Sunday, May 01, 2016

ATA takes 2016 Convention to Vegas

– Seeking a bit of a change in scenery, the Alabama Trucking Association gathered for its 78th Annual Convention at the Westin Las Vegas Hotel, Casino & Spa, Las Vegas. April 28-May 1, 2016.

With more than 285 members and guests representing 107 trucking related firms in attendance, leaders of the state’s trucking industry celebrated its successes, elected new leadership, and planned for its future at one of the world’s most exciting destinations.

Because of the distant location, attendance was down slightly this year from previous years, but ATA leaders say they were still extremely pleased with the event’s content and programs.

Convention Chairman Gary Bond said the meeting’s goals to highlight the Association’s accomplishments for the year and recognize of ATA leadership and honorees for the year were met. And the meeting served as an excellent networking opportunity between the Association’s member carriers and allied sector.

Meeting Highlights

Friday morning’s Business Session featured presentations from several ATA leaders discussing topics affecting the Association and the trucking industry as a whole. Keynote speaker for the meeting was Retired Marine Lt. Col. Robert J. Darling, author of “24 Hours inside the President’s Bunker: 9-11-01: The White House.”

Mr. Darling is a former White House military office airlift operations liaison officer with more than two decades of active military service. He also held high-level federal government assignments, including several years as a top adviser for the George W. Bush Administration and the Presidential Emergency Operations Center. His presentation detailed his time with the president’s emergency operations center on September 11, 2001.

Following Mr. Darling’s presentation, the meeting was turned over to the Alabama Trucking Association Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Fund for its Annual Membership Meeting where it reviewed the Fund’s financials and showcased plans for moving the organization forward.

Friday afternoon, attendees chose options to join one of several planned excursions to area sights and locations, including Hoover Dam, historic sights and locations of Las Vegas, and the Downtown Summerlin shopping district. Later that evening ATA Workers’ Comp Fund hosted cocktail party at the Hyde Nightclub at the Bellagio.

Saturday morning ATA leaders conducted the Association’s annual Membership Awards Ceremony, which honored several men and woman who helped ATA reach its goals the past year. Recognitions included the introductions of the Alabama Truck Driver of the Year, Frank Calvert, a driver for AAA Cooper Transportation’s terminal in Birmingham and Alabama Road Team captains Rodney Cosper, Rusty Holmes and Daniel Thompson, honoring them for their crucial work of delivering a message of road safety and driving tips to the motoring public.

Wrapping up the meeting, ATA leaders announced Tom McLeod of McLeod Software as its 2016 recipient of the H. Chester Webb Award for Outstanding Service to the Industry, ATA highest recognition for a member (Read more about the Webb Award presentation on page ??).

That evening, ATA Chairman of the Board Chairman Greg Brown was honored with a reception before attendees were shuttled over to the Bellagio Hotel for a showing Cirque Du Soleil’s O Show.

Despite the slight drop in attendance, sponsorships of the event once again reached a record amount grossing $239,452 – nearly $5,000 over the previous year’s record totals.

“This Association has incredible member support,” says Convention Chairman Bond. “That kind of support makes my job so easy. It was a pleasure serving this great Association, but I am indebted to my outstanding Convention Finance Committee. They did an outstanding job.”

Those on the committee included Fenn Church of Church Transportation & Logistics, Inc.; Rhonda Bees, Shoreline Transportation of Alabama, LLC; Jack Brim of B. R. Williams Trucking, Inc.; ATA Chairman Greg Brown of B. R. Williams Trucking, Inc.; Will Bruser of Truckworx/Kenworth; Mark Coffman of Coffman International, Inc.; John Collier of Transport Trailer Center; Rodger Collins of Industrial Warehouse Services, Inc.; Kevin Savoy of Greenbush Logistics, Inc.; Bill Waechter of Gulf City Body & Trailer Works, Inc.; and Wayne Watkins of Watkins Trucking Co., Inc.

“I also can’t stress enough my gratitude to our Convention sponsors,” Bond says. “Their generosity and support of our event was the main catalyst for the success of our convention.”

ATA’s 2017 Convention will return to the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort in Destin, Fla. April 20-22, 2017. For more information or to see more coverage and photos this year’s meeting visit