Thursday, September 30, 2021

Wayne Watkins wins ATA’s H. Chester Webb Award

The Alabama Trucking Association has tapped Birmingham trucking executive Wayne Watkins of Watkins Trucking Co. as its 2021 H. Chester Webb Award for Distinguished Service winner, an honor that recognizes trucking professionals for outstanding service and leadership to the state’s trucking sector.

Mr. Watkins received his award during a ceremony at ATA’s 82nd Annual Convention, which was held last weekend at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Destin, Fla. The award was presented by the 2019 Webb Award winner Kimble Coaker of the ATA Comp Fund who said that ATA has had its share of great leaders, but few personify the ideals and characteristics of the award more closely than Mr. Watkins.

“(Wayne) is always quick to support ATA’s many initiatives, programs and events,” Coaker said. “He served as Chairman of the Board in 2014 and has served on many committees since.”

Mr. Watkins and his brothers, Randy and David, share leadership roles for the company with Wayne serving more as a public figurehead while the other brothers handle more specialized tasks for daily operations and fleet management. The Watkins family has operated their trucking fleet in Birmingham’s competitive flatbed sector for more than 75 years on the mantra that to “get bigger in trucking, you must get better first.”

For his part, Mr. Watkins is as comfortable looking under the hood of the truck as he is looking over financial reports and spreadsheets. He knows the trucking business from top to bottom and never hesitates to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty. He’s an avid supporter of ATA’s many initiatives, programs and events and was elected to serve as the Association’s Chairman of the Board in 2014, holding many other leadership roles for both ATA and the ATA Comp Fund.

More recently, he was instrumental in the executive leadership transition that brought in ATA’s current CEO Mark Colson and is also an early supporter of the ATA Foundation, recently becoming one of the Foundation’s TITANS, an exclusive super-supporter group tasked with funding workforce development and industry promotion.

“Wayne knows what it means to be a leader,” Colson said. “He’s a leader for his business, his community, and the industry that’s given him and his family so much for so many years and always seeks to give back more than he receives. He is a very deserving winner, and we’re very proud to celebrate his accomplishments and commitment to Alabama Trucking.”

The H. Chester Webb Award was established in 1958 to recognize individuals in the state’s trucking industry for service and contributions to the industry and encourage public service by all members of the highway transportation industry. Winners of the Webb Award are those who have given their talents, leadership and dedication to the trucking industry, the state trucking association, and the communities where they live and work.