2023 Speakers Included

Explore the future of automotive logistics with our distinguished speakers at the 2024 Finished Vehicle Logistics Conference. Join us as they share cutting-edge perspectives on disrupting the status quo and raising performance through innovation, flexibility and partnerships.

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Nick Thompson

Head of Vehicle Logistics – North America


Nick Thompson is responsible for overseeing vehicle distribution activities at Stellantis within North America, including regional logistics across mode, along with vehicle imports and exports. He took on the role with then FCA in 2017 and has played a key role in developing the carmaker’s vehicle logistics strategy. Thompson joined the carmaker in 2012 and has held various roles within finished vehicle logistics. Initially, he oversaw operations for vehicle distribution centres as well as multiple assembly plants in the region. He also completed a rotation in truckload procurement and network optimisation, as well as working in Supplier Delivery Risk Management operations prior to leading vehicle logistics. Thompson began his career working for JB Hunt Transport in its dedicated contract services division. He holds a master’s degree from Ferris State University (2011) and a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management from Michigan State University (2005).

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David Kleiner

Manager Immersive Technology

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA)

David Kleiner is the Manager of Immersive Technology with the Applied Tech Research Lab (ATRL), part of the IT division supporting Supply Chain Transformation. Dave has been with Toyota for seven years supporting sales and operations. He has been awarded two patents for Augmented and Virtual Reality solutions supporting vehicle and accessory sales. Dave has also been featured on CNN International for recently deploying a Microsoft HoloLens/Guides solution throughout Toyota Logistics Services (TLS) in North America, focused on training/upskilling personnel on vehicle accessory installs. Dave recently deployed two Web 3.0 solutions: (1) a solution focused on educating the public about the Hydrogen Economy found at Toyota’s Port of Long Beach facility and (2) a solution to educate customers about the features found on the Toyota Crown.

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Rory Hepner

Director Global Vehicle Logistics and Customs

Mercedes-Benz USA

Rory has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Juniata College and a Juris Doctorate from Temple University. She began her career with MBUSA in 1991 and has held many positions there, including corporate counsel, field operations, national network development, and sales operations. In her current role, she is responsible for the finished vehicle logistics for all MB vehicles distributed in the USA and all export vehicles produced by MBUSI in Vance, Alabama. In addition, she is responsible both import and export customs operations on behalf of MBUSA.

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Darren Acker

Director, Vehicle Logistics Operations

Glovis America

Darren Acker has been with GLOVIS for 12 years and is responsible for developing and executing strategic logistics operations to meet GLOVIS’ annual wholesale and revenue objectives. Prior to his current role, he led the Port/VPC Operations and Vehicle logistics departments. Darren is a career logistician with 30+ years of experience in Logistics and supply chain operations management. He is skilled in finished vehicles logistics, parts logistics, warehouse management, supply chain optimization and Just-In-Time logistics operations. Prior to joining GLOVIS, he was the west coast regional parts Logistics Manager for VASCOR Ltd. There, he oversaw west coast parts logistics operations in support of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Baja California. He also served as the operations manager of Toyota’s Cross Dock operation in Los Angeles supporting Toyota facilities in Long Beach and Fremont Ca. as well as Takaoka Japan. Darren holds a Master of Art degree in Organizational Leadership from University Massachusetts Global, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and a Global Logistics Specialist Professional Designation from Cal State University, Long Beach. He also served as a United States Marine for 21 years and retired honorably in 2005.

JS Bolton, Nissan North America

JS Bolton

Director of Finished Vehicle Logistics and Supply Chain Systems and Strategy


Jennifer Sarah (JS) Bolton leads finished vehicle logistics for Nissan in North America, along with leading supply chain systems and strategy. She’s been at Nissan since 2013 in roles of increasing responsibility in both manufacturing and supply chain at the carmaker’s Smyrna, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi plants. Immediately prior to her current role, she was director of body and stamping in Mississippi, where she led the Canton team through the launch of the all-new Frontier. Prior to coming to Nissan, JS worked in investment banking at Morgan Stanley in New York and Hong Kong, specialising in advising transportation and logistics companies, as well at a truck aerodynamics start-up in San Francisco, ATDynamics. She holds a BA in History and Mechanical Engineering from Yale, an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and an MS in civil engineering from MIT, where she was a Leaders for Global Operations fellow.

