TYSONS, Va. – David Kriete is one of six nominees for 2019 Truck Dealer of the Year – a national award that recognizes commercial-truck dealers for business performance, industry leadership and community service.
“Being nominated for the Truck Dealer of the Year award is first and foremost and above all other feelings – humbling,” said Kriete, president and CEO of Kriete Truck Centers in Milwaukee, Wis. “I know the vast majority of my fellow Mack, Volvo and Hino truck dealers throughout the country and there are many that I admire, respect and would love to emulate. So, to be nominated for a distinguished award among so many industry greats is overwhelmingly humbling.”
The single-store, single-brand company founded in 1951 by Kriete’s grandfather, Henry Kriete, today includes Mack, Volvo, Hino and Mitsubishi-Fuso franchises at eight dealership locations in Wisconsin with 383 full-time employees.
“I absolutely love our industry, the brands we represent, support and invest in, and I genuinely care about the people in our business from our customers to our employees to our business partners,” added Kriete, a third-generation dealer and a 2008 graduate of the American Truck Dealers (ATD) Academy in Tysons, Va. “I believe in the inherent goodness of all people and strive to truly understand what motivates and matters to everyone I am called to lead both personally and professionally.”
Over the past decade, Kriete has served in leadership and volunteer positions at several community-based organizations, which include Lumen Christi Catholic Church (pastoral council), Special Olympics (board member), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee (mentor and volunteer) and the Milwaukee Athletic Club (board member and current president).
“I’m most passionate about volunteering and teaching the youth outreach program at my parish. Each school year the students amaze me by their selfless behavior to exit the comforts of their homes and immerse themselves in underprivileged communities across the country,” Kriete added. “Learning about the students while we build homes, feed the poor, entertain the elderly and clothe the homeless re-energizes my passion to get back home and make a difference both personally and professionally.”
Kriete and his dealerships have won several industry awards, which include Mack Trucks (Sales Manager of the Year, Truck Volume and Legacy awards), Mack and Volvo trucks (Leasing Member of the Year), Hino Trucks (three-time Yokozuna award winner) and Ernst & Young (finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year.)
Kriete, who became dealer principal in 2011, attributes his success in the business to his parents and leadership team.
“My dad surrounded himself with an all-star cast of managers who really served as mentors to me as I learned the culture of our company, the industry and the brands we represent,” he said. “On the home front, my mom constantly instilled in me a humble confidence balanced by patience, humility and selflessness. I am blessed to have had the diverse and thoughtful guidance from both my parents, as well as a seasoned leadership team as they all helped guide me during the process to become a truck dealer.”
Kriete is involved with numerous industry organizations, which include ATD (past chairman of Next Gen), ATD Mack 20 Group (member and past chairman), ATD Used Truck 20 Group (member), Mack Trucks Dealer Advisory Council (member and vice chairman), Automotive Dealers Association of Mega Milwaukee (board member and past chairman), Wisconsin Auto & Truck Dealers Association (board member), and Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association (member).
The national Truck Dealer of the Year award is sponsored by ATD, Heavy Duty Trucking magazine and Procede Software.
The other nominees are Kim Mesfin from Affinity Truck Center in Fresno, Calif.; Terry Minor from Cumberland International Trucks in Nashville, Tenn.; Harry Moyer from Lowe and Moyer Garage in Fogelsville, Pa.; Trey Mytty from Truck Center Companies in Omaha, Neb.; and John Nichols from Palmer Kenworth in Indianapolis, Ind.
The nominees were selected by ATD board members and dealer association executives. Professors from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, Ind., will evaluate the nominees based on dealership performance, industry leadership, civic involvement and community service.
The winner and runner-up will be announced on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, during the 56th annual ATD Show in San Francisco, which runs concurrently with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show from Thursday, Jan. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 27.
ATD, a division of NADA, represents more than 1,800 heavy- and medium-duty truck dealerships in the U.S.
For more information about ATD Show 2019, visit atdshow.org.
This is the first article in a six-part series highlighting the nominees for 2019 Truck Dealer of the Year.