CONTROLLED temperature logistics in general, and refrigerated trucking in particular, lost a true friend in February. Gary Macklin, editor of Refrigerated Transporter, died suddenly at his home in Houston, Texas, on February 16, 2007. He was 62 years old.
Gary joined Refrigerated Transporter in 1972 as an associate editor and was named editor in 1973. Of the 42 years that Refrigerated Transporter has existed as a magazine, he was editor for 34 of them.
He was at the helm of the magazine during some of the most challenging years the refrigerated trucking industry has faced. First came deregulation of the entire trucking industry in 1980. That was followed by major changes in refrigeration in the late 1980s. More recently, the industry made the shift to ultra low sulfur diesel for truck and refrigeration unit engines.
Gary kept readers up to date on the steps taken by companies in the foodservice and grocery distribution sectors to become highly efficient operators in an increasingly competitive market. He also worked hard to expand coverage in the magazine to include the refrigerated warehousing sector.
Ownership of Refrigerated Transporter changed over the years — from Tunnell Publications (the magazine's founder) to Primedia Corp, and most recently to Penton Media Inc. Gary never missed a beat through any of that, covering industry meetings, visiting refrigerated fleets and warehouses, and reporting on the latest industry developments. He was an active participant in industry associations, appearing on their panels, as well as covering their meetings.
Prior to signing on with Refrigerated Transporter, Gary spent three years as a field artillery officer in the US Army. He served at bases in the United States and Germany. He earned degrees in English and history (Bas in 1967) from Texas Christian University, including graduate study in British literature and history of Eastern Europe.
Gary is survived by his wife, Sally; two daughters, Katherine Macklin Day and Elizabeth Macklin; and three grandchildren.
What comes next? That's a big question, and Gary left some big shoes to fill. First and foremost, the magazine will continue. Other staffers at our Houston office have assumed Gary's duties temporarily.
We already have begun the process of searching for a new editor, and we are reviewing resumes. We want to make sure we select the right candidate, someone who will ensure that Refrigerated Transporter remains a valuable resource for all facets of the controlled temperature logistics sector. Gary will be missed, but we will move forward.