Southeastern Freight Lines
Keith Schneider

Transportation Transitions: TCA hires, new LEAB members, and other leadership changes

Feb. 16, 2024
The TCA hires a profitability program facilitator, ATA’s Law Enforcement Advisory Board gains 27 new members, and new leadership changes are announced at Southeastern Freight Lines and Forward Air.

TCA welcomes Steve Phillips as profitability facilitator

The Truckload Carriers Association recently hired Steve Phillips to facilitate the TCA Profitability Program.

Phillips will facilitate the Profitability Program’s efforts to help best practice group participant carriers identify strategies to improve their operations through benchmarking and in-person meetings.

He brings over 30 years of experience in transportation management to the program, having served many years in senior leadership roles at Werner Enterprises and as SVP of OTR Operations at U.S. Xpress Inc. Throughout his career, Phillips has demonstrated an ability to navigate the challenges and opportunities of transportation management, leading to improved operational efficiencies and profits.

Phillips has also served on numerous boards that promote prosperity in the transportation industry, including the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and Trucking Profitability Strategies.

“We are excited to welcome Steve Phillips to our team as TPP facilitator,” TCA President Jim Ward said. “We are confident that his wealth of experience, strategic vision, and commitment to excellence will be invaluable to our team as we continue to drive profitability forward in the truckload industry.”

ATA names 27 to Law Enforcement Advisory Board

The American Trucking Associations recently named 27 trucking industry and law enforcement officials to the ATA Law Enforcement Advisory Board.

Formed in 2021, the ATA Law Enforcement Advisory Board (LEAB) advises the ATA Federation on strategies to grow and strengthen relationships between the trucking industry and law enforcement organizations nationwide. Composed of ATA members with previous experience in federal, state, or local law enforcement, as well as current and retired law enforcement officials, this year’s LEAB has 27 members with 685 years of law enforcement experience. 

For the coming year, LEAB will be chaired by Mark Savage, director of connected truck solutions at Drivewyze Inc., Steve Dowling, director of enterprise safety training at Covenant Logistics Group Inc.,  and Steve Keppler, co-director of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting, will serve as the board’s first and second vice chairman, respectively. 

See also: Transportation Transitions: Promotions, new hires, and returns

“Throughout my career spanning both law enforcement and trucking, I’ve come to appreciate the synergy that exists between these two professional communities,” Savage said. “When we combine forces, we have an enormously positive impact on highway safety, and I’m honored to now assume this role to foster that kind of cooperation at the highest levels.”

The members of this year’s board are: 

“Safety cannot be advanced by enforcement or industry alone; it takes engagement, collaboration and partnerships,” said Keppler. “The LEAB represents an unbelievably valuable resource to our collective safety goal of reducing crashes on our highways, and I am humbled and honored to be a part of it.” 

Southeastern Freight Lines promotes Schneider to service center manager 

Southeastern Freight Lines recently promoted Keith Schneider to service center manager in Waynesboro, Virginia. 

Schneider began his career as a freight handler at the Greensboro service center in North Carolina. Throughout his career with the company, he has served in various leadership roles, including quality assurance leader, inbound and outbound supervisor, inbound and outbound operations manager, and most recently, assistant service center manager in Greensboro, North Carolina.  

“Since joining the Southeastern team in 1996, Keith has demonstrated his commitment to promoting our culture and enhancing our quality-driven results,” said Kim Shore, regional VP of operations for Southeastern Freight Lines. “His strong work ethic coupled with his natural leadership abilities make him the perfect candidate to support the continued growth of our Waynesboro facility.”  

Forward Air announces leadership changes

Forward Air Corporation recently made several updates to its senior management team and board of directors. 

Tom Schmitt, chairman, CEO, and president of Forward, has departed the company.

Michael Hance has been appointed interim CEO in addition to his current position as chief legal officer and secretary. Since joining Forward in 2006, Hance has served in various legal and governance leadership roles, including general counsel since 2008, chief legal officer since 2014, and head of the human resources department from 2010 to 2014.

Chris Ruble, COO since 2018 and an employee at Forward since 1996, has been appointed president and COO. While serving in a variety of operational leadership roles during his 28 years with Forward, he has served as the architect of the company’s precision execution network and played a critical role in the integration of all of Forward’s acquisitions.

George Mayes, who has served on the board since 2021, has been appointed independent chairman. Mayes is a leader with extensive experience in global supply chain design and strategy development.

The board has added Gil West, former senior executive VP and COO at Delta Air Lines, as an independent director. West has deep operational experience and has led the successful integration of numerous transformational transactions.

Christopher Schmachtenberger, president and chief investment officer of Timucuan, has joined the board under the previously disclosed shareholder agreement with EVE Partners LLC.

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