Trincon Group

Our Team

Meet Trincon’s Advisory Team

Duff Swain, President

25“We go through the same process of discovery every time we work with a company and we always turn up different results because no two companies are the same. If the ownership is different, the company is different and the solutions to its individual dilemmas are different.”

In 1982, business consultant Duff H. Swain found an opportunity to apply his industry knowledge and experience to help the ownership of closely-held trucking companies through a difficult period. The industry was reeling from recent deregulation, the economy was in recession and the failure rate of trucking operations doubled the national average of all companies.

He founded his consulting firm, TRINCON Group, and took on his first client—a trucking company that was emerging from Chapter-11 reorganization. Despite the troubled times, the business plan that Swain developed allowed the client to successfully exit bankruptcy protection in 1983. It was one of only two transportation companies to do so that year.

In 1983, Swain developed an activity based costing system which was used as an analysis tool for new clients. The system allows motor carriers to develop pricing that relates to customers and trips and measure cost as affected by time and distance. In 2002, the system evolved into the product Tru-Cost®.

From his initial successes, Swain moved the company forward and assembled a multi-faceted professional team to focus on the unique needs of the trucking, transportation and shipping industries.

In 1999, Swain spear-headed an innovative program to address the severe driver shortage in the U.S. by training and recruiting new drivers from Puerto Rico’s large labor pool. The program provided prospective drivers with CDL training and an opportunity to earn a competitive wage based on quality, productive performance. Most notable was the development of a driver career path that introduced the employees to the profession and allowed them to progress and develop a successful career.

Swain has authored several white papers and trade articles on the subjects of driver turnover, cost-based accounting and other topics. He is frequently featured in national publications and media outlets, including leading industry magazines, The New York Times, USA Today and National Public Radio, to discuss issues that affect the trucking industry. He also appears as a featured speaker in the “Fleet Executive” DVD series produced in 2006 by Big Truck TV.

Swain is a member of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), the Ohio Trucking Association (OTA) and the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC).

Keith Margelowsky, Vice President

32 “One must know and understand the importance of systems and the appropriate use of the right technology for the task at hand.”

Mr. Margelowsky, who joined TRINCON in 2008, has been in the trucking/logistics industry since 1977, he has held high-level executive positions at several diversified carriers, North American Van Lines, National Freight, Werner Enterprises and Quality Distribution.  His expertise includes costing and pricing, marketing, process improvement and the use of technology.

Some of his specialized experience includes:

* Costing processes that lead to effective pricing and analysis
* Develop marketing and pricing strategies, especially rate increases
* Incorporating new technologies into operations
* Experience in LTL, TL, Flatbed, Reefer, Tank and Logistics operations

An honors graduate of the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse with degrees in economics and mathematics, he has given numerous group talks to industry professionals. He has been involved in most aspects of LTL, truckload vans, reefers, flatbed, bulk truck and third party logistics. Many of his past positions have been related to pricing freight where understanding operations and all aspects of a trucking company are a prerequisite.

Bill Kistner, Senior Advisor – Sales/Marketing

27 “It is amazing how much better companies function once management fully understands that their sales and marketing employees cannot do their jobs well without a clear, understandable process in place.”

Kistner has worked as a professional consultant, executive and educator for more than 29 years and has served as a TRINCON advisor since 1989. As Vice President of Sales Development, he specializes in: developing marketing/sales plans, new business development methods, driver hiring and retention processes, training programs, and practical management development for transportation industry executives and employees. Some of his accomplishments include:

Trained 98,000 in: selling skills, sales management, negotiations & communication
Developed 300+ sales/marketing, strategic, product/service plans
Created profit selling/marketing plans for trucking companies
Provide advisory and instructional services for new business development, driver recruiting, retention and sales programs
Key member of new client fact finding, situational analysis team
Bill is a senior instructor for two Executive Leadership programs and a freelance writer for such publications as the Business First Newspapers and several trade journals.

Bill Kistner is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and holds a master’s degree from the University of Toledo.

Leon Palmer – Senior Advisor – Operations

Leon Palmer

Mr. Palmer joined Trincon in 2015 with over 35 years of executive management experience in the trucking industry.

