Meet the Team


Brian Shockey, Product Manager, Electric Drives Division - Kraft Fluid Systems

Brian Shockey

Product Manager, Electric Drives Division

As product manager of Kraft’s Electric Drives Division, Brian helps customers design battery powered vehicles for applications ranging from amusement park rides and automated guided vehicles to electrified construction equipment.

While Brian’s been with Kraft for nearly a decade, he has almost 30 years of industry experience. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University and has also attended trainings for sales, Danfoss Editron and Vanguard Battery.

In his free time, Brian enjoys home improvement projects and cars. Playing trumpet is his hidden talent. He is passionate about dogs (Irish Setters in particular), community service (serving as a Board Member and Vice President of the East Liverpool High School Alumni Association), and of course, his family.


Ryan Walker, Territory Manager, Midwestern US and Canada

Ryan Walker

Territory Manager, Midwestern US and Canada

As the territory manager for the Midwestern U.S. and all of Canada, Ryan provides sales and support for Kraft’s Electric Drives Division. While he’s been with Kraft since 2016, Ryan has worked in the off highway/gearbox industry for more than a decade.

Previously at Fairfield Manufacturing Co., Ryan conducted product training classes for the company’s Torque-Hub® planetary gearboxes, while also supporting customer applications and projects globally.

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue University. He’s also attended many trainings including those from the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA), Oshkosh, Danfoss, SME, InMotion and Vanguard Batteries, as well as strategic trade compliance training.

Traveling and spending time with his wife and daughter are also priorities for Ryan. In his free time, he enjoys getting a chance to work with his hands on projects and vehicles.


Cindy Kovalchik, Customer Service

Cindy Kovalchik

Customer Service

Cindy is dedicated to her role in helping the sales team and distributors. She supports sales efforts for Kraft territory managers in the Mid-Atlantic Territory as well as customers, and connecting them with returns and repair coordinators or other departments to help meet their needs in a timely manner.

Cindy earned her degree in Business Administration from the University of Akron. After 15 years at Kraft, she is happy to work at a great, employee-owned company where she is treated like family.

In her spare time, Cindy enjoys spending time with her husband and two grown children. She likes concerts, gardening, roller coasters, trying new recipes, and cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Melissa Book

Chief Financial Officer

Melissa Book operates as Chief Financial Officer for Kraft Fluid Systems. Recently promoted from Treasurer and Controller, Melissa has been with the company since 2015.

Along with her financial duties, Melissa quickly became the in-house ESOP expert to our employee-owners. Today, Melissa supports local and national employee ownership associations contributing to panels and making presentations.

Melissa earned her MBA from Tiffin University and spent 10 years as a CPA at a financial institution in Cleveland, OH before joining Kraft.

Melissa and her husband Steve have two daughters. The Book family are true Disney fans and spend their vacations enjoying the Magic Kingdom.


Frank Adams, Technical Sales Specialist, Kraft Fluid Systems

Frank Adams

Technical Sales Specialist

Frank takes extreme pride in supporting the Kraft sales team and clients. His responsibilities require him to perform multiple duties including, technical assistance, troubleshooting, quoting, and expediting. These numerous talents make him a great asset to Kraft and its clients.

Frank has built his career on experience and technical aptitude. His work in heavy equipment operations and maintenance provided a solid hydraulic background while his time as a lab inspector gave him an appreciation of quality control.

Before his promotion to the Technical Sales Department in 2018, Frank worked as a lead technician at Kraft. He spent five years performing repairs and service on various vendor products while also attending numerous product training sessions. This experience, along with his IFPS certifications as a Hydraulic Specialist and Mobile Hydraulic Mechanic, gives him the knowledge and confidence to provide excellent technical assistance on the products that Kraft offers and supports.

Frank also enjoys spending time with his wife and three children and is an avid car enthusiast. In his free time, he also enjoys working on cars, computers, and related mechanical hobbies.


Nick Rustifo - Territory Manager, Wester Pennsylvania & Northern West Virginia

Nick Rustifo

Territory Manager, Western Pennsylvania & Northern West Virginia

Nick joined Kraft in 2007 as Territory Manager for Northeast Ohio and now focuses on Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia. With 13 years of field sales experience troubleshooting and designing hydraulic circuits for his clients, Nick has become an expert in his field at the employee-owned company.

Nick earned his Bachelor of Science at Mount Union College and has completed technical courses in Applied Motion Technologies at Industrial Technology Training Center in Bethlehem, PA, and at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He has also received numerous manufacturer training certifications, including the Danfoss Open/Closed Circuit product training course.

Nick is a Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist and has extensive expertise with load sense systems, hydrostatics, and electronic machine control applications. He is also a member of the International Fluid Power Society.

When he is not troubleshooting hydraulic circuits, Nick enjoys mountain biking, off-roading 4×4’s, and bird watching in his spare time.


