Eric Jorgensen, president and CEO of JX Truck Center in Hartland, Wis. is one of three nominees for 2022 Truck Dealer of the Year – a national award that recognizes commercial-truck dealers for business performance, industry and civic leadership and community service.
Jorgensen’s name is a familiar one in the trucking industry: He served as ATD chairman from 2014 to 2016 and vice chairman from 2013 to 2014. During his leadership, Jorgensen brought about an increased emphasis on education—for truck dealers, dealership employees and policymakers. “My continuous goal was to give regulators perspective on dealers and what they go through,” Jorgensen said. “And when big decisions are made, it not only impacts dealers, it’s impacting customers.”
Jorgensen also served as chairman of the Wisconsin Automobile and Truck Dealers Association (WATDA) in 2012, becoming the second heavy-duty truck dealer in WATDA history to hold the position.
Jorgensen began working in the trucking industry in 1984. He took the helm of the second-generation family business in January 2000 upon the retirement of his father and company founder, Chuck Jorgensen.
“I knew Eric’s father, Chuck, who obtained the Peterbilt franchise in January 1970,” said Scott Pearson, president of Peterbilt of Atlanta and ATD Peterbilt line representative who nominated Jorgensen. “It was always a well-run organization. But it was under Eric’s guidance that the business really blossomed and grew into the true enterprise it is today.”
Jorgensen has steered the company through many challenges including an organizational restructuring in 2000-2001. He has also brought strategic diversification to the business by expanding and adding areas such as finance, graphics and full-service leasing and rentals. “Our organization has undergone a complete evolution,” Jorgensen said. “We continue to accelerate the business in all areas.”
Today, JX Truck Center includes 27 sales, lease, rental, service and parts facilities and dealerships in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, with over 1,000 employees representing Peterbilt, Volvo, Hino and Ottawa trucks.
Jorgensen and his wife, Sarah support numerous community organizations, including Boy Scouts of America and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
In 2017, the Jorgensens created the JX Gives Back Family Foundation to cultivate vibrant communities and create a culture of giving. The Foundation raises funds through biweekly employee contributions, an annual Jorgensen family match and external donations. The Foundation now makes monthly donations to education, health, performing arts, environmental and animal care organizations chosen by the employee-represented committee.
Jorgensen and the dealership have won numerous awards, including the 50 Years of Service Award from Peterbilt Motors Company in 2020, recognitions as a Top Company for Women to Work for in Transportation by the Women in Trucking Association four years in a row, and Sourcewell Dealer of the Year for three years running.
The national Truck Dealer of the Year award is sponsored by ATD, Heavy Duty Trucking magazine and Procede Software.
The other nominees are Kari Rihm, president and CEO of Rihm Kenworth in South St. Paul, Minn., and Jon Vandehey, president of CEO of Mid-State Truck Service in Marshfield, Wis.
The nominees were selected by state, metro and national association leaders. A panel of judges from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business will evaluate the nominees and select a winner.
The winner will be announced during this year’s ATD Show opening general session on Thursday, March 10 from 4-5pm. ATD Show 2022 runs from Thursday, March 10 through Sunday, March 13, 2022 at the Encore Las Vegas. The four-day event runs concurrently with NADA Show 2022.
For more information and to register for ATD Show 2022, visit www.atdshow.org.
This is the second article in a four-part series highlighting the nominees for 2022 Truck Dealer of the Year.