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Lift trucks: Malvaso to retire; Wood named successor at Toyota

Toyota Material Handling North America (TMHNA), a leading lift truck company in North America, today announced the retirement of its president and CEO, James J. Malvaso, effective April 1, 2012.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
January 09, 2012

Toyota Material Handling North America (TMHNA), the number one material handling company in North America, today announced the retirement of its President and CEO James J. Malvaso, effective April 1, 2012. TMHNA is comprised of Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A, Inc. (TMHU), supplier of the number one selling lift truck brand in North America; The Raymond Corporation, a leading provider of electric lift trucks and solutions used in warehouse and distribution environments; and Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg., Inc. (TIEM), Toyota’s forklift manufacturing facility in Columbus, Ind.

“Jim has been a tremendous leader for The Raymond Corporation, TMHNA and the entire material handling industry,” stated Kazue Sasaki, president of Toyota Material Handling Group (TMHG). “His leadership capabilities, coupled with his strategic vision, have significantly contributed to the organization’s success and market-leading position. Following his formal retirement, I look forward to his continued counsel and support in the capacity of a Toyota Material Handling Group Senior Advisor.”

In 2010, Malvaso was appointed president and CEO of TMHNA, and managing officer of Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO). During this period, he was instrumental in further strengthening the two industry-leading brands, Toyota and Raymond, and aligning synergies of their distribution channels, which helped lead to record-setting performance by both companies.

Jim Malvaso, A Generation of Leadership
During his almost 15-year tenure as president and CEO of the Raymond Corporation, Malvaso successfully led the company through its sale to BT Industries and then to TICO and dramatically improved the range of product offerings, product quality, market share, revenues and profits. Malvaso joined The Raymond Corporation as vice president of Greene Operations in July 1993, focusing on modernizing the Raymond Greene, N.Y., lift truck manufacturing plant, introducing new quality, manufacturing and operational processes and bringing new information technology infrastructures to the company. The Raymond Corporation board of directors elected Malvaso president and COO in August 1995, and shortly after he was appointed president and CEO in 1997. Malvaso helped build a strong and unified Raymond distribution network that directly led to Raymond’s leadership position in the North American electric material handling market.

He was the first North American to be appointed to a managing officer position within TICO. In his role, he established TMHNA as a formal organization leading to increased collaboration and integration within North America. Malvaso leveraged the strengths of the company’s two brands (Toyota and Raymond) and two distribution channels to further build upon TMHNA’s market leading position and achieve record setting performance by all of the companies.  Active in the material handling industry, Malvaso is a member of the board of directors for the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) and served as its president from 2004 to 2007.

Malvaso holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Rochester’s Simon School in N.Y., and a bachelor’s degree from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.

Brett Wood, 20+-Year Material Handling Industry Veteran, Named Successor
TMHNA concurrently announced the planned appointment of Brett Wood as its president and CEO. Wood will assume the responsibilities of Malvaso effective April 1, 2012.  He also will continue to serve on the boards of TMHU and TIEM. Wood presently serves as executive vice president of TMHNA and chairman of TMHU. In this role, he has led several strategic TMHNA assignments in sales and marketing and in operations that have accelerated achievement of synergies among the Toyota and Raymond companies.

“Brett’s extensive experience in the material handling industry and knowledge of both the Toyota and Raymond companies, have prepared him to be highly successful in his new role,” stated Malvaso.  “I look forward to working with Brett over the next several months to ensure a continued commitment to the established TMHNA strategy and a seamless leadership transition.”

Before becoming executive vice president of TMHNA, Wood held the position of TMHU president now held by Jeff Rufener. Prior to that, he served as vice president of marketing, dealer development, product, strategic planning and training operations. He has also served as the chairman of the General Engineering Committee for the ITA and is now a member of ITA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  Additionally, Wood is a member of the Material Handling Industry of America Roundtable of Industry Leaders.  Wood contributes to both Modern Materials Handling magazine’s editorial advisory board and the Electric Power Research Institute’s Industry Advisory Council

Wood has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

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