Benjamin Pohl, Ford (websize)

Benjamin Pohl

Team Lead – Vehicle Shipping Quality, Claims and Load Testing Analyst


Benjamin Pohl has been with Ford Motor Company for over 12 years, recently accepting the position of Team Lead within the North American vehicle logistics division. He is responsible for overseeing all the operations related to damage claims, shipment quality, transportation damage, and testing of all future model products, focused on improving quality, modernizing the business, leveraging emerging technologies, and improving the end customers’ experience. Over the last 4 years he has become Ford’s subject-matter-expert on car hauling and rail conveyance along with other modes of vehicle shipping. Previously, Benjamin focused on inbound logistics and manufacturing, leading a small team that delivered defect-free bills of material for various vehicles from prototype builds to final production. When he isn’t working, he enjoys cooking, travelling and spending time with friends and family.


Toks Omishakin

Secretary of Transportation

California State Transportation Agency

Toks Omishakin was appointed the Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) by Governor Gavin Newsom in February 2022. He has oversight of 8 State Departments, Boards and Commissions with more than 42,000 people and budgets that exceed $25 billion annually. Omishakin’s transportation vision for California features a safe, equitable, sustainable, and multimodal transportation system that builds on strong local partnerships. He also encourages a culture of innovation and intelligent risk-taking as transformative innovation. All Agency work is centered around Core Four priorities of Safety, Equity, Climate Action and Economic Prosperity. He previously served as Director of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and before then, spent eight years with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).

Sarah Amico

Sarah Amico

Executive Chairperson

Jack Cooper

Coming soon.

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Steve Jernigan

Senior Director Supply Chain

Nissan North America

Steven Jernigan is Senior Director Supply Chain, a position to which he was appointed in April 2021.

Steven joined Nissan in 2010 in the Purchasing Service and Support area as Regional Supplier Performance Manager of Supply Chain Services. In 2014 Steven took over as Director of Purchasing with various responsibilities over the last six years in Service and Support as well as Bought out Parts. Most recently, we was previously Director for Finished Vehicle Logistics responsible for Finished Vehicles, Exports and SCM Strategy. Prior to joining Nissan Steven worked for Dell Inc and Fedex Ground with various increasing levels of responsibilities within Manufacturing, Materials, Six Sigma, Project management, Inventory Control, Supply Chain Management and Procurement.

Steven holds degrees in Business Administration from University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and a Masters of Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University.

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Victor Arabe

Senior Group Manager, PDI Operations and Port Quality

Hyundai Motor America

Victor Arabe has been in the automotive logistics industry for 25 years in port operations management roles for Volkswagen, Mazda, Glovis, Vinfast and Hyundai Motor. His expertise is mainly in operations, quality management and process improvement, and has also held business development roles in areas including port development and asset-based trucking acquisition. After playing a key role in Vinfast’s vehicle logistics operations in North America, he joined Hyundai Motor America in February 2023, responsible for group quality and pre-delivery inspection activities and recall management at all US ports for Hyundai, Genesis and Hyundai’s plant in Alabama.

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Ron Stach

Senior Director Global Service

Lucid Motors

Ron Stach is an accomplished automotive executive with nearly 30 years’ experience in sales planning, network strategy, product development, regional operations, aftersales and retail. He has held senior roles in sales and service operations across Mazda, Volkswagen Group, Renault Nissan Mitsubishi and most recently at VinFast, where he led service operations and network strategy. In 2023, he will take over as senior director of global service at Lucid Motors, with worldwide responsibility for service and aftersales, including responsibility for PDI and vehicle quality from factory to dealer delivery, which includes key collaboration across logistics teams, logistics providers and port facilities to deliver electric vehicles..

Kristin Decas

Kristin Decas

CEO & Port Directo

Port of Hueneme

Kristin Decas took the helm of the Port of Hueneme in 2012 with a laser focus on prospering economic, environmental and community enrichment. On Kristin’s watch trade volumes have grown 73% and revenue has climbed 109%. The Port’s total economic activity has soared 175% increasing from $800 million to $2.2 billion. Trade related jobs have jumped 96% from 10,200 to over 20,000 jobs and tax revenues for vital community services have risen 224%. Despite COVID-19 and subsequent global supply chain disruptions in 2022, the Port realized its strongest sustained trade year since its inception in 1937 moving over $15 billion in cargo value. Since Kristin took the CEO post, the Port has invested over $70M in environmental improvement projects including shoreside power plug-ins for vessels and cranes, harbor deepening projects which re-nourish local beaches, and the launch of a world-class air quality monitoring program. She also championed impactful community work including food drives for over 45,000 families, local school trade programs, and thousands of port tours for the community. Kristin currently serves on high profile county, state and federal transportation, economic development, and hospital boards. Kristin lives in Oxnard with her husband and is the proud mother of two daughters.

We are always looking to secure an inspiring lineup of speakers. For speaking opportunities contact:

Richard Logan2

Richard Logan
Senior Content Producer
E: richard.logan@automotivelogistics.media