Introducing Jean Calderon and Dave Janikowski

Meet Your Milestone

As Milestone continues to expand its footprint, serving customers in its growing network across 25+ cities nationwide, the company welcomes two new team members – Jean Calderon, Branch Operations Assistant in Romulus, Michigan and Dave Janikowski, Milwaukee Branch Manager.

Jean Calderon

Jean Calderon, Branch Operations Assistant, Romulus, MI

What are your roles and responsibilities at Milestone?

My duties are to assure the branch operates smoothly. Answer phones, open mail, sign for packages, attend to all PO requests (vendors to in-house mechanics) in a timely manner, assure all files are up to date with all proper paper work, from registrations to license plates. Keep all spreadsheets updated and entered properly. Assist in any area that is in need. And be an all-around team player!

Where were you before you joined Milestone?

I worked for an automotive financial company.

What do you look forward to contributing to the company?

I look forward to contributing my work ethic, bilingual skills, organizational skills and customer service skills to the company as a whole.

Why do you enjoy working in the transportation industry?

I enjoy automotive in general, whether it be automotive or transportation. I enjoy working with people. Meeting new people, helping out a customer or vendor in a pinch. Helping my co-workers, customers or vendors in any way that I can.

Milestone Is Committed to Hiring New Employees

Dave Janikowski, Branch Manager, Milwaukee WI

Tell us about your role at Milestone.

I am the new Branch Manager in the Milwaukee location.  I am responsible for the branch activity and making sure we grow our footprint up in this region.

Where were you before you joined Milestone?

I worked in the mortgage business for a little while and spent 16 years as a branch manager at a trailer dealership in Franklin, Wisconsin.

What do you look forward to bringing to the team?

I really look forward to bringing my drive and competitiveness. I strive to be the best and love competing. So the competitors be warned.

What do you like best about working in this industry?

You meet people from all walks of life, from the executive/owners all the way down to yard jockeys. It is great meeting and getting to know everyone. This is a relationship business as much as it is supply and demand. I am very excited to be a part of the team here and where this will take me.

 

 

Milestone FEMA Blog Post Featured Image

All Hands On Deck – Contributing to Hurricane Disaster Relief

Hurricane Season 2017

As hurricanes were making landfall in Texas and the Florida Keys, Sarah Johnson’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing. Disaster relief preparations were in motion and Milestone would play a crucial role in getting emergency goods to shelters and relief centers across the Southern US and the Eastern Seaboard.

“It was a mad scramble, but everybody was on deck to help,” says Johnson, Executive Vice President of Highway Operations. “Whether it was making phone calls around the clock, getting employees out in the field or giving up weekends and nights to make sure customers could access equipment – everyone played a crucial role in making all this happen. Which was pretty awesome. “

The Milestone team worked with carriers hauling for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deploy hundreds of trailers across the country (San Antonio, Houston, Atlanta, Tulsa, Memphis and York, Pennsylvania) to help deliver bottled water and other emergency supplies to evacuees.

In total, Milestone moved some 400 trailers in support of FEMA-related hurricane relief, which was one of the largest in scale the company participated in. Milestone is committed to serving communities around the nation, especially in times of extreme circumstances. This year’s hurricane season proved to be a true test for how local communities, states and the nation would come together to combat Mother Nature. Milestone is honored to have worked with FEMA to provide aid in the areas most affected and will continue to strive to be an industry leader in volunteering efforts.

Milestone Women In Trucking Recap Featured Image

Women in Trucking – Accelerate! Conference & Expo Recap

Women in Trucking

Women from all facets of the transportation and logistics industry gathered together for the Accelerate! Conference & Expo hosted by Women in Trucking. Held November 6th to 8th in Kansas City, Missouri, this year’s conference focused on how gender diversity can have a positive impact on a woman’s career and her company’s success.

The event, which also celebrated Women in Trucking’s 10th anniversary, drew more than 500 attendees from across the country. This made it the largest group ever for the organization.

