Kenco Group passes torch

Kenco Group passes torch

May 13th, 2011 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

Staff Photo by Matt Fields-Johnson/Chattanooga Times Free The Kenco Logistical Services warehouse handles shipping for manufacturers who want to outsource transportation of their products.


• Founded: 1950

• Headquarters: Chattanooga

• Warehouse space: 25 million feet nationally; 4 million in Chattanooga area

• Employees: 3,400 nationally; 600 full time in Chattanooga

Source: Company


• Kenco Logistics Services

• Kenco Transportation

• Kenco Toyota-Lift

• Kenco Management Services

• JDK Real Estate

Source: Company

Chattanooga-based warehouse and logistics giant Kenco Group has shuffled its top management, inserting a new chairman, chief executive and president.

The privately held company, which boasts more than 100 facilities in 30 states and Canada, has named Jane Kennedy Greene as chief executive and chairwoman.

The daughter of company co-founder Jim Kennedy Jr., she purchased a controlling interest in the business, according to Kenco. Her brother, Jim Kennedy III, had been chairman.

Also, Greene replaces Gary Mayfield as CEO of the company, Kenco said. Mayfield has retired after 18 years with the business, the company said, but he will serve on both the executive committee and board of directors.

Kenco said Shelia Crane has been appointed president of the company while Andy Smith was tapped as chief operating officer.

In addition, Sam Smartt Jr., who has been with the company for almost 30 years, was named dealer-principal for one of the Kenco businesses, Kenco Toyota-Lift, which supplies fork lifts and other material-handling equipment.

Greene said in a statement that she has grown up with Kenco, which was started by her father and his brother-in-law, Sam Smartt Sr., in 1950.

She said she is "honored to lead this amazing team of dedicated people."

Neither Greene nor Crane returned calls seeking comment Thursday.

Company spokeswoman Martha Anderson said the moves are in line with "succession planning." She said Greene now lives in Dallas.

Jim Kennedy Jr. termed the shifts "just a reorganization. It's still a family company."

He said in a statement that he always knew that proper succession planning would be a key to the company's stability.

"Jane brings business acumen as well as steadfast loyalty to the professionals that keep Kenco moving forward," Kennedy said.

Joel Anderson, chief executive of industry trade group the International Warehouse and Logistics Association, said Jim Kennedy Jr., Jim Kennedy III and Mayfield all had served as chairmen of the organization.

"It's quite a local success story," he said about the expansion of the business, adding it has grown its leadership from within.

Kenco said Greene, who holds a master's in business administration from Vanderbilt University, and Smartt are the next generation of the founding principals and bring continuity of family ownership.

Crane has been with the business for 39 years, while Smith has been with Kenco for 11 years, the company said.