Birmingham business owner T.J. Willings recently was installed as chairman of the board of directors for the Alabama Trucking Association during a recent ceremony at the group’s headquarters in Montgomery, Ala.
Willings, owner of Premier Truck Centers, accepted the gavel from outgoing Chairman Bill Scruggs of Scruggs Trailer & Equipment, also based in Birmingham, during ATA’s annual Board of Directors Meeting and Officer Installation held June 24. ATA officers serve for a one-year term, beginning on July 1.
Willings says he is ready to lead one of the state’s most vital industries, and promised to stand up for trucking’s interests in political and business arenas. “I have been a member of this association for nearly 30 years, and it’s a privilege to accept this position today in the presence of so many great people,” Willings says. “I look forward to leading our association to great things.”
However, with skyrocketing fuel costs, a softer housing market and a weakening U.S. economy, Willings acknowledges that the industry is facing difficult odds. “Nine months ago, I predicted that we would see things begin to pick back up by now,” he says. “Obviously, my crystal ball is not very accurate. There are many things working against the industry these days. Still, we all need to work daily at improving what we can control. No one else is going to do it for us.”
Willings has been an active industry leader for more than 30 years, serving on ATA’s executive board since 1984. Frank Filgo, ATA chief executive officer, says Willings’ knowledge of the industry and his networking abilities will serve him well as a coalition builder.
“He is one of this association’s hardest-working members, serving on our board of directors and on numerous association committees,” Filgo says. “He will do very well as the ATA chairman. Already, he has initiated several projects that will better engage and serve the state’s trucking industry.”