“What a wonderful opportunity to gather with likeminded peers to discuss critical transportation issues and trends,” says Milestone Trailer Leasing Division Sales Executive Karen Novak, who attended the conference with Sarah Johnson, Executive Vice President of Highway Operations. “We were grateful to attend and represent the Milestone team.”

Accelerate! Conference & Expo

The three-day conference featured 30+ educational sessions. Topics ranged from speed mentoring and improving early stage driver turnover to creating happiness in the workplace and defining successful leadership. Attendees also had an opportunity to choose from four educational tracks: Leadership, Human Resources, Operations and Sales & Marketing.

The opening keynote address was given by author, screenwriter and attorney Valerie Alexander. Her presentation, “How Women Can Succeed in Trucking (Despite Having Female Brains),” examined a woman’s experience in the industry. It also provided practical tips on how to compete on a playing field designed by men.

Presentations

“Valerie is a dynamic speaker who dove into the basic reasons why women are great multitaskers, organizers and how we can take on multiple challenges,” says Novak. “Her presentation centered around ways women hold themselves back in the workplace and how to overcome that thought process.”

Novak herself participated as a sales coach/mentor and discussed her sales history followed by an informative Q&A. Topics discussed in her presentation included how to position yourself to grow with your company, recognizing when options for growth may not come in your current employment, and “must do’s” to promote yourself for higher opportunities (ex: dress, speak and behave professionally; know your topic better than anyone else in the room; take on projects that you can positively affect).

Conference Sessions

Some of the conference’s 30+ sessions offered included:

  • Steps Women Take to Become Successful Business Leaders
  • Best Practices in Female Driver Recruiting
  • Succeeding in a Male Dominated Industry
  • A Truck Tour (four different tractors were available to tour with a manufacturing rep available to discuss new innovations)
  • Elevating Your Game Through Personal Transformation
  • Tips to Eating Healthy on the Road

Several daily opportunities to network were available, including visiting vendor booths. Some vendors represented were:

In addition to the sessions, there were multiple speakers, networking lunches and evening receptions. The conference closed with drawings for vendor-provided prizes, the Woman of the Year Award (presented to Daphne Jefferson, Deputy Administrator, US Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and a final presentation by Valerie Alexander.

Mission of Women in Trucking

Founded in 2007 to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, Women in Trucking is a non-profit organization that works to educate and raise awareness for women’s issues. This includes promoting career opportunities, improving working conditions for women, increasing the number of women drivers, as well as serving as a resource about women working in the transportation and logistics industry.

“In just a few short years, Women in Trucking has made significant strides for women nationwide,” says Sarah Johnson. “It’s great to see the organization grow and continue to support women’s endeavors in this exciting industry.”

Photo courtesy of Women in Trucking

 

 

 

Milestone Blog Post Featured Lori Crider

Meet Lori Crider

Lori Crider is passionate about building relationships with customers. It’s what gets her excited about her role as Sales Manager of Milestone Trailer Leasing’s Dallas division. She shares why Milestone is the absolute best trailer leasing option and what’s key to growing and retaining customer relationships.

A Day in the Life

Tell us about your responsibilities as Sales Manager at Milestone Trailer Leasing. What does your typical day look like?

My focus has been to grow the Dallas market and maintain our existing customer base. Dallas is one of our newer locations (we opened last summer). It’s a growing market and it’s a great place to be in terms of the economy. Dallas also has an unusually high amount of competition.

Seeing how Dallas is a saturated market, how do you reach these customers?

I try to use all the different modes of marketing including phone calls, emails and personal visits. In this industry, you must be face-to-face with the customers and prospects which makes personal visits vitally important. I am involved in the Transportation Club of Dallas/Fort Worth and other industry networking events. You’ve got to be making those personal connections.

Accomplishments & Challenges

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Bringing on customers from my previous employer who sold their trailer leasing division and got out of the business. I’ve been in Dallas since 2010, so I had built up some business with other companies and past referrals.  It was exciting to get those customers to come over to Milestone.

