ATA announces award winners, speakers for upcoming summit

ORLANDO, FL. The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) made a number of announcements this week at its Management Conference & Exhibition here, including the naming of speakers for its upcoming Executive Summit, acknowledgement of award winners, and the naming of a new chairman.

Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, SC, has been elected the 69th chairman of the association.

“I am deeply humbled that my fellow ATA members would grant me the tremendous honor of representing them, and our industry, as chairman,” Byrd said. “I believe our industry and our association on the precipice of momentous change,and I hope that as chairman I can help not just ATA but our entire industry position themselves for these changes.”

“I have great confidence that Phil will be a tremendous chairman,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO. “He is as humble and dedicated an individual as I have had the privilege of working with while at ATA and I look forward to his leadership this year.”

Byrd replaces Mike Card, president of Combined Transport, Central Point, OR, as chairman.

During the meeting, ATA also recognized members who were named Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Excellence Award winners this year.

“Since its launch, SmartWay has been a great example of the government working with private industry toward a common goal,” said Graves. “So congratulations to these deserving winners and thanks to our partners at EPA for their support.”

 ATA member companies receiving SmartWay Excellence Awards include: Menlo Worldwide Logistics; Ryder Integrated Logistics Inc.; Transplace; YRC Worldwide Inc.;  Marten Transport LTD;  Lowe's Companies Inc.; Toyota Logistics Services; Tennessee Express Inc.; P & S Transportation; System Transport Inc.; Con-way Freight; Penske Logistics LLC; Tennant Truck Lines Inc.; JBS Carriers Inc.; Prime Inc.; Keen Transport Inc.; Con-way Truckload; Covenant Transport; CRST Van Expedited Inc.; Knight Transportation Inc.; Swift Transportation Co.; Werner Enterprises; Mesilla Valley Transportation and NFI Industries Inc.

“An important part of improving our image as an industry is changing the public perception that our industry belches the black smoke of the 1970s into the air,” said outgoing ATA Chairman Mike Card, president of Combined Transport. “These companies are at the vanguard of doing that by showing just how green and responsible trucking can be and they should be commended for their efforts.”

ATA also announced the Mike Russell “Good Stuff” Image Award winners.

The motor carrier award was given to Diversified Transfer and Storage, who has worked with its state trucking association on a successful program of Share the Road events for teen drivers, led charitable efforts for the National Guard and reserves, and hosted business and political leaders at its facilities to underscore the essentiality of trucking.

Omnitracs was honored as this year’s supplier winner for a campaign focused around educating the trucking industry, the media and our policy makers about electronic logging devices.

The Colorado Motor Carriers Association was chosen for its work in a variety of areas including promoting the use of snow chains in the winter, work with Truckers Against Trafficking, safe mountain driving and SmartWay. Similarly, the Nevada Trucking Assn. was chosen for its work in four broad areas: public policy, community outreach, efforts in the media and among the industry. Hosting legislative days, working with law enforcement, Truckers Against Trafficking and Swoop and Stop, NTA has used a multi-faceted approach in its image program.

 The Mike Russell “Good Stuff” Trucking Image Awards are named in honor of the late Mike Russell, a trucking industry supporter and former ATA vice president of public affairs, and are sponsored by TMW Systems.

Finally, Tennessee Trucking Assn. President and CEO Dave Huneryager was named the winner of the President's Trucking Association Executives Council Leadership Award.

“Having traveled to most of the states this year and seeing the state association executives in action - I can tell you Dave is well deserving of this award,” said Mike Card. “Dedicated, passionate, energetic, and professional are a few words to describe him.”

The President’s TAEC Leadership Award was created by ATA and sponsored by J.J. Keller in 2002 to honor a state trucking association leader and to create an enduring legacy for that leader and for the industry. The award comes with a $10,000 grant for a non-profit 501(c)(3) trucking education or research organization chosen by Huneryager.

ATA also announced the keynote speakers for its upcoming Executive Summit: Technology Driven Performance Analytics and Answers, to be held Dec. 4-6 at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas.

Headlined by Anthony Levandowski, project leader for the Google driverless car, the conference will also include keynote addresses from Chunka Mui, CEO of Devil’s Advocate Consulting Group and best-selling author on business innovation, and Josh Switkes, president and CEO of Peloton Technology Inc. Both Mui and Switkes have extensive experience with autonomous vehicle control systems and will discuss how these applications can improve the trucking industry.

“We anticipate that the ATA Executive Summit will be the premiere event for trucking industry leaders hoping to get a glimpse of where our industry is headed, not just next year, but 10, 15, 50 years into the future,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO.

Among the award winners recognized is Gary Harms, Walmart Transportation driver from Olathe, KS. Harms is the 2013 Bendix National Truck Driving Championships Grand Champion, sponsored by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems.

“Our industry is filled with many, many drivers, technicians and safety professionals who work hard every day to keep our economy moving and our roads safe,” said Graves. “However, there are some who have gone above and beyond in their efforts and we salute them for going the extra mile.”

Other winners recognized by ATA were:

  • 2013 Technology and Maintenance Council SuperTech Grand Champion Mark McLean, Jr., a technician with FedEx Freight, Newburgh, N.Y.;
  • Gary Babbitt, a Dallas-based driver for Central Freight Lines, 2013 National Truck Driver of the Year, sponsored by Custard Insurance Adjusters;
  • Jerry Waddell, safety director with Cargo Transporters Inc., Claremont, N.C., 2013 National Safety Director of the Year, sponsored by Great West Casualty Company; and
  • Jason Wing, Manager, Safety Compliance and Training, ABF Freight System Inc., Ft. Smith, Ark.; National Safety Professional Award of Excellence, sponsored by Meritor WABCO. 
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