ATA names Chris Spear next president, CEO

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Updated Jul 4, 2016
Chris Spear will succeed Bill Graves as president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, effective July 9.Chris Spear will succeed Bill Graves as president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, effective July 9.

The American Trucking Associations has named Chris Spear, former ATA senior vice president of legislative affairs, its next president and CEO, effective July 9.

Spear currently serves as vice president of government affairs at Hyundai Motor Company. He will replace current ATA President Bill Graves, who announced in October he would be stepping down at the end of 2016.

“Chris’ enthusiasm for the trucking industry and the mission of ATA – to effectively advocate and communicate efforts that improve safety and profitability for our members – is second to none,” said ATA Chairman Pat Thomas, senior vice president of state government affairs at UPS. “We had many excellent candidates for the position, but Spear is the right fit for the organization. We are extremely pleased that he will be joining us.”

Spear was vice president of global government relations at Honeywell International, and he held Executive Branch positions including Assistant Secretary of Labor. Spear also served as professional staff for Sens. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.).

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead this great association and serve this vital industry,” Spear said. “Trucking is the backbone of our economy and a catalyst for American job growth, delivering critical goods to businesses and homes coast-to-coast. I am excited to work alongside ATA’s members and federation partners to ensure the industry continues to prosper and safely move our nation forward.”

Graves will continue to serve as an advisor to ATA throughout the rest of 2016.

“It’s been my honor to lead ATA as president and CEO for almost 14 years. I’ll always appreciate the opportunity ATA members afforded me in 2001 when I was chosen for the position and the support they’ve provided since 2003 when I moved to Washington to assume that role,” Graves said. “Trucking has always been close to my heart, and I’m very proud that a trucking company bore my family’s name. Now is the time to pass on the leadership responsibility to Chris, a person whom I have great respect for and confidence in his ability to lead ATA. I look forward to providing assistance in his leadership transition. It’s an exciting new time for the ATA and I wish the organization, and Chris, nothing but success.”