MHEDA Mourns the Passing of Chuck Leone

It is with great sorrow that Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas, Inc. – Norcross, GA formally announces the passing of our Executive Vice President and COO – Chuck Leone, who died of complications due to Covid-19 on January 10, 2021. “Our company and the entire industry, has lost a great leader, mentor and friend,” expressed J.Y. Kim, Hyundai President and CEO.

Chuck Leone’s legendary career spanned over 50 years. Starting out in national account sales at Clark, he then moved on to greater achievements and responsibilities – as Branch Manager for a Yale factory store; VP of Sales and Marketing at Nissan Forklift; VP of Sales at both GNB Battery and Jungheinrich before arriving at Hyundai, where he significantly grew Hyundai Forklift’s distribution network and overall business in North America . His career achievements reflected his great love and respect for his family, employees, dealers and customers. He lived by the motto “always do the right thing and you’ll win in the long run”, which he applied in business and was successful throughout his career. His hard work and dedication earned him the Hyundai Global Employee of the Year Award in 2019; an award he received with great honor.

Ted Springer, President of Springer Equipment – current MHEDA Chairman and Hyundai Dealer Principal shared some thoughts about Chuck: “All of us who had the good fortune to meet Chuck Leone were blessed to know him. Chuck was an industry veteran who treated young sales and support representatives with the same kindness and respect he showed industry CEO’s. Chuck’s sincere personality endeared him to those who met him. He was truly a global leader for Hyundai Material Handling and we will miss him dearly.”

Paul Farrell, President and CEO of Modern Group had this to say, “It is not often you meet a man that is the epitome of a businessman, gentleman and most importantly, friend. However, Chuck managed to do just that. He will be missed for his great big smile, calm demeanor and ability to connect with anyone in the room. Chuck has left an everlasting impact on the industry.”

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chuck Leone was a diehard Chicago sports fan with a love for a good Chicago Hot Dog or Italian Beef. Chuck was childhood friends with Mike Dougherty, former Dealer Principal of Dougherty Equipment and they remained best of friends up until Chuck’s passing. “A dear and loyal friend, he had a remarkable way of connecting with people, and he will be greatly missed,” said Dougherty.

Chuck is survived by his wife of 54 years Toni Leone, his son Charles (Sharon) Leone and grandson Chuck and son Christian. The family has established the Chuck Leone ’63 Memorial Fund to support Fenwick High School, his alma mater in Oak Park, IL. To donate online, go to:,  make sure to select ‘Chuck Leone ’63 Memorial Gifts’ under the I want to support section.

News stories are submitted by member companies. Publication of a story does not indicate an endorsement of any product, event, or company by MHEDA.