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The formula works

HIGH POINT, NC – DECEMBER 9, 2019 – Mickey Truck Bodies is sticking with the formula that made it the nation’s most prolific supplier of sideload-style units and modular ambulances: productivity.

The company is currently delivering 5,000 dry freight van bodies a year in 75,000 square feet of space with a team of less than 100 employees at its main manufacturing complex in High Point, NC.

Of course, it helps that Mickey has invested millions of dollars in technology and plant upgrades over the past several years and is committed to a team culture of continuous improvement – the company is moving towards 100% automation, where it makes sense, in its van body plant. The Mickey teammates working on the dry freight bodies are professionally trained, highly skilled and generously rewarded based on safety, quality and productivity. The Mickey quality credo is: “Get it right the first time.”

Two fully automated robotic cells were installed at the Mickey complex in High Point in the past year.

“I was mentored by Mr. Mickey, who I considered to be a mechanical genius. He always believed we could do more with less if we worked smart, not hard,” says Dean Sink, Mickey Chairman. (“Mr. Mickey” is the late Carl F. Mickey, Sr.). “I also studied the manufacturing techniques of Toyota in Japan, at the time the gold standard in manufacturing efficiency. I was always impressed with how Toyota could build a car in Japan, ship it to the U.S., and still offer superior quality and less cost than our own domestic auto makers. Today, we are delivering dry freight van bodies in half the time it took us two years ago, and the quality has improved. We will be delivering them in half the time again two years from now with continuous improvement in team efficiency and manufacturing automation. We are making major improvements every year in our assembly process, continuously redesigning the workflow. When we are sure that automation will improve any part of the process, we invest in that automation. But we can’t leverage automation without highly trained and motivated employees.”

To illustrate his point, Dean takes a visitor on a tour of the Mickey van plant in High Point. He points out that the production line has been set up so that workers “do minimal walking – they should never have to walk more than 10 feet within their workspace. They waste no time looking for tools or parts. They never have to turn around when they’re working on a task – they’re always facing their work. We’ve been practicing Six Sigma here for 35 years – we just call it ‘The Mickey Way.’”

One of the keys to the company’s high productivity is its Employee Feedback Program, especially ideas on how to work more efficiently. “Nobody knows a job better than the person doing that job,” says Dean. “In 2019 we have an on-time delivery rate over 98% in our fleet business out of our High Point complex because our team works safe and smart. Our warranty rate is one-tenth of one percent. Every Mickey employee understands that the customers – not the company – pay their salaries.”

In his 40-plus years at Mickey, Dean has hosted hundreds of customers on plant tours. “They all make the same observations,” he explains. “They’re surprised at the large variety of units we manufacture here and how big our complex is. They always comment on the high energy of our employees. And to a person they say we have the cleanest and most organized truck body and trailer manufacturing facility in the country.

“What that says to me is that the formula works.”

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Everybody wins when employees come first

One of the most common business principles throughout the ages has been “customers first.” It’s hard to argue with that model for building and sustaining a financially successful company. Customers generate revenue; revenue pays the bills, supports investment, and drives growth.

“Our employees have always been the top priority at Mickey Truck Bodies,” says Tom Arland, Mickey President. “We provide them with a safe and collaborative work environment, proper training, and the tools they need to do a good job. They are proud of the Mickey brand and are committed to delivering the highest quality products and services to our customers. Our high rates of employee and customer retention is proof of the pudding. Happy employees make for happy customers.”

“Our mission is to be a great advocate for the Mickey team,” says Melanie Weber, Director of Human Resources. “When we engage and empower the entire Mickey team, everybody wins together – the company, the employees and, certainly, our customers.”

Since joining Mickey earlier this year, Melanie, a U.S. Navy veteran, and her teammates – HR Generalists Tekia Scales in High Point, and Crystal Arndt at the company’s Berwick, PA plant – have focused on reinforcing four key pillars of the HR strategy.

