After 44 years at the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, the last 25 as its president, Jim Runk is retiring July 20. Runk’s successor is Kevin Stewart, currently PMTA’s director of safety.
Stewart, 53, served as program administrator for the Pennsylvania State Police’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Division from 2005 to 2013 and worked in various positions with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Motor Carrier Division from 1980 to 2005.
“Kevin has excellent work skills,” Runk said. “He understands the process of dealing with people in the Legislature because he did that when he was working for PennDOT and the State Police. Our relationships [with state government officials] are better than they were when I became president. I got to know those guys and worked with them on issues that are important to our 1,500 members.”
Asked about his proudest accomplishment at PMTA, the 70-year-old Runk said, “My longevity.”
Indeed, Runk’s tenure pre-dates PMTA’s 38 years in its Camp Hill facility. He came to PMTA in 1972 after two years in the Army and brief stints in the insurance and hotel businesses.
“Jim Runk is PMTA,” Stewart wrote in an e-mail. “It’s always difficult to follow a legend. Much like sports where certain players or coaches were the face of the franchise, Jim has been the face of this association for 44 years. It’s hard to go to a meeting anywhere where they don’t know Jim Runk. It’s always hard to be the guy after ‘The Guy.’
“I accepted the position because of the challenge of taking what Jim has built over these last many years and making it better. I want to look at the various services we offer to our members and improve on them, to … make our association stronger through increased membership and more involvement by our existing members. Additionally, I want to be expand our outreach to those outside of our industry and help them better understand the vital nature of trucking.”
Runk said the deregulation of the trucking industry, the successful battle to prevent tolling Interstate 80 and the passage of Pennsylvania’s transportation funding formula, Act89, in 2013 were the highlights of his four-plus decades with the association.