Jacob Millard, Kraft Fluid Systems

Jacob Millard

Territory Manager, Southeastern Ohio & Western West Virginia

Kraft Fluid Systems has always encouraged their employee-owners to learn and grow within their chosen career paths. Promoting Jacob Millard to Territory Manager of Southeastern Ohio & Western Virginia was no exception.

Jacob joined Kraft in 2007 and has steadily moved through the company achieving greater responsibility and skills. After recently being promoted from Inside Technical Sales Representative, he knew that he had a knack for helping clients solve complex hydraulic system problems.

Jacob’s areas of expertise include knowledge of open and closed-circuit mobile hydraulic systems. He is certified by the International Fluid Power Society as a Hydraulic Specialist and has attended numerous vendor educational courses offered by Danfoss, HydraForce, and Spicer Torque-Hub.

Jacob has earned two Associate of Applied Science degrees in Fluid Power & Motion Control and Power Equipment from Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, and he is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Business Administration in Small Business Management from Miami University of Ohio.

As a true outdoorsman, Jacob has a love for camping, hiking, and homesteading which includes raised chickens, growing and canning vegetables, beekeeping, and producing his own maple syrup with the help of his wife.


Scott Durand, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Kraft Fluid Systems

Scott Durand

President

Kraft Fluid Systems has always underscored the value of a specialized sales force and regularly supports training, continuing education, and professional development of its sales team. Scott Durand leads this effort for the company as vice president of sales and marketing.

Scott has been with Kraft since 2001 and got his start with the company in outside sales. Now as a key member of the executive team, Scott is responsible for developing and executing the company’s sales and marketing growth plans. He also directs the application engineering team, the marketing department, and acts as the company’s lead representative with the manufacturers Kraft represents.

In 2011 Scott became active in the Fluid Power Distributors Association serving as young executive’s chair, board member, convention chair, vice president & treasurer, president, and immediate past president.

Scott is a Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist who has completed numerous technical trainings and courses throughout his career in fluid power. He is a graduate of University of Pittsburgh and has earned his MBA in Management from Baldwin Wallace University.

In his spare time, Scott has enjoyed the role of assistant coach for his son’s hockey and lacrosse teams and hopes to help coach his daughter’s lacrosse team next spring. As a Clevelander, Scott enjoys boating on Lake Erie with his family during the summer months.


Jim Jacobs, Shipping & Receiving Team Leader

Jim “Jake” Jacobs

Shipping & Receiving Team leader

A strong company is only as good as their team, and Jake takes his role as Shipping & Receiving Team Leader seriously. As an employee-owner, Jake has been with Kraft for 23 years and loves the family atmosphere there.

Jake is responsible for all of the daily product shipments that come in and out of the doors of Kraft’s warehouse. He can handle thousands of pounds of hydraulic drive equipment loaded on pallets to the smallest accessories in tiny packages needed to keep your system up and running.

Jake is a certified lift truck operator and trained in hazardous goods handling. He is also certified in First Aid, CPR, and AED use. Jake is a graduate of Brunswick High School.

When he’s not playing Santa Claus for the company holidays, Jake loves golfing, beach vacations and sporting events with his family.


Diane Baker, President and CEO, Kraft Fluid Systems

Diane Baker

Chairman & CEO

Diane is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Kraft Fluid Systems. She’s served as CEO since 2002, eventually also becoming president in 2007 and then chairman in 2010.

Diane has a long history at Kraft, enabling her to learn the business from the ground up. She started with the company as a customer service representative in 1983 and continued to advance through managerial positions. In 1997, she was named executive vice president, and then vice president and chief operations officer in 2000.

Before starting her career at Kraft, Diane graduated summa cum laude from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in gerontology from the College of Social Work. Today she continues to pursue her passion for helping the community by serving as a board trustee at Southwest General Hospital’s Community Health Foundation, actively fundraising to support local community issues.

Additionally, Diane is a member of the Fluid Power Distributors Association (FPDA), the Fluid Power Education Foundation and Fluid Power Society Educational Institute, Greater Cleveland Partnership/COSE, ESOP Association, National Center for Employee Ownership, Ohio Employee Ownership Center, and Strongsville Chamber of Commerce. She also served as a board member of the former Cleveland Industrial Distributors Association/CIDA, as well as an FPDA board member.

An avid sports fan, Diane enjoys spending her free time with her husband at their house on Lake Erie, as well as traveling, cooking and hobbies which favor her artistic side. Diane views working with and leading the exceptional team of talented owners at Kraft as a privilege and honor and a source of great pride.


Merit Shambarger, Returns & Repairs Coordinator

Merit Shambarger

Returns & Repairs Coordinator

As returns and repairs coordinator for the inside sales and technical service department at Kraft Fluid Systems, Merit works with the end customer to understand and resolve issues in a timely manner. He is an expert in analyzing hydraulic component failure and will work with the appropriate Kraft departments and vendors to execute the necessary solution and ensure customer satisfaction.

