Katie Hopkins, president and CEO of Truck Centers, Inc. based in Troy, Ill., was named the 2024 Truck Dealer of the Year today at the ATD Show 2024 in Las Vegas. The national award, sponsored by American Truck Dealers (ATD), Trucks, Parts, Service and Procede Software, recognizes commercial-truck dealers for business performance, industry leadership and service to their community.
“The TCI team and this industry are filled with hard-working, talented people who keep America's supply chain moving,” said Hopkins. “I am honored to be a small part of that. On behalf of everyone at Truck Centers, Inc., thank you for this tremendous honor.”
Hopkins is the third-generation leader of Truck Centers, Inc., which was founded by her grandfather in 1970 and led by her father for 48 years before Hopkins took the reins. She takes pride in her business’ exceptional customer service, executed by a team empowered to go above and beyond, which results from heavy company investment in employee training.
“The foundation of teamwork, customer service, and solution-focused thinking that my dad and his partner, Mike Yates, laid is still strong today,” Hopkins said. “I feel blessed to be entrusted with the opportunity with other leaders of the next generation such as my brother Justin to continue building upon this legacy.”
Hopkins credits taking over a dealership facility on short notice during tough financial times as an event that helped forge her future success. She was thrust into a management role after the departure of another manager and used the opportunity to stabilize and then grow the facility in a fertile business area. That success earned Hopkins more authority, which she then used to continue expanding the dealer operation into new markets.
Hopkins views the Truck Centers, Inc. as responsible stewards and trusted community partners and she is committed to fostering a communal spirit of giving back. As one of the largest privately-held companies in their region, the business has been recognized for their ongoing contributions to the industry and their local communities.
Hopkins was chosen from seven nominated commercial truck dealers, including:
- Paul Burk, Executive Vice President of Doggett Freightliner in San Antonio, Texas,
- K.C. Heidler, President and CEO of Tom’s Truck Center in Santa Ana, Calif.,
- Brian O’Donnell, President of Valley Truck Centers in Cleveland, Ohio,
- Jim Schroeder, President of Peterbilt Pacific in Surrey, British Columbia, and
- Dennis Ross, President of Kenworth of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Fla.
Bill Reilley, Jr., CEO and President of Lakeside International/Badgerland Idealease in Milwaukee, Wis., was recognized as the award finalist.
The nominees were selected by state, metro and national dealer association leaders. A panel of judges from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business evaluated the nominees and selected the winner.
Hopkins succeeds 2022-2023 Truck Dealer of the Year nominee Kari Rihm, president and CEO Rihm Kenworth in St. Paul, Minn. She will have the opportunity to serve as a guest lecturer at the University to share her professional story with students interested in entrepreneurship and will serve on the ATD Board of Line Representatives for a one-year term in a non-voting role lending her voice and serving as an advocate for the country’s heavy-duty truck dealerships and educating decisionmakers who impact the future of the industry. See previous Truck Dealer of the Year winners.