1 Follow up. “We have made it a point to follow up personally with team members on issues, comments, ideas and questions,” says Melanie. “Face to face is still the best form of communications. That’s how we build trusting relationships.”
2 Building morale. “We are getting to know every Mickey team member on a personal level so they will embrace HR as advocates, get them to open up to us and start meaningful discussions without any concern of reprisals or repercussions,” Melanie explains. “We all want the same thing – to generate and act upon ideas that keep our company moving in a positive direction. Mickey has an open-door policy, and that means every door is open to every team member.”
3 Community involvement. “Mickey employees have always stepped up when it comes to contributing to the well-being of our community. It not only speaks to our collective compassion and generosity, it also fosters great team spirit,” says Melanie. “Going forward, we’re going to come up with ways to make our participation in these events more fun, more competitive. That will take our team spirit to a new level. Competition is fun.”
4 Employee recognition. “We have outstanding team incentive programs for safety, quality, productivity,” says Melanie. “We’re all about teams, but great teams can have standout players. We want to celebrate our individual achievements as well as our team milestones.”

One of the most popular phrases in American industry is: “Our people are our greatest asset.” According to Melanie, “The key is to turn those words into a culture. That’s what we’re doing here at Mickey through our actions.”

Meet the Mickey HR team
Melanie Weber, Director of Human Resources
Experience: Director of Human Resources, CPP Global
Sr. Manager, Human Resources, CV Products Consolidated; U.S. NAVY, 2001 – 2008; Six Sigma Certified; Master’s Degree, Human Resource Management

Tekia Scales, HR Generalist
Experience: HR Coordinator, CPP Global; HR Generalist/Recruiter, Bradley Personnel; Bachelor of Science, Business Administration

Crystal Arndt, HR Generalist
Experience: Relations Manager/HR Administrator, Reading and Northern Railroad/Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway; RAMP Certified; SHRM Member; Member MAEA (Northeast Manufacturers of America Association)

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‘Think about beer differently’

During his presentation at the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) Convention in September, Jim Koch, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Boston Beer Company, told the audience: “We can make beer grow again,” and to do that, he urged the 3,000 brewers, wholesalers and suppliers in attendance “to think about beer differently.”

Mickey’s Todd Holm (right) chats with a customer at the Mickey Booth at NBWA.

He said that the definition of beer “doesn’t stop at traditional suds, but includes anything made at a brewery, sold to a beer wholesaler and passed through beer retailers.” He referred to those products, including FMBs, canned cocktails, single-serve wine, spritzers, hard kombucha and “beverages that have not yet been created,” as “the fourth category” of alcoholic beverages, which amounts to about 500 million-case equivalents in 2019, with the potential to grow to 750 million CEs by 2024. There are about 20 million barrels in the fourth category, and it’s growing at a rate of 10%. “That’s the growth area in all of alcoholic beverages,” he said. “And we not only can and should play there, but we should win there.”

“As beer wholesalers branch out beyond their traditional offerings and into this so-called ‘fourth category’ of beverages, they are looking for more efficient delivery solutions to meet specific product and route demands,” says Steve Mason, Midwest Regional Manager for Mickey Truck Bodies. “Our customers that are growing the ‘fourth category’ within their portfolios are increasingly turning to our non CDL [less than 4,000lbs.] sideloaders for dedicated routes as well as for fill-ins at a much lower investment cost versus 12- and 16-bay units or a dry van trailer. Their customers get a better service and support, and their drivers have a unit that is easier to unload and deliver than a van body or van trailer. Whatever the case may be, our variety of delivery vehicles, features and options make Mickey uniquely positioned to meet the changing and diverse requirements of beverage wholesalers and distributors.”