Merit received an Associate of Applied Science degree from Ohio State ATI. He is also a Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist and member of the International Fluid Power Society. Additionally, he has completed HydraForce and Danfoss Open/Closed Circuit RAP product training.

Besides hydraulics, Merit enjoys feral hog hunting, axe throwing, snowmobiling, motorsports, and doing his own landscaping.


Adam Crowder, Territory Manager Ohio North

Adam Crowder

Territory Manager Ohio North

Adam has been with Kraft Fluid Systems for nearly a decade. As a territory manager, his duties include growing his account base and presenting hydraulic systems solutions to his OEM clients in the Ohio North region. He is the go-to guy for heavy-duty construction, including pedestal booms, aggregate processing machinery, and drilling equipment.

Adam went to Kent State University for general studies, which he jokes is the same degree Tom Brady has. But his real expertise comes from various manufacturer’s product training courses he’s taken over the years including Danfoss Power Solutions, HydraForce, Fairfield, HBC Radiomatic, and becoming a Certified Fluid Power Specialist.

In his KSU days, Adam was an NCAA All-American baseball outfielder. Today he enjoys golf, running, collecting sneakers, and spending time with time with wife and daughter.


Buck Schmitt, Territory Manager Mid-Atlantic, Kraft Fluid Systems

Buck Schmitt

Territory Manager Mid-Atlantic

Buck has been in the hydraulics industry for 30 years, and nearly 20 years of that with Kraft Fluid Systems. As a territory manager, his duties include growing his account base and presenting hydraulic systems solutions to his OEM clients in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Buck earned his Bachelor of Science in Operation Management from Penn State University. He has completed various manufacturer training courses over the years and is a Certified Fluid Power Specialist.

Interesting note that Buck served as general contractor and builder of his own barn-type home for himself and his family. He’s interested in wood working, coaching team sports, and hiking the outdoors in his spare time.

Buck says he enjoys working with all the talented team members at Kraft, and especially enjoys the variety of different applications and machines he gets to encounter every day.


Darlene Keeney

Sr. Customer Service Representative

Darlene has been with Kraft Fluid Systems for 22 years, starting out as a Customer Service Representative, and over the last two years has worked as a Sr. Customer Service Representative. Her duties include direct customer service, supporting a territory manager and working closely with the Customer Service Supervisor.

Darlene earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cleveland State University. Additionally, she has participated in several training sessions related to her profession and is a member of Kraft’s Investment Committee and Kraft’s Charity Committee.

Outside of work, Darlene enjoys spending as much time as possible with her family and friends. Her hobbies include cooking, crocheting, and gardening when time permits.


Joe Hintz, Technical Services Manager, Kraft Fluid Systems

Joe Hintz

Technical Services Manager

As a Technical Services Manager at Kraft Fluid Systems, Joe manages the Technical Services / Inside Sales Team and maintains primary product specialist responsibilities for multiple lines, including Danfoss PVG and LSHT, Concentric, and Argo-Hytos. Joe is also responsible for BOM management and has been a member of the Kraft team since 1995.

Joe earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology at the University of Akron. He has also completed Danfoss RAP sessions, as well as dozens of vendor training sessions on-site and off-site over the past 23 years. Additionally, since 1996, Joe has maintained his Fluid Power Specialist certification with the International Fluid Power Society (IFPS). Joe also has expertise in stackable directional valves, gear pumps, cartridge valves, LSHT motors, custom pump/motor combinations, and small power units.

Outside of work, Joe is a die-hard Cleveland sport fan. He has been married for 24 years and has two children in college. Joe served for seven years on the Board of Directors for Medina Youth Baseball and is a “retired” youth football and travel baseball coach. He also enjoys landscaping, walleye fishing, and golfing.


Harriet Mack, Customer Service Supervisor

Harriet Mack

Customer Service Supervisor

Harriet has been with Kraft for 28 years, starting as a Customer Service Representative (CSR). After being promoted to Senior CSR, Harriet has worked as a Customer Service Supervisor for the past two years directing the activities of the Customer Service Department. Harriet’s main focus is on good communication with Kraft’s customers by meeting their needs and ensuring efficient and effective responses to inquiries. She also facilitates interactions between sales, service, and other departments to ultimately focus on customer satisfaction, while maximizing company service and profit goals.

Harriet has attended many classes and seminars throughout her career at Kraft, including business courses related to Supervising and Management, Sales Professionalism, Communications, and Customer Service, as well as technical courses, such as Basic Hydraulics, ongoing Danfoss online hydraulic products training, and other in-house training opportunities. Harriet graduated from Strongsville High School and took classes at Cuyahoga Community College.