Leon brings an extensive background in large-fleet operations, including back office operations and fleet management systems.  His primary area of expertise is in the area of operational productivity and profitability, customer development, and revenue growth.

Mr. Palmer started his career in the trucking industry with Schneider National, rising to the position of Vice President and General Manager of their Bulk Carriers Division.  Since that time he has held senior executive positions with a number of carriers including:  Crossett Inc., Bulkmatic Transport, Roehl Transport, Quality Carriers and Chemical Leaman Tank Lines.  Immediately prior to joining Trincon he was Vice President of Logistics for MBI Energy Logistics, the largest transportation and well intervention company in the Bakken Oilfield, where he was responsible for managing the operation of a fleet of 1200 trucks.

Leon is a graduate of North Dakota State University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics.  After graduation, he served in the US Army, where he rose to the rank of Captain.

Richard Sexton, Senior Advisor – Finance

26 “One of the first things we do when visiting a new client company is to examine their financial records to determine if they are producing accurate and adequate information to provide the basis for good decision making.”

Sexton has more than 30 years of financial and administration management experience in public and privately held business including his own manufacturing company. Rick has worked in investment banking, assisted clients with the recovery of stressed businesses, offered CFO level advisory to clients and has been involved in the transportation industry since 2000. One of his specialties is assisting clients with new financing arrangements. This includes transitioning companies from expensive factoring arrangements to less costly receivables based on revolving lines of credit.

Sexton’s expertise includes:

Business Valuations
Experienced Chief Financial Officer
Activity based costing systems
Operating and financial systems development
Cash flow controls including spending and profit forecasting, results reporting and variance analysis
Balance sheet controls to insure maximum asset utilization for return on investment and profitability

“I have been fortunate to gain senior level experience from many different financial management functions, including owning and operating a 250 employee manufacturing company, investment banking and the transportation industry for the benefit of our clients.”

Rick holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accounting concentration from Franklin University.

Marvin Shefsky, Senior Advisor – Driver Development

66 “I love working in this industry and there is no question that the on-going driver shortage is one of the most critical and challenging issues we face. We need to work closely within the industry to find new ways to retain existing drivers and attract new candidates into the profession.”

In 1970 Mr. Shefsky launched his career by working as one of the nation’s first student driver recruiters, and became the country’s first independent recruiter for owner-operators. In 1980 he formed RAMP Media Group, publishers of Over the Road, the original driver recruiting magazine, and for the next 32 years it was one of the top communication links between motor carriers and professional drivers reaching over 75,000 drivers every month. He was also instrumental in establishing the Recruitment Center to the Mid-America Trucking Show.

Mr. Shefsky’s advocacy for driver’s health and wellness led to the creation of Driver’s HEALTH magazine, the only publication dedicated to improving the health and wellness of professional drivers, and the formation of the Healthy Trucking Association of America.

Marvin is a past member of the Truckload Carriers Association Board of Directors, serving on their Panel for Recruiting and Retention.

David Youkers, Senior Advisor – Marketing and Business Development

44 “In today’s environment, businesses are looking to information technology to help provide new breakthroughs in productivity and profitability. Critical to achieving those results is its alignment with business strategy, and operational and organizational requirements.”

Dave joined TRINCON in August of 2011, bringing over thirty years experience in management consulting and business development at the world’s leading providers of information technology solutions and services. As an executive consultant and practice principal at IBM and marketing manager at Microsoft, Dave was responsible for managing the relationship with some of their largest international customers and clients in the manufacturing, distribution and financial sectors – working with executives at as such clients as General Motors, Mercedes Benz, Siemens, Toyota, State Farm Insurance, Caterpillar and many others.
Dave’s specific areas of expertise include:

• Information Technology strategic planning
• Supply chain management
• Operational process design and optimization
• Marketing and business development

Dave is a graduate of Lock Haven University with a degree in mathematics and attended Bradley University’s Graduate School of Business majoring in operational management. He has been a frequent guest speaker at a variety of business forums speaking on issues relating to strategic planning.