“My customers have seen significant growth in the fourth category beverages, including brands like Mike’s Hard Lemonade and White Claw Hard Seltzer,” which offer high profit margins, says Gary Remley, Mickey’s Northeast Regional Manager. He points out that White Claw has experienced 280% growth in its first 4 years and has been a bellwether in the 4th category for beer wholesalers. At the same time, Mike’s “has done a great job” of setting up its distribution through the Coors network. “Many of the attendees I spoke with at the recent NBWA convention feel ‘cocktails in a can’ will continue to drive sales growth for distributors. Our non CDL units were a hot topic of discussion at the convention, as well as our 21st Century trailers. These trailers are ideal for full-pallet delivery at the loading dock or street level.” (Click HERE for more info on Mickey’s 21st Century trailer.)

In his convention-closing remarks, NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser said, “The beer industry … has a bright future thanks to the dedicated people committed to growing America’s favorite beverage.” Mickey Truck Bodies has made that commitment by offering innovative delivery vehicles with features and options designed to improve the customer’s productivity and profitability.

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In-Sink: It’s always about the team

Dean Sink

By Dean Sink, Executive Chairman
This will be my last “In-Sink” column in The Mickey Spirit. Going forward, this space will be occupied by the observations of Matt Sink, the recently appointed CEO of Mickey Truck Bodies. Aptly, his column will be called “In-Sink 2.0.”

I’ve been writing this column six times a year for the better part of three decades. (Believe it or not, that’s how long we’ve been publishing The Mickey Spirit.) During that time, I’ve addressed many topics: corporate growth and challenges, the role of technology in manufacturing, community relations, customer trends. Pretty much everything but politics and religion – I save those conversations for the dinner table, and even then I’m a little reluctant. But the subject I have written about most often – my favorite subject – is the Mickey team. So, it’s only fitting I dedicate my final In-Sink column to that very subject.

It’s not only my column that I’m handing over; I’m also handing over the day-to-day operations of Mickey to an outstanding new leadership team. Matt, our new CEO, literally grew up in this company. He worked various jobs here throughout high school and college and officially joined Mickey full-time in 2007. Since then he has headed several core teams at the company from HR to all manufacturing operations. Along the way he was mentored by some of the all-time Mickey greats. Matt knows our people, our products, our processes. In other words, The Mickey Way.

Tom Arland, our new President, has over 30 years’ experience in the transportation industry. He joined Mickey in 2012 as VP Corporate Sales and under his watch company sales across all product lines and services have grown year over year at record levels, and so has our customer satisfaction. Prior to Mickey, Tom spent 25 years guiding a multi-million-dollar business unit for Ryder Systems, Inc. As one of our corporate leaders, Tom has always worked closely with our team leads across all areas of the company, and has played a major role in improving our operational efficiency. He is uniquely qualified to lead Mickey Truck Bodies as we enter a new decade.

Martin Skurka is the newest member of our senior leadership group. He came on board last year as Director of Engineering and immediately went to work enhancing our systems and processes. He is now Vice President of Operations responsible for engineering, manufacturing and purchasing & materials management. Martin is an experienced mechanical engineering and operations executive with excellent communications and team building skills. And he listens. He listens for ideas, suggestions, observations. If someone has a better way, Martin is all ears. He doesn’t just have an open-door policy; he has an open-mind policy.

We are experiencing record growth at Mickey and have aggressive plans in place for future growth and expansion. We’re in great hands with Matt, Tom and Martin. Believe me, they possess the 3D’s to succeed – Desire, Determination, Dedication.

As for me, maybe I’ll write a guest column for The Mickey Spirit from time to time. But in the meantime, I’ll be working with Carl Mickey, Chairman of Mickey Ventures & Holdings, and Greg Fisher, President & CEO of MV&H, exploring opportunities for the long-term growth of all the Mickey holdings. There is no retirement in my future, just a different role and responsibilities. Stay tuned.

