NPTC elects new leaders, board members

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Rick Foster, director of private fleet safety for Wal-Mart Transportation, was appointed chair of the National Private Truck Council at the group’s Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition held April 18-20, 2010 in Cincinnati. He succeeds Ron Tartt, private fleet general manager for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.

A 38-year veteran of the transportation industry with experience in both common carrier and private carrier environments, Foster has previous experience managing the company’s less-than-truckload cross-docks and third-party consolidators nationwide. Foster started with Wal-Mart as safety manager in Plainview, Texas, and has been in his current role for 13 years. He has been a member of NPTC since 1997 and has served on the Legislative and Regulatory Review Committee since its inception. He is currently vice-chair, chair-elect of the NPTC board of directors. Awarded the ATA National Safety Director Award in 2005, Foster is also a member of ATA and the Safety and Loss Prevention Management Council, the Arkansas Trucking Association Safety Management Council and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Gary Strausbaugh, vice president of transportation for Mennel Milling Co., based in Fostoria, Ohio, was elected vice chair/chair-elect, and Ralph Benson, president of Sentinel Transportation, was elected secretary. Harry Haney, associate director of logistics operations for Kraft Foods Inc., remains as NPTC treasurer.

In addition, NPTC elected five new members to the board: Larry J. Ahlers, vice president of transportation, Oldcastle Architectural Inc.; Mark Catlin, national account executive, J.J. Keller & Associates Inc.; J. Bedford Monday Jr., logistics manager, Schwans Logistics; Randy Perry, fleet safety manager, Frito-Lay Inc.; and Robert M. Polka, director of fleet services, Utility Shared Services.

In other news from NPTC’s annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition, four truck drivers were inducted into the NPTC Driver Hall of Fame. The drivers – who are from NPTC member companies and have met the minimum qualifications of 20 years, two million miles or 50,000 hours of driving without a preventable accident – are Jerry Lamar Beasley, Shaw Industries Group; Richard Kutz, Kraft Foods Inc.; Isaac Simmons, CVS Transportation; and David Solomon, Matheson Tri-Gas Inc.

NPTC’s Private Fleet Professional Leadership Awards recognized those individuals who have made significant contributions to NPTC, their profession, and the private trucking community. The Private Fleet Executive of the Year, NPTC’s highest individual award, went to George Hunter, director of logistics for Oldcastle/Bonsal American; the Private Fleet Safety Professional of the Year Award went to Martha Bertrand, Transportation Manager for Spartan Stores Inc.; the Private Fleet Member of the Year Award was presented to Dan Norris, fleet operations manager for the Pepsi Beverages Co. in the Atlantic Region; the Allied Member of the Year Award went to Dave Helge, vice president of maintenance and safety for Idealease of North America; the Membership Development Award honored Gayle Robertson, co-president of Bolt Systems; and Thomas R. Stedman, formerly of Walgreen’s Oshkosh, received the Daniel P. Smith Life Achievement Award, presented annually to an individual who has made significant leadership contributions to NPTC in helping advance the goals and objectives of the council and whose personal traits of honor, integrity, tenacity, and devotion to duty in making these contributions serve as an exemplary model for future NPTC-member private fleet professionals.

Denis Litalien, a driver with Clifford W. Perham Inc., operating out of Biddeford, Maine, received the Humanitarian Award, which recognizes those individuals who share an extraordinary commitment to helping others. Litalien serves as president and executive director of the Maine Professional Drivers Association, a group he founded more than 20 years ago to promote courtesy, safety and professionalism in the field of truck driving. In addition, he organizes the group to haul bicycles to and from the American Lung Association of Maine’s Trek Across Maine, which raised more than $1.9 million nationally last year and helps to promote healthy air in Maine. He also organized the Northeast Charity Challenge that has raised more than $180,000 over the last 10 years for St. Jude’s Children Hospital; and served as chairman of the Maine Trucking for Kids convoy that helps raise money for kids in need as well as promoting a positive and professional image of truck drivers. A leading force in developing and implementing Clifford W. Perham’s annual Truck Driving Competition, Litalien placed first in the state competition 10 times and in the top seven nationally nine times; he also serves on the company’s accident review committee. He was named the Maine Professional Drivers Association’s Good Samaritan of the Year in 1994, the Clifford W. Perham Good Samaritan of the Year in 1996, and the company’s Associate of the Year in 2003.

Forty-three transportation professionals achieved the designation of Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) by the NPTC Institute. This year’s CTP Top Graduate Award recipient was Eric Kim, West area regional fleet manager for Kraft Foods Inc.

The NPTC/Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions Fleet of the Year Awards were presented to those companies whose fleets experienced the lowest ratio of accidents per million miles for the past year. These awards are given for the entire fleet’s vehicle accident frequency rate (VAFR) by fleet size and operational category. The winners for 2010 were:

Local operations (fleets whose vehicles deliver in a local market regardless of size)
First Place (tie):
Dominion Virginia Power
Milliken & Co.
Shaw Industries Group Inc.
Webster Industries Inc.

Regional operations (Small Fleet – less than 50 vehicles)
First Place (tie):
Jerico Services, Inc.
Moen Inc.
Third Place: Gates Corp.

Regional operations (Large Fleet – 50 vehicles or more)
First Place: Sherwin Williams/Contract Transportation System

Mixed Operations (Small Fleet – less than 50 vehicles)
First Place:
ADM Trucking Inc.
Frito-Lay Inc.
Targa Transport

Mixed Operations (Large Fleet – 50 vehicles or more)
First Place: GNC Transportation LLC
Second Place: Land O’ Lakes, Inc.
Third Place: Frito-Lay, Inc.