Special Coverage



ATA Spotlights Industry Fighters With Prestigious Awards

Cathy Evans Highway to Victory, Mike Russell Image Award Winners Named
Bill Sullivan and Mike Card
ATA Executive Vice President of Advocacy Bill Sullivan (left) presents the Cathy Evans Highway to Victory Award to Combined Transport Inc. President Michael Card. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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SAN DIEGO — American Trucking Associations highlighted the important work individuals are doing for the trucking industry during a luncheon Oct. 24 at its Management Conference & Exhibition.

The 2022 Cathy Evans Highway to Victory Award was presented to Combined Transport Inc. President Michael Card. The award recognizes an individual who’s led the fight for trucking by helping to score victories in Congress, courtrooms and federal agencies. Card is a former ATA chairman.

“Cathy Evans has spent an amazing career fighting on behalf of ATA members, representing a dynamic industry with remarkable enthusiasm for a decade,” Bill Sullivan, executive vice president of advocacy at ATA, said. “Like Cathy this year’s honoree is someone who always leads the charge and answers the call for trucking on key issues.”

Card has served as chairman on several association groups for many years. He has tackled numerous existential challenges to the industry from lawsuit abuse, discriminatory tolling, hours of service, ELD implementation, drug screening mandates and workforce development issues.

“This is a great honor and Cathy Evans is one of my truly great friends,” Card said. “I just want to thank ATA for all the support that they’ve given me and my family.”

Mike Russell Image Award

Four winners of the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award were also announced during the event. The awards celebrate companies, organizations and individuals who find innovation and creative ways to generate positive awareness of trucking:

Winners of the Mike Russell Image Award for 2022

From left: Steve Ponder, senior vice president of Great West Casualty Company, who presented the awards; Alabama Trucking Association CEO Mark Colson, Kenneth Calhoun of Altec Industries, Northern Industrial Training CEO Joey Crum and TrueNorth Cos. representative Jason Smith. (Anneliese Mahoney/Transport Topics)

TrueNorth Companies was named a recipient for its support of industry associations, companies and communities. The company is a risk management insurance brokerage firm with years of expertise when it comes to trucking. Executive Jason Smith accepted the award on behalf of his company.

“It is rare to attend an event where they aren’t a sponsor, have a booth or are talking in the hallways trying to solve problems for the industry,” Elisabeth Barna, executive vice president of industry affairs at ATA, said. “They are involved in their community in ways that make a lasting impact.”

Alaska-based Northern Industrial Training received an award for providing resources for vocational training and corporate training support services. The company has numerous programs and grant opportunities for financial support and focuses on getting people into jobs. CEO Joey Crum accepted the award on behalf of his company.

Elisabeth Barna

Barna by Anneliese Mahoney/Transport Topics

Barna said Northern Industrial “promotes the image of the trucking industry through education. They focus on skills building courses for all ages. They target middle school and high school students being introduced to career and technical education, retired veterans and stay-at-home moms reentering the workforce.”

Kenneth Calhoun, fleet optimization manager at Altec, also collected an award after leading the effort in the development of the virtual augmented reality game TMC SuperTech. The game is directed at students under the age of 16 and applies gamification techniques to interest students in a career as a technician. He is also a leader in the vocational tech student outreach program Be Pro Be Proud.

Barna said Calhoun “demonstrates exceptional creativity, frequency, reach, impact and execution. He has enabled the trucking industry to reach hundreds of thousands of students and educators locally, statewide and nationally.”

Alabama Trucking Association CEO Mark Colson won for his work bringing trucking jobs into his state by showcasing the importance of the industry.

“Over the past year, he has focused on bringing more trucking jobs into their state,” Barna said. “They started a campaign that is fighting for the future of the workforce by using professional diesel technicians and real truck drivers, and utilizing social media, billboard advertisements, 15- and 30-second commercials, and a website dedicated to their trucking careers, they kick their campaign into high gear.”

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