Forty Under 40: Will Kraner

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,505 views 

Class of 2022 Forty Under 40 William R. Kraner Program Manager Benchmark Group, Rogers

Will Kraner has worked only for Benchmark Group since graduating college but hasn’t remained stagnant.

After earning a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Arkansas in 2006, Kraner accepted a job offer to design plumbing and HVAC systems for Benchmark, one of the largest A&E firms in Northwest Arkansas with 241 employees.

Sixteen years later, he leads Benchmark’s refrigeration and energy services departments, is a company shareholder and serves on the company’s board.

Benchmark promoted Kraner to program manager of the refrigeration team in 2013. Among mechanical engineers, it’s hard to find professionals who specialize in that area, and Kraner said he enjoyed his work the more he did it.

He took the energy services program under his leadership the following year. Kraner has about 20 direct reports — many of them still in their 20s — and he enjoys the mentorship aspect of his job.

He also values the effectiveness of working as a team. The camaraderie of working together and seeing a successful project to fruition for a client is his definition of success.

Kraner has designed and been in charge of numerous refrigeration system designs for retail clients. He also helped create a new prototype refrigeration design for a large national client.

Kraner continues to study and research innovative refrigeration technology to keep up with the ever-changing industry. He is licensed in 28 states and became a Certified Energy Manager (C.E.M.) in 2015.

Outside work, Kraner enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids. He also likes to tinker with old cars and is a recreational target shooter.

He volunteers for various groups in Rogers, including St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County.