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October 7, 2019 6:00 PM, EDT

Industry Representatives Honored With Trucking Awards

Chris Spear and Chris Maxwell Chris Spear (left) and Chris Maxwell by John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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SAN DIEGO — Rhode Island Trucking Association President Chris Maxwell received the President’s Trucking Association Executives Council Leadership Award at American Trucking Associations’ annual industry gathering Oct. 7.

TAEC is made up of staff executives of state trucking associations and conferences affiliated with ATA. The leadership award was created in 2002 to recognize a state trucking association leader and create an enduring legacy for that leader and for the industry.

ATA President Chris Spear announced the award during the federation’s Management Conference & Exhibition.

Maxwell has been a vocal opponent of Rhode Island’s trucks-only tolling program, which has been in effect since June 2018. The system is part of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s RhodeWorks program, which is projected to generate $4.7 billion to finance infrastructure projects such as bridge replacements and road improvements.

“This is a federation award,” Maxwell said. “I accept this on behalf of my 49 brothers and sisters. When they screw with one of us, they screw with all of us. I am so privileged to be part of this great federation.”

Maxwell has been a state trucking association executive for eight years and has more than 32 years of experience in the industry. Spear said that, under Maxwell’s tenure, RITA has increased membership numbers and developed into a major political player. Maxwell also is an active media presence on trucking issues.

Spear commended his work and continued opposition to tolling.

“His association’s commitment to growing ATA membership has been remarkable,” Spear said. “This executive has made strong, impactful statements.”

Also announced during the session was the recipient of ATA’s Highway to Victory Award, which acknowledges outstanding industry advocacy efforts. The award went to Robert Haag, vice president of operations for Perfect Transportation. The company is a subsidiary of Perfect Pallets, which specializes in the transport of printed material. Perfect Transportation is based in Indianapolis.

Haag is the current chair of ATA’s Technology Engineering Policy Committee and a member of the Safety Policy Committee. He is a graduate of the Lead ATA inaugural class.

Elisabeth Barna, chief operating officer and executive vice president of industry affairs for ATA, announced winners of the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award. The award honors people or groups who use innovative approaches to improving the trucking industry’s image, professionalism and safety.

The Mike Russell Trucking Image Award recipients are Covenant Transport, the Minnesota Trucking Association, YRC Freight driver Steve Fields and Kevin Burch, co-chairman of Trucking Moves America Forward and president of Jet Express Inc.

ATA was honored with an award from Kendis Paris, executive director of Truckers Against Trafficking. Paris recognized the association as a TAT Champion. She said ATA was an early supporter of TAT’s mission and has given heft to the group’s mission to end modern-day slavery. ATA has encouraged members to become TAT-trained and was represented on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking.

“Their name recognition lent credence to our cause,” Paris said. “The ATA is an excellent example of how network leadership can effect social change.”

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