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‘Outstanding growth’ means new talent, new ideas, and new adventures

Photo caption: Dean Sink, Chairman (l), with Mickey’s 40-year vets (from left): Debbie Deal, Michael Rabon, Sr., Mike Johnston, Rocky Barham

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 – At Mickey’s 2018 year-end companywide luncheon, Chairman Dean Sink stood before a crowded room and told his teammates: “I see many faces out there who have been with our company foryears – 10 years, 20 years, 30 years and 40 years. But I also see plenty of new faces out there. Whether you have been here for 40 years or 1 year, you all have an opportunity to make a difference. A difference in our employee safety; in our product and service quality. A difference in our productivity. You are all part of our continuous improvement process.”

Dean told his teammates that the experienced Mickey veterans and new teammates have combined to create an environment of “tremendous knowledge sharing. We’re seeing many fresh ideas as well as ways to enhance and improve our existing ideas and processes. In that environment everybody benefits – our Mickey team, our customers and our suppliers. He pointed out that Mickey’s President/CEO, its head of engineering and its head of manufacturing have all been with the company for two years or less. “And they are all making significant contributions.”

Over 36% of Mickey’s 400-plus full-time teammates have been with the company for less than 2 years, while 26% have at least 10 years of Mickey service. Thirteen percent of the entire Mickey team has been with the company for at least 20 years.

Celebrating 30 years (from left): Dean Sink, Rex Cook, Brent Barricks, Ricky Bean, Herb White, Carl Mickey.

“We are a great company to work for that is experiencing outstanding growth,” said Dean. “People want to work at Mickey Truck Bodies, and once they’re here, they want to stay. This becomes their home. We are never going to worry about being the biggest, just about being the best. We will do that by sticking to our top 3 priorities —- safety, quality and productivity.”

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Dir. Van Products joins engineering team

Dean Weldy, Mickey’s Director of Van Products, has joined the Engineering Team, reporting to Martin Skurka, Director of Engineering. He was most recently part of Mickey’s Manufacturing Team.

“This move sharpens our focus as we develop and implement important improvements to our van operations,” says Mike Tucker, Mickey President.

Dean Weldy

Dean joined Mickey in October and has since introduced several significant ideas and measures for improving the quality of the company’s van body product line and efficiency of the manufacturing process. Prior to Mickey he spent 30 years with Supreme Corporation, a major manufacturer of van bodies. He has experience in all aspects of engineering and customer applications.

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Mickey’s Quality Supervisor wins ‘Sikes’ award

 

Celebrating at the company’s 2018 Holiday Luncheon, from left: Carl Mickey, Dean Sink, Ron McBryde, Gene Sikes, Matt Sink

Ron McBryde, Mickey’s Quality Supervisor, has received the company’s prestigious “Gene Sikes Award” for 2018, recognizing his 25 years of service; his commitment to the Mickey 3D’s – Desire, Dedication and Determination; and his total support of corporate goals and objectives.

The annual award is named after Gene Sikes, Mickey’s Former VP of Manufacturing, who retired in 2016 after 50 years with the company. “The words ‘I can’t,’ and ‘It can’t be done’ were never part of Gene’s vocabulary, and it didn’t matter what we asked him to do,” says Dean Sink, Mickey Chairman. “He preferred words like ‘Let’s get it done,’ and ‘I can do that.’ Ron McBryde exemplifies that same can-do attitude.”
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A ‘super’ effort for Kalamazoo beer distributor

 

One of the 20-bay I.H.S. trailers refurbished at Mickey’s Midwest Fleet Services Centers.

The U.S. Postal Service pledges that “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Well, add to that promise a Polar Vortex with record temperatures of -15 degrees — not counting wind chill — and you can say the same about the drivers for Kalamazoo, MI-based I.H.S. Distributing. Arguably, I.H.S. drivers had to make their rounds carrying a far more important load during one of the company’s busiest weeks of the year. The 90-year old family-owned beer distributor needed to get its portfolio of brands — Miller, Miller Lite, Shiner and Corona among many others – to its on-premise and retail customers in time for Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, February 3.

The weather was forecast to be the coldest on the Wednesday before the big game, so I.H.S. dispatched its drivers on routes closest to the warehouse to “make shorter runs,” explained Jason Howard, General Manager. If the trucks were out for more than 2 or 3 hours, he said, the beer could freeze. But the bigger concern was for the drivers. “It was brutally cold. We kept the engines running – the vibrations seemed to help – and we brought the trucks back in every couple of hours to reload. We also palletized everything to keep product off the cold metal floors.”

