Fontaine companies build customer support, sales teams

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Fontaine Fifth Wheel and its aftermarket parts subsidiary, Fontaine Parts Connection, announced personnel and organizational changes. Fontaine Parts Connection has established a new customer support department responsible for customer service, technical support, order entry, warranty, training, inside sales and new product launch support.

It is managed by long-time Fontaine employee Aaron Puckett, who has been promoted to director of customer support. Robbie Laney has been hired as a product sales engineer reporting to Puckett. Bert Ellis joins the Fontaine Fifth Wheel sales team to fill Puckett’s former role as OEM sales manager responsible for Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks, as well as key account manager for the Southeast region.

“Combining customer-driven functions that previously had been spread among several departments enables us to further improve the value and service we provide to our customers,” says Henry Bell, global president of Fontaine Fifth Wheel. “Aaron Puckett’s extensive sales, service and product management experience make him a natural choice to lead this team.”

What started as a part-time college job has turned into a career for Puckett, who worked in the fabrication shop of Fontaine Truck Equipment Co. in 1991 while attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During his junior year, he accepted a management trainee position with Fontaine’s parent company, Marmon Highway Technologies, while continuing his studies. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in operations management. Puckett’s first assignment as a trainee was at Fontaine Fifth Wheel, and he has stayed with the company ever since. Over the last 16 years, Puckett has served Fontaine Fifth Wheel in many roles, including quality facilitator, plant supervisor, warranty coordinator, manager of customer service, product manager, regional sales manager and OEM business manager for Volvo and Mack.

As a product sales engineer, Laney serves as a liaison between the customer support team and the sales, research and development, and product engineering groups. He is charged with assisting in new product launches, including product development, cost analysis and literature. Before joining Fontaine, Laney held engineering positions with other Alabama firms. Most recently, he spent four years as a steel foundry engineer for American Cast Iron Pipe Co. Laney earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical and materials engineering, as well as a master’s degree in management science with a specialization in operations management, from the University of Alabama.

Ellis brings 25 years of sales experience to his new position as OEM sales manager and key account manager. He most recently served as a regional sales manager for a fluorescent lighting manufacturer. He had spent the previous 10 years in truck finance with Commercial Credit Group, where he was a regional sales manager, and Daimler Truck Financial, where he was senior district manager. Ellis will use his experience to build and maintain Fontaine’s business relationships with Volvo and Mack, as well as their dealers and key fleets throughout the Southeast. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management and finance from Mississippi State University. Ellis will be based at Fontaine’s headquarters in Trussville, Ala.,. He and his family are relocating from Mississippi.