence, mobile applications, webinars, online commerce, virtual events and other new media projects.
In 2009, he was responsible for the successful redesign and re-launch of American Trucker as a full-featured editorial product. Mele holds a masters degree in creative writing from City College of New York and has authored four collections of poetry and a book on the science fiction of Isaac Asimov, as well a numerous essays, reviews and critical studies for national magazines and anthologies.

Jim Park Equipment Editor HDT Magazine - Bobit Business Media

A truck driver and owner-operator for 20 years before becoming a trucking journalist in 1998, Park maintains his CDL and brings a real-world perspective to his writing. He puts that perspective to work on Test Drives, his “On the Road” blog on Truckinginfo.com, and in-depth coverage of equipment spec’ing and maintenance, driver issues and more. His monthly Tires & Wheels department and semi-monthly Tires & Wheels e-newsletter are widely respected.
His work has garnered nine Jesse H. Neal honors as well as other awards. With trucking radio experience as well, Park offers a conversational tone as moderator of the HDT Truck Fleet Innovators panels.

More Speakers

Fred Andersky Director, Customer Solutions – Controls Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC

Able to blend dynamic strategies with effective implementation, Fred’s government, marketing and sales career spans over 25 years. During his tenure with Bendix, Fred has been responsible for business development efforts, government and industry affairs and marketing for driver assistance technologies designed to help advance commercial vehicle safety, including Bendix® ESP® – Electronic Stability Program, and Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™ – collision mitigation technology. He is a regular Bendix presenter in industry, government and media discussions about these and future commercial vehicle technologies. In addition, he holds a Class A Ohio Commercial Vehicle Driver’s license, enabling him to drive in Bendix advanced technology demonstrations across North America..
Fred holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH and a Masters of Business Administration from Baldwin-Wallace University, Berea, OH.
A resident of Avon, Ohio, Fred lives with his wife, Lillian.

Thayne Boren General Manager Truckstop.com

Prior to joining the Truckstop team, Boren worked in the telecommunications industry for ten years, splitting that time with AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless. He served as a leader in retail sales before moving into Enterprise sales. His focus was Machine2Machine, IoT, and mobility application solutions. Throughout his career, Boren became versed in using real data solutions, leaving him well-suited to his current role with Truckstop.com. Boren has been with Internet Truckstop Group for six years.

Wallace Lau Senior Industry Analyst - Commercial Vehicle Research Frost & Sullivan

Wallace Lau is an expert in market research, project management, market forecasting, market analysis, and growth consulting. More than five years of experience in the Automotive and Transportation Division in Frost & Sullivan have lent Mr. Lau a comprehensive and in-depth expertise of the North American Commercial Vehicle industry. He works closely with global truck OEMs and major Tier-I suppliers. Working at Frost & Sullivan has allowed Mr. Lau to develop knowledge of government regulations and mandates, the OE engine oil factory fill market, dealership revenue and maximization strategies, driver and fleet management solutions, and more.
Wallace Lau received a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.

HDT's Truck Fleet Innovators

Joyce Brenny President and CEO Brenny Transportation, St. Cloud, Minn.

Brenny’s fleet may be small,with about 50 power units, but she has big ideas. She started in trucking as a driver before moving up the ladder to fleet management and then launching her own company in 1996. To help fill the seats of Brenny’s asset-based operation, she has developed a graduated training and mentorship program designed to smoothly bring – and keep – younger drivers in trucking. “Our training and mentoring program is extensive and detailed to give ‘under 21’ drivers the confidence they need to operate successfully and safely,” she says. Brenny’s research on employing and advancing younger drivers is being studied by the American Transportation Research Association.

Randy McGregor Fleet Manager Transway Inc., Holland, Mich.

Transway is a for-hire carrier operating about 100 trucks in the Northeast and central U.S. A couple of years ago, when fuel prices were still high, McGregor led an aggressive effort to modernize the fleet to become a leader in fuel efficiency, taking it from mpg in the six to the mid-nines in two years’ time — and he believes his latest truck spec will be pushing 10 mpg. Extensive research and testing has helped him develop a combination of spec’ing and driver training that has allowed him to spec 6x2 axle configurations on all power units, despite operating primarily in northern-tier states. At the same time, the company has made great strides in safety, using the latest safety technology and driver training.

Gerald “Gerry” Mead Senior Vice President of Maintenance U.S. Xpress, Chattanooga, Tenn.

One of the early truckload pioneers to take full advantage of deregulation, U.S. Xpress has a long history in leading innovative efforts (founders Max Fuller and Pat Quinn were part of HDT’s inaugural Innovators program in 2006), and Mead has taken it up a notch. Mead, who started his career as a diesel mechanic in the U.S. Marine Corps, has worked for a veritable Who’s Who of trucking, including P.A.M. Transport, J.B. Hunt, Yellow Freight and Walmart. Whether it’s crunching data to determine a total fluids cost per mile (not just fuel), testing solar panels to help handle “hotel loads” on trucks, being on the forefront of beta-testing new fuel-savings technology, or building a highly motivated team of technicians, as U.S. Xpress’ first senior VP of maintenance, he is pushing the top execs’ mantra of innovation throughout the equipment spec’ing, management and maintenance arena for the 6,000-truck fleet.

John Sliter President and COO V3 Transportation, Brunswick, Ohio

Sliter’s innovative approach to driver recruitment and retention helped the expedited carrier he and a partner launched with “two cellphones and two laptops” three years ago to rank among the fastest-growing operations in its field. Contending that “drivers were being under-served in the expedited market,” he has put in place programs that “treat drivers as importantly as we do our customers—because drivers drive revenue.” For example, Sliter developed a highly collaborative and transparent “recruiting experience” that involves the owner-operator and/or the fleet owner he drives for on the front end, “so they feel they are part of the solution, not just one component in the process.”