When not working at Kraft, Harriet enjoys traveling with her husband throughout the United States on their Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The couple have travelled North, South, East, and West, from coast to coast, and everywhere in between.


Erik Keenan, Team Leader, Kraft Fluid Systems

Erik Keenan

Team Leader

Erik is a Team Leader at Kraft Fluid systems. He focuses his efforts on managing all service and assembly work orders in the production area and produces supporting documentation for all repair and assembly orders. As a supervisor, he provides training and support to new and developing technicians and ensures his team meets the stringent quality requirements set forth by the company. Erik is fluent with Kraft’s manufacturers’ product lines and is a knowledge-base for assembly, evaluation, and repair to most products that the company inventories, services, and sells.

Erik is a Certified Fluid Power Mobile Hydraulic Mechanic (CFPMHM), a Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist (CFPHS), and has completed the Danfoss Power Solutions Service School course.

Eager to always learn more, Erik earned his Associate Degree in Applied Science from Hocking College and is currently enrolled at Ohio University seeking his Bachelor in Technical Operations Management.

In his spare time, Erik enjoys home remodeling and carpentry, and he and his wife enjoy watching their two daughters compete in team sports throughout the year.


Heath Proffitt, Application Engineer, Kraft Fluid Systems

Heath Proffitt

Application Engineer

Heath works as an Application Engineer at Kraft Fluid Systems. His responsibilities include supporting territory managers with hydraulic component specification, systems design, and troubleshooting. Heath also supports custom applications of Danfoss Plus+1 control software systems according to OEM customer needs. Additionally, he maintains technical support of HBC Radiomatic wireless controls, custom cartridge valve manifold assemblies, custom cylinders, and electronic feedback components such as joysticks and sensors.

Heath earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology at with a focus on materials and processes and a minor in business management from Ohio University. He’s a Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist (CFPHS), Certified Fluid Power Electronic Controls Specialist (CFPECE), and a Certified Danfoss Plus+1 Developer.

In his spare time, Heath enjoys boating, camping, traveling, and participating in a variety of sports.


John Juhasz

Territory Manager Michigan and Northern Indiana

John is a territory manager for Kraft Fluid Systems covering Michigan and Northern Indiana. His specialty is developing agricultural and forestry applications for the mobile equipment market and supports additional territories as needed.

John earned his Bachelor of Science in agricultural mechanization & systems from The Ohio State University. He is a graduate of Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute with an associate degree in mobile equipment technology, as well as earning an associate degree in fluid power.

He has attended various manufacturer product courses including the Danfoss Power Solutions Closed Circuit RAP course, Danfoss Power Solutions Advanced Closed-Circuit RAP course, and the Hydraforce Proportional Valve Training seminar. John is certified by the International Fluid Power Society, is a Fluid Power Specialist since 1996, an Electronic Controls Specialist since 2011. He also has product training at various mobile equipment manufacturers over the years.

In his spare time, John likes to work on his family farm where one of his hobbies is growing tall corn. He’s set a record in Ohio growing cornstalks more than 21 feet tall.


Paul Skrant, Application Engineer, Kraft Fluid Systems

Paul Skrant

Application Engineer

Paul works as an Application Engineer at Kraft Fluid Systems. His primary duty is to work with field sales and develop application solutions for mobile equipment; many involve full system hydraulics and electrical controls. He also supports the technical service department to assist customers who call in for technical assistance with components and systems.

Paul earned his Associates Degree from the University of Akron and added additional courses at Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute specializing in hydraulic courses. Additionally, Paul is a Certified Fluid Power Mobile Hydraulic Technician, a Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist, a Certified Fluid Power Electronic Controls Specialist, and a Plus+1 Controls Programmer.

When not working at Kraft Fluid Systems, Paul enjoys classic cars, muscle cars, and motorsports.


Dan Thomas, Engineering Manager, Kraft Fluid Systems

Dan Thomas

Engineering Manager

Dan is an Engineering Manager at Kraft Fluid Systems where he manages a five-person engineering team that focuses on timely completion of full hydraulic, electronic control, and electric drive solutions to fulfill customers’ requirements. All engineers are certified hydraulic specialists and four are certified Danfoss Power Solutions Plus+1 GUIDE software developers. Dan’s team’s projects range from the component level through fully integrated system design and sub-system interaction. His team works closely with field sales, customers, and suppliers to develop a custom engineered solution.

Dan earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology (BSMET) with a specialization in hydraulics from Purdue University. Dan is also a Certified Fluid Power Specialist (CFPS), a Certified Fluid Power Electronic Control Specialist (CFPES), and a Certified Danfoss Plus+1 Developer.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys working with young people coaching youth wrestling and helping with a local scout troop. Additionally, Dan enjoys the outdoors and spends some of his free time hunting and fishing.