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New leadership team takes helm at Mickey

Matt Sink           Tom Arland         Martin Skurka

HIGH POINT, NC — SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 – Mike Tucker has stepped down from his position as President and CEO of Mickey Truck Bodies while undergoing treatment for an illness. He will continue to be active in the company’s business in an advisory role.

Matt Sink, currently Executive Vice President of both Mickey Truck Bodies and Mickey Ventures & Holdings (MV&H), has been named CEO of Mickey Truck Bodies. Tom Arland, currently Mickey’s VP Corporate Sales, Fleet Services & Parts, has been named President of the company.

Martin Skurka has been named Vice President of Operations. He was most recently Director of Engineering. He is responsible for Engineering, Manufacturing and Purchasing.

Mike joined Mickey in January 2018 as Executive VP Strategic Growth & Business Development and was named President & CEO in January 2019. He succeeded Dean in that role, marking the first time in the company’s 114-year history that a non-Mickey family member was responsible for all day-to-day operations of Mickey Truck Bodies. Prior to Mickey he was President & CEO of VT Hackney, Inc., and a 26-year veteran of that company.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike and his family as he continues to work towards a full recovery,” says Matt.

Matt joined Mickey in 2007 and served as Manufacturing Manager before being promoted to Vice President of Manufacturing in 2015. He is the great grandson of company founder Will Franklin Mickey.

Tom joined Mickey in 2012 as VP Sales for Beverage and Engineered Vehicles following a 25-year career with Ryder Systems, Inc., where he guided a multi-million-dollar business unit. Since joining Mickey, he has added responsibility for all corporate sales, fleet services and parts.

“For the past several years Tom has worked very closely with our Team Leads across all areas of the company, and has played a major role in our overall record growth in sales as well as improvements in operational efficiency, productivity and scheduling,” says Matt. “He is extremely qualified to lead our company at a record pace.”

Martin joined Mickey in 2018 “and has since ushered in several improvements within our engineering process. He is an experienced engineering and operations executive with a keen sense for product innovation, cost management, and technology optimization,” Matt says.

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Mickey salutes 2 new teammates

Melanie Weber, Kevin Turpin

HIGH POINT, NC — AUGUST 12, 2019 – Mickey Truck Bodies has appointed two honored military veterans to important positions on the Mickey Team. Melanie Weber is the company’s new Director of Human Resources, and Kevin Turpin is the new Plant Manager for Mickey’s Berwick, PA manufacturing plant. Melanie reports directly to Mike Tucker, President and CEO, and Kevin reports to Matt Sink, Executive Vice President.

Most recently, Melanie was Director of Human Resources for CPP Global, which works with manufacturers to identify creative solutions for new and existing projects that meet financial or market requirements. The company operates four facilities in the U.S. and China. Melanie was based in Mocksville, NC. Before that she was Sr. Manager, Human Resources for CV Products Consolidated in Thomasville, NC. CV Products is in the industrial and commercial machinery and equipment manufacturing business specializing in the race car industry.

Melanie served in the U.S. Navy from 2001 through 2008. She is Six Sigma Certified and holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Human Resource Management.

“Melanie possesses a unique combination of human resources skills and customer relationship management, and is experienced in designing and implementing systems and solutions to increase quality, productivity and efficiency,” says Mike.

Prior to Mickey, Kevin was Project Engineer with Columbus, IN-based Taylor Bros. Construction, a multi-faceted general construction and construction management services company specializing in retail, educational, industrial and commercial projects. In addition to his engineering duties, he was also responsible for procurement and process improvement.

Kevin served in the United States Army in various locations from 1997 to 2018, logging 20 years of senior leadership with a Top Secret/SCI security clearance and achieving the rank Lieutenant Colonel. He also served as Battalion Commander, Brigade Planning and Operations Officer, Brigade Executive Officer and Fires & Targeting Officer. He has a comprehensive background in operational efficiency, team building, resource management and organizational development from conducting domestic and global operations.