On Thursday the cold was even more severe, and the routes were now longer. I.H.S. put additional people on the trucks to help with the deliveries. “The real story this week was the drivers — they did an amazing job,” says Jason. “Our support staff in the warehouse was fantastic, but the drivers were the big story behind our successful week. It was their hard work and perseverance. Each driver already has a busy route every day. If anything doesn’t get delivered on a certain day, it creates a lot more work the next day, for everybody. And then there are those 8 to 10 weekends out of the year where a lot more beer is consumed – Super Bowl week being one of those. You know retailers want to get their beer just before they are ready to sell it. So, we also have the challenge making just-in-time deliveries.” By Friday afternoon, 2 days before the Patriots met the Rams in Atlanta – every I.H.S. customer was fully stocked with the I.H.S. family of brands.

“The Mickey trucks performed great – no problems with the Mickeys,” Jason says of the 20-bay sideload trailers. “The rollers worked well. The doors worked well.” I.H.S. has been buying Mickey units exclusively since around 1998, and “we’ve never been disappointed. Steve and Mike are a big part of that. [Steve Mason, Mickey’s Midwest Regional Sales Manager, and Mike Parker, Mickey’s Midwest Fleet Services Manager.] “They look at our business from our perspective to understand what we really need. Mike Parker assesses at our trucks from every angle to make sure they operate reliably and safely. We refurbish our trailers with Mickey once or twice every seven to 10 years, and it really extends the life. Mickey understands we need to keep these trucks on the road. Our drivers have it tough enough without worrying about breakdowns.”

Regardless of the weather.

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Tucker’s Takes: Onward and upward

By Mike Tucker, Mickey President 

Mike Tucker

I’ve been on the job as Mickey’s new President & CEO for just about a month now, and so far it’s been smooth sailing. I’m not surprised.

I took the reins of a company that is in the midst of unprecedented growth. Our safety performance continues to set record after record. We have a very loyal and growing customer base and outstanding relationships with our vendors.
I inherited a seasoned leadership team that is brimming with ideas for new products, services and processes. And our corporate culture is one of continuous improvement – up and down the line we refuse to accept the status quo. This year, Mickey Truck Bodies will celebrate 115 years in business, all under the same private ownership. You might be able to stay in business that long by being good at what you do, but you won’t stick around for 115 years if you don’t keep raising and clearing the bar. We have our challenges, like every other manufacturer — rising raw material costs and trade tariffs top the list for now – but these are nothing new. These hurdles will never diminish the quality of our products or impede our drive to innovate. If it were too easy, there might be 1 or 2 other companies in our field that could claim the same successful track record as Mickey over the past 115 years.
This is a great time to be a Mickey partner – employee, customer, supplier. And it only gets better from here.
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Martin Skurka To Head Mickey Engineering

Martin Skurka

HIGH POINT, NC – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 – Martin Skurka, an experienced designer of specialty vehicles, has joined Mickey as Director of Engineering, reporting to Matt Sink, VP Corporate Operations. Brandon Miller, Van Product Manager, and Sean Gilboy, Beverage/EV Manager, report to Martin.

From 2008 to 2015 Martin was Director of Engineering & Quality for Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles (OSV) in Clearwater, FL, the leading manufacturer of relocatable vertically expanding shelters and training simulation platforms for commercial, military and defense industries. OSV is a division of Pierce Manufacturing, among the world’s largest custom fire apparatus builders, and is part of Oshkosh Corporation, the world’s premier manufacturer of a broad range of access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency (ambulance), military and specialty vehicles and vehicle bodies. Martin also worked for two other major ambulance body manufacturers – Road Rescue, Inc., a division Of Spartan Motors in Marion, SC, where he was VP of Engineering & Materials Management; and PL Custom Emergency Vehicles in Manasquan, NJ, where he was Vice President of Engineering.

Most recently Martin was Plant Manager/Site Lead for Mesker Door in Huntsville, AL, the largest manufacturing site of the Mesker Openings Group, a manufacturer of steel doors and door frames for the commercial building industry. In this role he was responsible for all 200 employees and operations at the location, including engineering, manufacturing, inside sales, order entry, supply chain, warehouse, shipping, quality, warranty, and EHS. Before that Martin was Director of Engineering for Trinity Trailer Manufacturing in Boise, ID, a leading manufacturer of “build-to-order” self-unloading trailers and truck bodies used for agriculture and bulk commodity products.

“Martin is an experienced engineering and operations executive with broad-based expertise in product innovation, cost management, and quality systems for highly diversified manufacturers,” says Matt. “He has a proven track record for identifying and optimizing new technologies and business opportunities in key market segments for Mickey, including ambulance and emergency services, communications/data centers and other specialty vehicles for commercial, military and defense industries. We are confident he will lead our Engineering Team to the next level.

Martin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University in NJ, and also holds an MBA Certificate from the same school. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

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Dean Weldy Joins Mickey As Van Body Director

Dean Weldy

Mickey Truck Bodies has named Dean Weldy to the newly created position of Director of Van Body Products, reporting to Matt Sink, VP and Director of Corporate Operations. He will support all van operations, including customer and vendor relations, and engineering and manufacturing custom products.