What is the biggest challenge facing your industry today?

There’s a lot of on uncertainty with how the ELD mandates will affect the industry.

Why Milestone?

What things about your job get you excited?

We are absolutely the best trailer leasing option out there. So many of our competitors are letting their customers down. Since Dallas is a newer location, it’s fun getting our name out there. Part of what I’m doing is talking with people and making them aware of who we are and what we offer. It’s thrilling to know that our executive team responds promptly and appropriately plus the fact that we’re in 27 locations with over 40,000 units definitely gets the attention of our prospects.

What keeps you up at night?

I just want to see Milestone’s brand grow and excel in the North Texas market. I see it as an exciting thing as we keep moving forward.

Success Stories

What is a great story about Milestone Trailer Leasing that you love to share?

We were able to use 15 of our storage trailers in the show, Queen of the South, which is on USA Network. Our trailers were used to simulate a loading dock in Galveston, TX.

What is a great customer story that you love to share?

I walked in at the right time to visit with a prospect. He said, “We have a problem. We need equipment and your competitor didn’t have a quote approved, so the costs actually came back higher but I signed the agreement anyway. I was also just told that they won’t be able to provide the trailers which we need in service within the next two weeks.” We ended up taking three 2009 model roll door trailers, ordered three new lift gates, got them installed and ready to go in a one-month period (from getting the right approvals through our executive team, lift gates ordered, installed and ready to go). The customer was impressed. This is a great example of  how quickly and effectively we can respond as a company to cover a unique need.

 

 

 

Our New Corporate Headquarters

In an ongoing effort to support its growing customer base and in response to a remarkable growth year, Milestone Equipment Holdings, one of the nation’s most comprehensive lessors of transportation equipment, announces its new corporate headquarters in St. Charles, MO, near Interstate 70 and Zumbehl Road.

  • Address: 3050 West Clay Street, Suite 300 St. Charles, MO 63301
  • Telephone Number: 636-238-8896

The new facility will serve as a support hub for the company’s divisional offices in Chicago, IL (Intermodal and Chassis) and St. Charles, MO (Trailer Leasing), and its nationwide branch and depot network. This location will house the majority of the company’s administrative functions such as Finance, Accounting, Risk Management and Human Resources.

“Milestone is focused on providing outstanding service to our customers, while capitalizing on growth opportunities in the transportation sector,” says Don Clayton, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Milestone Equipment Holdings. “The construction of our modern new headquarters and the availability of adjacent space for future expansion provide a scalable platform to support that mission, while helping us become an employer of choice for our current and future associates.”

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Since its founding in 1995, Milestone continues to build on superior customer service and flexible solutions. Today, with a combined fleet of over 80,000 domestic chassis, containers and trailers, the company continues to offer customers full service transportation equipment leasing and asset management.

President and Chief Operating Officer, Jordan Ayers, added, “We are fortunate to have some of the most experienced leaders in the industry and this expansion will help us continue to grow and build, while also providing upgraded training facilities for our sales and operations personnel.”

 

Press Release: Milestone Equipment Holdings Adds Don Clayton as Chief Financial Officer

ST. CHARLES, MO (September 12, 2016) – Milestone announces the addition of Don Clayton who joins the team as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Clayton will be based in St. Charles, MO and will report directly to Jordan Ayers, President and Chief Operating Officer.

“I am very excited to join the Milestone team,” says Clayton. “The team has built an outstanding business through its customer-centric, flexible approach to leasing. We will continue to make that our core mission, while building additional processes and controls to further scale the business. I see tremendous opportunities for growth and we will be prepared to capitalize on those opportunities.”

Clayton has 18 years of experience working in the industrial distribution and financial services industries, including eight years as Chief Financial Officer of a multi-billion-dollar nationwide distributor and seven years in the financial services audit practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, financial reporting and internal controls. He has also played key roles on several acquisitions and capital market transactions.

