Leadership

Max Heller
President & CEO, Chief Financial Officer

Max Heller has served as the chief financial officer and treasurer of KION North America Corporation since early 2016.

He started his career in public accounting with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Germany and joined their audit team in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2005. Thereafter, he headed the finance and administration functions for the U.S. subsidiary of MAN Truck & Bus, one of Europe’s leading heavy truck and bus manufacturers. He further progressed his career at MAN holding finance leadership positions in sales and manufacturing subsidiaries in Mexico and South Africa as well as at MAN’s German headquarters in Munich.

Heller completed a master’s degree in business (Diplom-Kaufmann) with a concentration in finance from the University of Cologne in Germany, a Master of Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University and holds an active Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.

Michael Gore
Vice President, Sales

Michael Gore is the vice president of sales at KION North America Corporation.

His prior experience includes East Coast sales manager for Dow Chemical Polycarb and vice president of sales and marketing at Sealoflex. He also held senior sales positions at RSC Equipment and JCB of South Carolina.

Gore also served 13 years in the Virginia Army National Guard as an Engineer officer. He served as Company Commander Charlie Company 229th Engineer Battalion.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Averett College and a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. Gore has also completed the leadership development program conducted at the Center for Creative Leadership and is a five-time finisher of the New York City Marathon.

Daniel Schlegel
Vice President, Operations

In his role as vice president of operations, Daniel Schlegel is responsible for KION North America’s factory operations. Departmental responsibilities include health, safety & environment, manufacturing, supply chain management, logistics, quality control, and truck order administration.

His prior experience includes a three year Six Sigma Project Management role as a certified Six Sigma Black Belt at the Linde Material Handling headquarters in Aschaffenburg, Germany. He previously worked as the director of manufacturing and logistics at KION North America.

Before joining KION Group, he also served as an industrial engineer at Linde Hydraulics-one of KION Group’s former brand companies.

Schlegel holds an engineering and business administration degree from West Saxon University of Applied Sciences in Germany. He also spent a semester abroad at the NHL Hogeschool in the Netherlands.

Christian Loew
Vice President, Product Development

Christian Loew is the Vice President of Product Development.

He has been with KION North America since 2015 and previously held the role of Program Manager for Warehouse Products. Prior to joining KION NA, Christian was an R&D manager for STILL and Linde in Germany.

Christian holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

David Brown
Director, Human Resources

David Brown serves as the director of human resources for KION North America Corporation. He joined the company in 2016.

His prior experience includes working in a variety of human resources leadership roles at manufacturing organizations including Robert Bosch, International Paper and Springs Industries.

Brown holds a master’s degree in human resources from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science in industrial management from Clemson University.

He also holds the dual certifications of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Senior Certified Professional from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP).

Ben Lee
Director, Key Account Sales

Ben Lee is the director of key accounts for KION North America Corporation and is responsible for corporate customers within the United States, Canada and Mexico.

He joined the company in 2013 as a dealer development manager and moved on to become manager of business development before taking over the key accounts department.

Before joining KION North America, he worked within the automotive industry at Honda Motor Europe where he held multiple roles including the positions of business analyst, franchise strategy executive and strategic planning manager based out of London.

Lee holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Oxford Brookes University Business School and completed his year internship at Intel Corporation.

Jeff Peterson
Director, Manufacturing

Jeff Peterson serves as the director of Manufacturing for KION North America Corporation. In this role, he is responsible for all manufacturing operations, industrial engineering and facility/equipment maintenance activities.

He joined KION North America in March 2017 as production manager. Since that time, he has been instrumental in increasing production capacity and installing a variety of improvements to the company’s manufacturing systems.

His prior experience includes working in a variety of manufacturing capacities as plant manager at Saint-Gobain Corporation, manufacturing manager at Daimler Chrysler AG/MTU Driveshafts, and maintenance manager and operations manager at IFA-Rotorion. He also spent 12 years working for Detroit Diesel Corporation and Westinghouse. In total, he has nearly 30 years of experience in a variety of engineering and manufacturing operations leadership.

Peterson holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University.

Rick Schiel
Director of Dealer Sales

Rick Schiel is the Director of Dealer Sales and manages the Regional Sales Managers and Dealer Network for KION North America.

He has over 30 years experience in the material handling business and has been with KION North America for the past 16 years, most recently as Regional Sales Manager for the Midwest Region. Prior to that, Rick spent 15 years in the sales field with KION North America dealer, Wisconsin Lift Truck Corporation.

Rick studied Business and Journalism at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC).

Julie Richardson
Director, Inside Sales

Julie Richardson serves as the Director of Inside Sales for KION North America Corporation. She joined the company in 2020.

Julie’s prior position was North America Sales Manager at DBW Advanced Fiber technologies. Julie also worked for Caterpillar Reman Powertrain services as a Key Account Manager and Business Manager for over 12 years.

Julie holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.