Prior to Mickey, Dean spent 30 years with Supreme Corporation, a major manufacturer of van bodies and custom vehicle solutions headquartered in Goshen, IN. He started with Supreme in 1988 as National Fleet Engineer and also served as Engineering Manager for both the Fleet Group and Truck Group. He was most recently Director of Engineering, National Fleets, responsible for design, engineering and BOM for the company’s Fleet Engineering Group.

“Dean is a van body manufacturing veteran with experience in all aspects of engineering and customer applications in a fast-paced environment,” says Matt. “He will play an important role in helping us improve our products and processes.”

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Former Aon VP Leads Mickey’s HR Team

Mickey has named Steven Proctor Director of Human Resources, reporting to Matt Sink, VP Corporate Operations. Most recently Steven was an Executive Consultant specializing in business processes and procedures, technology solutions, staffing plans and operational objectives for a large physician group seeking to operate independently from its existing healthcare conglomerate. Prior to that he was Vice President, Elective Benefits Technology for Aon Risk Management in Charlotte, NC. Steven also held high level HR positions with Empowered Benefits, LLC in Charlotte, and Lowe’s Companies, Inc. in Mooresville, NC.

“Steven is an accomplished business solution professional with over 20 years’ experience in operational strategy development for multinational, multi-channel organizations,” says Matt. “He has a proven track record in the areas of communications, customer engagement, team development, project management, and budget planning.”

(Editor’s Note: Effective January 1, 2019, Martin Skurka, Dean Weldy and Steven Proctor will all report directly to Mike Tucker, who will become President & CEO of Mickey Truck Bodies on January 1. He is currently Executive VP Strategic Growth & Business Development. Dean Sink, currently Chairman, President and CEO of Mickey Truck Bodies (MTB) and Mickey Ventures & Holdings (MV&H), will become Executive Chairman of both companies.  Matt Sink will become Executive Vice President of both Mickey Truck Bodies and Mickey Ventures & Holdings. See “Mickey Truck Bodies Announces Changes to Executive Leadership Team” in Sept/Oct 2018 issue of THE MICKEY SPIRIT.)

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Mickey’s Northeast Plant Reflects Corporate Culture, Drive & Spirit

The Mickey Team in Berwick PA

Mickey Truck Bodies’ Northeast van body plant in Berwick, PA celebrated its 1-year anniversary on October 2 by recording its 146th day without a lost-time work accident, living up to the company’s corporate priority for safety-first. Mickey opened the plant to supply the growing Northeast market with its custom-built dry freight van bodies. The facility is primarily building bodies for Enterprise Truck Rental, one of Mickey’s largest customers.

The PA plant started with 7 employees and is now up to 22 with 4 more team members expected to come on board this month. “I see us growing consistently over the next 5 years,” says Cyndi Hricenak, Plant Supervisor in Berwick. “We’re still getting the word out locally about Mickey, and we are definitely getting some traction.” Five of the current teammates are from Berwick. Within 3 years Mickey plans to have 50 full-time team members at the Berwick facility to meet its ambitious production goals. “We started out building 5 units a week; we’re at 13 now and we’re ramping up to build 20 units a week,” says Cyndi. Within 3 years Mickey plans to be producing thousands of truck bodies per year at the Northeast facility.

Cyndi and Chris King, Production Leadman, were the charter members of Mickey’s Berwick crew and, in lockstep with the company’s overall corporate culture, “Our team here is like a family,” says Cyndi.  “We strive for excellence and we do whatever we can to make each other better. The support of our High Point team has been outstanding. We follow their lead.”

up to the company’s corporate priority for safety-first. Mickey opened the plant to supply the growing Northeast market with its custom-built dry freight van bodies. The facility is primarily building bodies for Enterprise Truck Rental, one of Mickey’s largest customers.

The PA plant started with 7 employees and is now up to 22 with 4 more team members expected to come on board this month. “I see us growing consistently over the next 5 years,” says

, Plant Supervisor in Berwick. “We’re still getting the word out locally about Mickey, and we are definitely getting some traction.” Five of the current teammates are from Berwick. Within 3 years Mickey plans to have 50 full-time team members at the Berwick facility to meet its ambitious production goals. “We started out building 5 units a week; we’re at 13 now and we’re ramping up to build 20 units a week,” says Cyndi. Within 3 years Mickey plans to be producing thousands of truck bodies per year at the Northeast facility.

Cyndi and Chris King, Production Leadman, were the charter members of Mickey’s Berwick crew and, in lockstep with the company’s overall corporate culture, “Our team here is like a family,” says Cyndi.  “We strive for excellence and we do whatever we can to make each other better. The support of our High Point team has been outstanding. We follow their lead.”

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