Brad Kahler is the president of Fort Transfer, where he oversees the transportation and distribution of herbicides and chemicals across the country. He is the third generation to oversee business operations for the Morton-based company, representing one of the less than 12 percent of family-owned businesses that survive to a third generation.
Last year, in an economically challenging time for everyone, Kahler and his employees celebrated that they had weathered the storm and had a successful year, in large part due to his leadership and decision-making. When employees brought to his attention the inadequacy of the company’s computer system, he was relentless in pursuit of a solution. His decision to purchase a new fleet of tractors and trailers when others were holding back on capital investments allowed Fort Transfer to capitalize on the purchase price and negotiate the interest rate. This investment has proven to be a wise move, as prices have steadily increased since.
Kahler is a leader in the transportation industry as it relates to maintaining parity and consistency regarding competitive pricing structures, as well as in the areas of safety and compliance. With new regulations coming under an initiative of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, he is making bold moves to ensure that Fort Transfer is ahead of the curve.
A vibrant, loyal and hardworking leader, Kahler has fully committed himself to the mission of providing help and hope to children with disabilities served by Easter Seals. Five years ago, he was recruited to serve on the cabinet for the Lyle Finch Memorial Claybird Classic to benefit the organization. The cabinet, led by Doug and Diane Oberhelman, has taken a small sporting clay event and made it into a premier outdoor outing. With Kahler’s help as one of the largest sponsors, in addition to his leadership expertise, the event has raised more than $150,000 in net revenue per year for the Easter Seals Endowment Fund.
Kahler is a member of the Young Professionals Organization of Greater Peoria and the Peoria Transportation Club, and serves as a director for Traffic Insurance. He has served on the Easter Seals Board of Directors since 2007 and is currently on its development committee, helping to create and execute a year-round fundraising plan aimed at increasing corporate and individual giving. He also serves on the board of Hooked on Fishing, an organization that teaches the joy of fishing to local children, senior citizens and special needs groups. His commitment to his family and his community is unmatched by many of his peers. iBi