January 27, 2014 10:05 AM, EST

ATA Debuts Streamlined Structure to Boost Federation’s Effectiveness

By Daniel P. Bearth, Staff Writer

This story appears in the Jan. 27 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

American Trucking Associations announced last week it had finalized changes to its organizational structure.

All of the federation’s functions will be consolidated into one of three areas: national advocacy; communications and public affairs; and finance and operations. Each area will be headed by an executive vice president.

ATA President Bill Graves said the changes are a response to members who want to make the trucking industry’s largest trade association more effective.

“We have a long history of successes on behalf of our members,” Graves said, citing pending rulemakings on electronic logging devices and creation of a clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results, as well as efforts to fight against tolling and sleep apnea “guidance.”

“We know our members expect and demand even more success in the future, and that’s why after examining our organization from top to bottom we have chosen to consolidate a number of our divisions to meet those expectations,” Graves said.

Graves told Transport Topics that a reassessment of policy priorities will take place this week at a meeting of the ATA Executive Committee in Washington, D.C.

“The issues are many, and we want to make sure that we are representing the interests of members as accurately and precisely as we can,” Graves said. “The days when ATA can be all things to all people may be behind us.”

ATA Chairman Philip Bryd Sr., president of Bulldog Hiway Express in Charleston, S.C., said, “By simplifying ATA’s organization, we are strengthening the association and enhancing the professional staff’s ability to represent motor carriers of all stripes.”

As reported, Graves said that Dave Osiecki will head up all advocacy activities, including legal and regulatory affairs. He also will serve as ATA’s liaison with 50 state trucking associations and affiliated conferences and councils.

In addition, Jeff Mason, who joined ATA in April as senior vice president of communications, will be responsible for Transport Topics Publishing Group, public affairs and ATA image and industry outreach programs.

Karla Hulett, who has been ATA’s chief financial officer, will serve as chief operating officer and oversee membership and marketing, meetings, accounting, information technology and human resources operations.

“ATA will continue to be the most powerful voice on behalf of the trucking industry on Capitol Hill, in the media and in the public,” Graves said. “These changes will allow us to more effectively serve our members and respond to our rapidly changing world.”