Kevin holds a Master of Arts in Business & Organizational Security Management from Webster University in St. Louis, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Penn State University. He and his wife, Emily, and their son, Mickey (yes, Mickey), are relocating from Indianapolis. They are originally from Pennsylvania.

“We are excited to have Melanie and Kevin on the Mickey Team, and we thank them for their service to our country,” says Mike.

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Mickey Truck Bodies is an ‘MVP’

MVP LogoNTEA – the Association for the Work Truck Industry – has recognized Mickey Truck Bodies for completing a rigorous qualification process, demonstrating successful implementation of defined business standards and conformity to applicable government regulations. Mickey is now included in NTEA’s “Member Verification Program” (MVP).

“Achieving MVP status recognizes our company as one of the leaders in industry excellence and validates our efforts toward bettering the work truck industry through professionalism, knowledge and performance,” says Mike Tucker, Mickey President and CEO. “Fleet managers and truck dealers know truck equipment manufacturers and distributors with MVP status have embraced specific business and quality measures and comply with federal requirements. Mickey’s MVP member status reflects our ongoing commitment to safety and quality.”

The NAFA Fleet Management Association acknowledges the value MVP brings to the industry and has officially recognized the program since 2011. For additional information, visit Learn more about MVP at

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30 years has a good ‘ring’ to it

Fernando Garcia (left), who celebrated his 30-year anniversary with Mickey Truck Bodies on June 6, receives his milestone ring from Dean Sink, Executive Chairman. Fernando has worked in all areas of manufacturing, and is currently involved in special projects.

Nearly 13% of the 2019 Mickey team has been with the company for 20 years or more.

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Tucker’s Takes: The heat’s on … and so is Mickey

Mike Tucker

By Mike Tucker, Mickey President 

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the “dog days of summer” are traditionally the 40 days from July 3 through August 11 that coincide with the early morning rising of Sirius, the “Dog Star,” part of the constellation Canis Major (“Greater Dog”).

With all due respect to astronomers everywhere, the “dog days of summer” are really hot here in High Point, NC. During that 40-day summer span, the average high temps run between 87 and 89 degrees. When you’re working in a heavy manufacturing environment, it can feel substantially hotter. Yet, smack in the middle of the summer heat wave, we managed 30 straight days without a lost-time accident, bringing our current safety streak to 51 days at press time. As usual, we celebrated the streak with a biscuit breakfast for the entire Mickey team.

Mickey teammates enjoy their biscuit breakfast.

Then, on July 23, the Red Cross Blood Drive trailer pulled into our manufacturing campus in High Point, and 49 Mickey team members rolled up their sleeves to donate blood. In all, our people donated 48 units of blood which, the Red Cross estimates, will potentially save 144 lives. The turnout was so overwhelming that the Red Cross scheduled a second session at a future date. It may take place on a cooler day, but it won’t matter.

And finally, congratulations to the entire Mickey team for the efforts that earned our company MVP status within the NTEA — the Association for the Work Truck Industry. The “Member Verification Program” recognizes industry leaders based on defined business standards and conformity to applicable government regulations. Please read more about this prestigious honor in this issue of THE SPIRIT.

The dog days of summer? At Mickey, they have more bark than bite!

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Mickey Engineered Vehicles

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Tom Arland, President


Steve Mason, Midwest Sales


Gary Remley, Northeast Sales


Dane Meyer, Southwest, West Sales


Todd Holm, Southeast Sales


Drew Aloisi, National Accounts Sales


Forrest Howard, Vans/Vending Sales


Rocky Barham, Parts


Kyle McLaughlin, Mid-Atlantic Fleet Services


Steve McLaughlin, Northeast Fleet Services


Robert Badely, Southeast Fleet Services


Mike Parker, Midwest Fleet Services


Larry Jacobs, High Point Customer Support


Tim Davis, High Point Media Relations


Kevin Turpin, Berwick, PA Plant Manager


Melanie Weber, High Point Human Resources