Share
September 16, 2013 3:30 AM, EDT

Ohio Trucking Association’s Davis to Retire After 13 Years as Group’s Executive Director

By Michele Fuetsch, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Sept. 16 print edition of Transport Topics.

Larry Davis, executive director of the Ohio Trucking Association, said he will retire in January after 13 years at the helm.



Davis initially joined OTA as its lobbyist in 1991 after retiring from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

He departed to start an independent lobbying firm in 1998-1999, and OTA was one of his clients. He returned to OTA in 2000 as executive director.

“For me, it’s been a good career. I’ve made a lot of good friends in the trucking industry,” he told Transport Topics.

In 2010, Davis received the American Trucking Associations President’s Annual Trucking Association Executives Council Leadership Award.

ATA said the honor recognizes the state executive who has gone above and beyond in support of the industry.

“Larry has worked for nearly 45 years to improve safety on our highways and has tirelessly advocated on behalf of the entire trucking industry,” ATA President Bill Graves said at the time.

OTA Chairman Paul Williams praised Davis’ leadership style.

“He has the ability to talk to our elected officials in a way that they respect what he has to say,” said Williams, owner of Wooster Motor Ways of Wooster, Ohio. “He doesn’t seem to waste their time, but he’s always very accurate.”

Williams said OTA is in the final stages of picking a replacement, and a search committee has narrowed it down to two candidates. One of the finalists for the job is Davis’ daughter, Sherri Warner, currently OTA’s legal counsel, Williams said.

While Davis has dealt with a broad range of issues from speed limits to tolls on the Ohio Turnpike during his career, he said it’s surprising how some issues don’t change.

“When I first came here, the big issues were a driver shortage and size-and-weight limits,” he said. “The issues we faced 22 years ago are the same issues we face today. It’s just a continuing onset of the same stuff over and over.”

Both Williams and former OTA Chairman Keith Tuttle praised Davis’ work in forging what they described as an outstanding partnership between trucking and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

“I will give Larry Davis all the credit for building that relationship with our . . . state patrol,” said Tuttle, currently OTA treasurer and owner of Motor Carrier Service Inc. in Northwood, Ohio.

“It’s very much a working relationship versus an adversarial relationship, and they’ve done a lot of joint safety initiatives that Larry and the staff at the OTA have been instrumental in creating,” Tuttle said.

Seat belt campaigns were among the safety efforts, and Davis also led OTA in opposing the 70-mph speed limit the state recently allowed on some highways.

Tuttle said OTA hopes to name its replacement for Davis in early October.

Davis, 71, said his first priority after retiring will be to spend a long vacation in Florida with his wife, Donna.