“Don brings the experience and philosophy we want to take our organization to the next level,” says Ayers. “He has built world-class back office operations and has led numerous strategic transactions. Just as importantly, he shares our passion for customer service and our commitment to stay nimble and innovative as we grow.”

Clayton received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from Southeast Missouri State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Press Release: Milestone Equipment Holdings Consolidates Personal Attention Leasing Into Milestone Trailer Leasing

ST. CHARLES, MO (August 31, 2016) – Milestone Equipment Holdings announced that they will consolidate the trailer rental brand of Personal Attention Leasing into Milestone Trailer Leasing, creating an expansive portfolio of products and services under the Milestone Trailer Leasing name.

This development comes as a result of Milestone Equipment Holdings going to market with a unified Milestone brand name for the Trailer, Intermodal and Chassis Divisions.  Milestone Trailer Leasing continues their commitment to provide personal attention to each customer in the form of open-architecture arrangements, flexible lease options, and added-value services.

“Consolidating the PAL Trailer brand into the Milestone family helps express to the transportation market that we have transformed into a large scale provider with a national footprint. We can deliver that message and still retain our customer-centric and flexible approach to providing equipment,” says Milestone Executive Vice-President of Branch Operations, Sarah Johnson.

“This is an exciting announcement for our company and a great benefit to our customers,” says Milestone President and Chief Operating Officer, Jordan Ayers. The value of this rebranding can be seen in the form of:

  • Financial strength to buy new equipment to grow our trailer fleet at each branch.
  • Purchase trailers to meet specific customer equipment needs.
  • Expanded trailer fleet of over 40,000 trailers.
  • Nationwide trailer branch network.
  • Broader array of equipment types and transportation services.
  • Access to large groups of cartage equipment to upgrade and augment local fleets.
  • Seasoned, knowledgeable, and customer-centric sales professionals.

Press Release: Milestone Equipment Holdings Continues to Elevate Leadership Team, Names EJ Bronwasser Assistant Vice President of Operations, Chassis Division

BURR RIDGE, IL (August 10th, 2016) – Milestone announces the addition of EJ Bronwasser who joins the team as Assistant Vice President, Chassis Division. He will be based in Burr Ridge, IL and will report directly to Doug Hoehn, EVP Milestone Chassis & Managed Assets.

“Throughout my career I’ve maintained a passion for continuous improvement and being a part of a winning team, such as the one in place at Milestone,” says Bronwasser. “I look forward to helping to streamline processes, optimize our team’s efficiency, increase performance (on behalf of our customers and our team) as well as provide ongoing leadership to our Chassis outfit.”

Bronwasser brings 30 years of experience in equipment control within the ocean liner business. He has worked with such companies as P&O Nedlloyd, Maersk Line and NYK. In his most recent position at NYK, Bronwasser was the regional Operations Director managing all aspects of first and last mile logistics in addition to rail operations and vendor management.

”EJ’s wealth of experience will bolster the Milestone team as we continue to grow the Milestone Chassis Company business,” says Hoehn. “His systems knowledge and operational expertise will drive organizational excellence. Along with the newest premium marine, domestic and specialty chassis available in the market, adding talent like this will help Milestone to continue to anticipate and exceed client expectations.”

Bronwasser received his Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Maritime Management from the Nautical Academy of Rotterdam, The Netherlands followed by his Master of Science degree with an emphasis in Intermodal Transportation from the University of Denver.  He is the current President of the Intermodal Association of Chicago.

Milestone Equipment Holdings Merges with US Trailer Holdings and Quest Capital Group

New Haven, Connecticut – Barings announced it has completed the merger of Milestone Equipment Holdings (“Milestone”), US Trailer Holdings I and II (collectively, “USTH”) and Quest Capital Group (“Quest”). The merger adds approximately 28,000 units of highway and intermodal equipment to Milestone’s existing 40,000-unit fleet; including 18,000 highway trailers, 7,000 domestic containers and 3,000 chassis. Milestone is a full-service transportation equipment lessor specializing in highway and intermodal trailers, domestic intermodal dry and refrigerated containers, as well as chassis. The company’s owned and managed fleet of 68,000 units is provided to its customers under flexible operating lease and rental structures. Barings acquired Milestone in March 2015.

