Tuesday, December 13, 2016

ATA safety council appoints new leadership for 2017

Earlier this week, during its annual holiday banquet and officer installation, the Alabama Trucking Association Safety & Maintenance Management Council (SMMC) elected and installed a new batch of fleet professionals from Alabama’s best trucking operations to lead the Council’s three chapters’ safety campaigns, events and programs for the upcoming year.

The meeting, held at the Pelham Civic Complex in Pelham, Ala., drew more than 150 attendees and was co-sponsored by York Risk Services and Vertical Alliance Group (provider of ATA’s online fleet safety training software).

New Officers

The SMMC’s new officers have all been long-time members and contributors the Council and collectively offer hundreds of years of fleet safety expertise between them.

For the Birmingham Chapter Lonna Yearwood of My-Way Transportation will serve as Chairman. Her board will include 1st Vice Chairman Geoff Smith of Welborn Cabinet; 2nd Vice Chairman Tony Smith of AAA Cooper Transportation; and Secretary/Treasurer Scott Hackelman of MTB Transport. The Birmingham Chapter’s Steering Committee will also consist of Clarence Bean of Dana-Suttles Truck Leasing; Butch Owens of Golden Flake Transportation; Ben Dunn of P&S Transportation; and Jimmy Price of Golden Flake Transportation. The Birmingham Chapter serves the northern part of the state from Birmingham to the Alabama-Tennessee state line.

Avery Baine of ABC Transportation was elected Chairman of the SMMC Wiregrass Chapter (which serves Central Alabama). His board will include Vice Chairman Debbie Henderson of Eagle Motor Freight and Secretary/Treasurer Keith Onorato of Summerford Truck Lines. The Wiregrass Steering Committee will include Eddie Spann of LBW State Technical College (Diesel Technician program); Tammy Peak of Transportation Safety Services; and Joey Armstrong of Wiregrass Construction.

For the Gulf Coast Chapter (which serves the Mobile and its I-10 corridor), the Council tapped Bryan Kilpatrick of Billy Barnes Enterprises as its Chairman. Bobby Lankford of Ward International Trucks will serve as Vice Chairman; Keith Fearn of Martin Energy will serve as Secretary; and Gary Smith of Perdido Trucking will serve as Treasurer. Steering Committee members are Joe Heller of Rush Truck Centers; Daniel Wright of Wright Transportation; and Joe Gibson of Wright Transportation

Keynote Speaker

Headlining speaker for the evening was John Riley, a former professional football player for the Oakland Raiders who now serves as a motivational speaker and humorist.

Riley’s teachings have spanned the globe, encompassing 22 countries and totaling more than 10,500 engagements in nearly four decades. Born in the small town of Abbeville, Ala., he was taught early on about the importance of hard honest work and building lasting relationships.  He went on to play football for Auburn University and was drafted by Oakland. When his football career came to a sudden end in 1970, Riley explored the business world, but he answered a calling he felt deep down inside and began speaking full-time. Since then, he has taught companies how to incorporate practical values to build lasting working relationship with each other, as well as the companies they work with.

His message for the evening was of the effects of maintaining a good attitude at the workplace; and showing appreciation for those who make a business successful and how that helps those in upper management positions better relate to their coworkers and customers.

“You know what the best thing you can do to help those around you succeed?” he asked the audience. “I believe it is to thank them for all they do for you and the company. It’s really that simple.”

He continued, “You know, I was at the supermarket the other day, and I thanked the young lady at the register after she completed my order. She said, ‘you’re welcome.’ I asked her if she knew where the money to pay her each week came from. She shrugged and pointed to one of the managers. I told her she is partly right, but explained that every customer in that store also contributed to her check. She said ‘You know, I guess you’re right’ and then she thanked me. When you thank someone you are giving something to them — something that every person in this room needs: to feel appreciated. That’s how you build real relationships.”

Further driving home his point he added that along with a salary or pay an employee earns, the simple act of showing appreciation builds a strong team. Everyone likes to feel as though their contribution is valued and meaningful. He added that showing appreciation for customers is also a key to success.

Upcoming SMMC Events

SMMC officials announced several upcoming SMMC events for the first half of 2017, including two Spring Roadside Inspections. The first on April 6 and a second on April 13. Locations will be coordinated by Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Motor Carrier Safety Unit and announced in January.

Meanwhile, the SMMC Fleet Safety Awards will be held in late March at the Pelham Civic Complex. And back by popular demand, SMMC will again host a mock trial produced by attorneys from the law firm of Hand Arendall LLC.

For more information on ATA’s SMMC chapters or any of its events, please visit alabamatrucking.org or call 334-834-3983.