Executive Advisors

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RICK BERGDAHL

Rick has over 40 years of leadership experience in the global truck business with an emphasis on directing product, marketing and pricing teams, primarily with PACCAR, Inc. He has numerous accomplishments in building brands as the company grew from a domestic niche player to a $19B Fortune 500 leading manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty trucks including world-class brands like Kenworth, DAF Trucks, Peterbilt and Leyland Trucks.

Rick built small US-focused product teams into integrated teams from Canada, Mexico and global markets with up to 50 professionals responsible for product and brand management, supplier strategy, performance metrics, pricing, new vehicle launch support, cross-functional strategic business unit management and profit enhancement. He was a leading Lean Six Sigma Champion within the Division. During his tenure, parts sales revenue quadrupled.  

Recognition and Awards include:
Global Supplier Strategy

  • 2008 General Manager’s Choice Award (best long-term Six Sigma impact) for Global Sourcing program.

Pricing Management

  • 2009 General Manager’s Choice Award (best long-term Six Sigma impact) for Servigistics project.
  • Service Pricing Excellence Award (awarded at 2010 Servigistics Conference) for best pricing execution.

In recent years, Rick has served as a Consultant with Navistar, playing a vital role in developing their global sourcing and branding processes and country market research in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand.

Rick has a Bachelor’s degree from GMI (now Kettering) in Industrial Engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan, including a Master’s thesis on truck marketing in developing countries.

 
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John Davis

Over the past 35 years John has gained extensive experience in the truck and recreational vehicle industry working for PACCAR, Inc., a $19B industry leader and Fleetwood Enterprises which produced recreational vehicles, mobile homes and manufactured housing. His focus has been on driving revenue growth by developing and leading highly effective sales and marketing teams.

In recent years, John served as Vice President of After-Sales Services for Fleetwood. He had previously held several sales and marketing management positions over 24 years with PACCAR while the business was building its global reputation in the medium and heavy truck industry.

John’s responsibilities included General Marketing Manager for PACCAR’s domestic and international service and parts business. In later assignments, he also consulted with the Company on various international and domestic aftermarket strategy projects. He is currently a Managing Partner at Business Perspectives LLC, an advisory services firm providing consulting services to the North American truck industry.

John holds a BSBA and an MS in Marketing from the University of Arizona. Additionally, he earned Executive Certificates from Northwestern and Babson College.  He serves on the Board of Directors for the Literacy Council of Seattle and is a Volunteer Teacher’s Aide at First Place School. John resides in the Seattle area.

 
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PEDRO FERRO

Pedro has a 30-year history in the global automotive industry, leading transformation and improving manufacturing, aftermarket and distribution businesses. His focus areas and expertise are in profitability improvement and growth, complexity reduction and business analytics. He utilizes 80/20 analytics to assess the fitness level of business portfolios and maximize "portfolio momentum." This tool analyzes interrelated sets of data to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and actionable ideas that lead to increased sales and contribution margins.

Previously, Pedro was CEO of Fras-Le (a global leader in friction materials) and COO of Randon Auto Parts. He was also the President – Aftermarket & Trailer and President – Industrial & Asia Pacific at Meritor, a leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. At Marmon Highway Technologies/Berkshire Hathaway, Pedro served as President of its CV Undercarriage Group.

Pedro’s early career included 14 years with Cummins, Inc., a global manufacturer that designs and manufactures natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. He held several international leadership roles in Brazil and Mexico before becoming Vice President for their Automotive Information Business. Pedro holds an engineering degree (mechanical/production) from the University Center of FEI – São Paulo Area, Brazil.

 
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RANDY GARDINER

In a career spanning over 35 years, Randy has gained a wealth of executive leadership experience in the design and manufacture of mobile HVAC systems and components for heavy-duty commercial and military vehicles. In recent years, he served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Red Dot Corporation where he was responsible for an organization with over 500 employees globally and revenues exceeding $135M. As CEO, he was instrumental in the company’s business development and strategic planning initiatives throughout the world.

Joining Red Dot in 1977, Randy worked in nearly every aspect of the organization, including leadership roles in cost accounting, human resources, production forecasting, customer service, aftermarket distribution, and sales. Under Randy’s stewardship the business diversified and balanced its revenue across a broad range of heavy-duty, commercial, and international markets.

Randy is currently Managing Partner for Decision Processes International, a leader in imparting strategic thinking processes that help their clients to develop a competitive market advantage. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound (CAMPS), and member of South Seattle College’s Presidents Advisory Board.

In 2011, Randy was appointed a voting commissioner on the Washington State Economic Development Commission. In 2012 he was honored by Seattle Business magazine as its Manufacturing Executive of the year.  He holds a BBA in Business Administration and Management from Pacific Lutheran University.