Thomas Juterbock, a Managing Director at Barings, stated: “The merger of Milestone, USTH and Quest is strategically important to Barings’ strategy in the surface transportation sector. It will enable Milestone to expand its fleet and geographic footprint while continuing to focus on equipment solutions for its customers.”

Rob Thull, Milestone’s CEO and founder stated: “Milestone will provide more innovative and flexible leasing and rental products to our customers as a result of our significantly enhanced scale in the marketplace along with the executive talent from Quest. Milestone will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and is well capitalized to continue its growth into the future.”

Jordan Ayers, Quest’s CEO and founder stated: “We are proud to join the Milestone team and we are excited to expand the equipment offerings of Milestone through the merger of our operations.”

Barings, Bowman, and Milestone Acquire Assets of GE’s Trailer Leasing Business, Transport International Pool, Inc.

New Haven, Connecticut – A fleet of approximately 27,000 over-the-road trailers previously owned by Transport International Pool, Inc. (“TIP”), a subsidiary of General Electric Capital Corporation, was acquired today by Barings, Bowman Sales and Equipment (“Bowman”), and Milestone Trailer Leasing (“Milestone”) the companies announced. The acquisition includes all of TIP’s remaining U.S.-based trailers.

The majority of the trailers will be owned by Barings affiliates and managed and operated by Trailer Leasing Alliance (“TLA”) and Quest Capital Group (“Quest”).

TLA is a newly formed joint venture trailer leasing company owned by Milestone and Bowman and will be staffed by executives with extensive trailer leasing industry experience and national account management capabilities. Quest is an existing operating partner of Barings and an experienced transportation equipment manager. TLA and Quest will provide high quality services to existing and future trailer lessees and the acquisition group intends to provide additional capital to meet future trailer lessee capacity needs.

“Our acquisition of the TIP trailer fleet expands Barings’ transportation footprint beyond existing investments in U.S. intermodal and commercial aviation markets,” said Barings President Jonathan Rotolo. “The industry fundamentals, driven by a historically small U.S. trailer fleet, offer attractive returns to our investors and complement our existing transportation investments. We are excited to work together with our partners at Bowman, Milestone and Quest, three of the nation’s leading ground transportation players, and we plan to build our presence in the industry.”

As a global, diversified asset manager, Barings delivers the enhanced global perspective, local insight and broader range of traditional and alternative asset class expertise that today’s investors seek. Learn more at www.barings.com

Dennis Hamill, President of Bowman noted: “Bowman has been very fortunate to be able to continue to take advantage of the trailer leasing market consolidation that has taken place in the U.S. in the last few years and we are totally committed to continuing to provide our customers with the best equipment and service available in the industry.”

Bowman Sales & Equipment Inc DBA Bowman Trailer Leasing is the second largest semi-trailer leasing company in the U.S. with a fleet of over 30,000 assets and operates out of 34 branch locations. Based in Hagerstown, MD, Bowman is a full service provider that includes in-house maintenance and delivery/pick-up capabilities in most locations. Learn more at www.bowmanleasing.com

Robert Thull, President and co-owner of Milestone added: “This acquisition and the formation of TLA will provide cost-effective rental and lease alternatives to our customers throughout the United States. The combination of Milestone’s and Bowman’s large regional rental branch infrastructure with the industry-leading TLA executive team will provide exceptional service and trailer capacity to national accounts.”

The Milestone companies, including Milestone Equipment Corporation, operate a leased fleet of over 50,000 units of domestic intermodal and highway transportation equipment. Milestone Trailer Leasing, LLC, headquartered in Tiburon, CA, operates 18,000 highway rental trailers through its affiliate, Personal Attention Leasing, Inc. (“PAL”). The company has 19 full service rental branch locations primarily in the Midwestern United States.

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