Spartan Motors Inc., a global leader in specialty chassis and vehicle design, manufacturing and assembly, has announced a series of actions aimed to enhance the depth and bench strength of its senior leadership team, while creating a more streamlined reporting structure.
Tom Ninneman has been promoted to chief operating officer of Spartan Motors. Ninneman most recently served as Spartan’s president of Fleet Vehicles & Services (FVS) for the past year and previously served as the chief operating officer of Smeal Fire Apparatus Co., which was acquired in 2017. Ninneman brings more than 25 years of business and leadership experience, including 10 years in custom vehicle manufacturing across the fire and emergency response, specialty vehicle and military markets. The presidents of Fleet Vehicles & Services, Emergency Response (ER) and Specialty Chassis & Vehicles (SCV) business segments will report to Ninneman.
“We saw a need to bring greater operational expertise, structure and responsiveness to our senior management team to better prepare us to meet our 2020 goals and the actions we announced today are meant to accomplish that. We are convinced that Tom brings the exact skill set and experience we need to lead our operations, and are proud to name him our chief operating officer (COO),” said Daryl Adams, president and CEO. “Tom’s strong leadership in FVS over the past year, combined with his prior experience at Smeal and Oshkosh, makes him the ideal person to head up operational leadership across our organization, bringing increased agility to our senior leadership team. With the addition of a COO, we will also see enhanced alignment on operational improvements across the business while allowing our entire team to sharpen their strategic focus for the long term.”
The company also announced that Chad Heminover has been named president of FVS which includes the Utilimaster and Spartan Upfit Services go-to-market brands. Heminover most recently served as vice president of operations and business development of FVS and was previously the business unit president for Taylor Corp., one of the largest print and communications services providers, where he implemented a number of business turnarounds, which resulted in enhanced efficiency and significant improvement in profitability. Over his extensive career, Heminover managed major supplier and customer relationships, as well as mergers and acquisitions, new product development and the implementation of programs to enhance employee development and retention.
“Chad is the right person to lead our FVS segment, as he brings an energetic and innovative approach to developing long-term strategic vision while managing the operational details of the day-to-day business,” said Adams. “As we look to enhance the speed of delivery on our 2020 goals, we believe it’s important to empower the next generation of leadership to build on the foundation we’ve set over the past two years. Our ultimate focus remains on profitable growth for Spartan, and we must continue to foster the dynamic leaders, like Chad, who will ultimately drive that growth.”
As a final component of the senior management transition, Spartan announced that John Slawson, president of Spartan Emergency Response, has resigned his position to pursue other interests. Ninneman, chief operating officer, will serve as the interim president of the ER business unit as the company completes its search for a replacement.
“We thank John for his support in returning the Emergency Response segment to profitability in 2017, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Adams. “Tom Ninneman brings a wealth of emergency response experience, having previously served as COO of Smeal, and he has my confidence in successfully leading these concurrent roles until we name a permanent replacement for ER president.”
Adams said, “We are pleased with these appointments, which illustrate the bench strength of our management team and adds to our confidence in our ability to achieve our 2020 goals.”