 

PAUL MENIG

Paul has led research and development of high tech products for military, aerospace, industrial automation, medical systems, and transportation industries. He’s worked with corporate research groups at General Electric, Eaton, and Daimler to set direction for future products and businesses, while standing in front of truck fleet customers to assure success.

Paul provides strategic management advice to Tier 1 suppliers to the trucking industry and heads the Far Horizons/Future Truck initiative of the Technology and Maintenance Council. He is a board member of a vision-based product company and Chairman for the National Transportation Center Foundation, a greenfield development of a 200-acre vocational training facility for all transportation jobs outside Indianapolis, IN. He regularly speaks to the trucking industry on topics of technology and its impact and opportunities.

Following graduation from MIT, Paul worked at General Electric on products for breast scanners, computer communications, ultrasound, and guided bombs. He spent 15 years at Eaton developing industrial automation, vision inspection, nuclear submarine controls, automated mechanical transmissions, and radar safety systems. Paul spent 18 years at Daimler Trucks North America responsible for all electrical/electronics, brakes, and safety systems, including developing the strategy of global commonality and component sharing that remains part of Daimler’s current strategy.

 
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Michael P. Ralsky

Michael has been a public affairs executive in the government and private sectors for over twenty years.  He is an effective advocate and coalition builder known for shaping public policies that drive positive business results.

Before joining Cornerstone Growth Advisors, he founded a boutique consultancy that helped firms seize opportunities to exports hundreds of millions of dollars of goods and services to foreign markets.  Before that, he directed government relations at two Fortune 300 corporations in the financial services and automotive industries.  Michael lobbied state capitols and the Congress, securing tens of millions of dollars in job creation and retention incentives and crafting beneficial changes to pension legislation. 

Michael spent a decade in progressively more senior roles in the Federal government prior to entering the private sector. On Capitol Hill, he was a Legislative Assistant to three U.S. Senators.  At the Pentagon, Michael served as Special Assistant for Budget and Transformation.  At NASA, he was a Senior Advisor to the Deputy and Administrator. 

A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a degree in government and politics, Michael resides in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife and two children.  

 
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RICH FERGUSON

Rich is a performance-driven executive with over 20 years of diverse business experience focusing on developing, deploying and controlling global strategic organic growth and acquisition plans to achieve key performance targets and EBITDA expansion.  His extensive knowledge was acquired through senior executive positions in business unit management, sales, operations and strategic planning with Fortune 50 companies including the Volvo Group and Daimler AG.

In recent years, Rich worked in the Heavy Truck and Commercial Vehicle business segments holding P&L accountability for revenue ranging from $350M to $1.6B in B2B and B2C environments. His roles included Senior Vice President for the Volvo Group where he directed the Mack and Volvo Trucks NAFTA aftermarket parts sales and customer support business unit.  Previously, Rich worked for Daimler AG in executive leadership positions that included President of North American Commercial Bus Operations and President & GM of Daimler Trucks Remarketing.

Rich has significant M&A experience in identifying, negotiating and closing transactions in commercial vehicles, oil & gas refining & marketing and service industries such as telematics, security monitoring and cable TV.  He has successfully developed strategies and new business opportunities at the C-level for major industrial enterprises.

Rich earned his MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis and his BSBA from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He is a member of Financial Executives International (FEI), Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors (AM&AA) and Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).

 
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Jeff Smith

Jeff is the author of the best-selling books in the world on the subject of key performance indicators and with book sales in excess 100,000 copies, he’s regarded as the world’s #1 leading expert on the subject of KPI and business strategy.

He’s located in the United Kingdom and is a truly global conference speaker with more than 25 years of speaking experience. His client list reads like a who’s who of global success, he’s worked with royalty, many of the fortune 100 companies and he’s also made several business education programs for Sky TV. During his time, he’s spoken in more than 71 different countries, hundreds of different cities and he’s touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.

His expertise… he knows exactly how to breed success. He works with you to gain a crystal clear vision on what you really want to achieve in your business and provides you with the precise strategic KPI to ensure you reach your goals and aspirations with laser beam accuracy. He has the ability to open people’s minds to get them really excited about winning more customers, increasing sales and making more profit. That’s what he does, that’s what he’s passionate about.

Because he’s the inventor of many new concepts with key performance indicators, he uses powerful, ground-breaking and brand-new KPI to demonstrate how you can achieve anything you want in your business. He provides you with the most powerful template for success and because he’s the inventor of many new concepts, he’s able to show you how you can get the results you want in the fastest possible time.

Jeff’s philosophy is: Challenge the rules of conventional wisdom. Think bigger about your business. Think bigger about your life.