HDMA’s Kraus announces retirement plans


After many decades as a leader in the motor vehicle industry and 16 years with the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), Tim Kraus has announced his impending retirement.

Kraus started his career with the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association’s (MEMA) in 2004 as the executive director of HDMA. Currently serving as HDMA president and COO, Kraus’ departure is slated for the end of February 2021. An active search is currently underway for his successor, HDMA says.

“I love this industry and the people involved,” says Kraus. “I have been blessed with hundreds of friends and colleagues throughout my career and consider myself fortunate to have worked with and wish to thank all of them; from shop owners, to fleet execs, OEM execs, distributors, dealers, media, federal government officials, Northwood University interns and staff and, of course, the full range of staff and executives in the supplier community.

“I have been further blessed with an outstanding HDMA team and colleagues at MEMA. This has turned out to be the best job I have ever had and will miss the close involvement, although [I] will never be far away.”

Kraus’ engagement with MEMA began in the early 1980s as a member, serving on the board of HDMA from 1992 through 2002 and he completed two successful terms as HDMA board chairman. Kraus actively engaged in many HDMA activities and groups, serving on the event planning committee for HD Dialogue and the annual MATS Breakfast and other HDMA initiatives.

For several years, Kraus was heavily involved with other HDMA board members and heavy-duty distributors in the initial development of the now highly successful Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week, which held its first event in 2006. He also was an active member of HDMA’s prestigious Heavy Duty Business Forum (HDBF) from 1990 through 2004 and served on its board for six years and as chairman of that group in 2000. Today he serves as HDBF’s executive director.

During his time at MEMA, Kraus took on increasing responsibilities, including being elected as a vice president of HDMA’s parent organization, MEMA, and he was named president and COO of HDMA, in 2008. During his tenure with MEMA and HDMA, he led the evolution of HDMA in to a highly respected, full-service, supplier-focused association, growing from 40 members to nearly 200 and quintupling annual revenues. 

Kraus started his career in the industry as an owner of two service stations in the early 1970s, then as a distributor salesperson for a brake and friction distributor, Auto Machine and Supply. He joined McCord Gaskets in 1976 as a district sales manager and in 1983, joined Phillips and Temro Industries as national sales manager, where he was named director of sales and marketing in 1986 and remained through 1999. He then joined Triseal Corporation as general manager of product and distribution, until being recruited to lead HDMA. HDMA says his deep understanding of the commercial vehicle industry and his leadership ability to motivate and inspire his teams have defined his career. 

As a long-term member of MEMA, HDMA, SAE, TMC, ATA, and other organizations, Kraus has been recognized as a leader among his peers in the industry for many years. HDMA and MEMA have benefited greatly from his leadership and guidance.

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