Special Coverage



Ruan’s Dan Van Alstine Takes Reins as ATA’s 78th Chairman

Dan Van Alstine at the MCE 2022 closing banquet
Van Alstine is president and chief operating officer of Ruan Transportation Management Systems. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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SAN DIEGO — American Trucking Associations wrapped up its 2022 Management Conference & Exhibition with an evening of celebration after electing Dan Van Alstine as the federation’s 78th chairman.

Van Alstine, who is president and chief operating officer of Des Moines, Iowa-based Ruan Transportation Management Systems, reiterated the essential nature of trucking during his remarks at the annual MCE banquet on Oct. 25.

“Our industry indisputably enables the standard of living that we all enjoy,” he said. “Each of us has known this since the time of our start in this business, yet it took a global pandemic for our country to truly understand and appreciate that without our industry, without trucking, everything simply stops.”

New ATA Leadership

►Dan Van Alstine, president and COO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, Des Moines, Iowa, chairman

►Andrew Boyle, co-president of Boyle Transportation, Billerica, Mass., first vice chairman

►Darren Hawkins, CEO of YRC Worldwide Inc., Overland Park, Kansas, second vice chairman

►Dennis Dellinger, president and CEO of Cargo Transporters, Hickory, North Carolina, vice chairman

►Wes Davis, CFO of Big M Transportation, Blue Mountain, Mississippi, vice chairman


►John M. Smith, chairman of CRST International Holdings LLC, secretary

►John A. Smith, president and CEO of FedEx Ground, treasurer

Moving forward, workforce development remains one of the most critical needs facing the industry, Van Alstine said.

“From behind the wheel to the front of a computer monitor, our industry offers great careers for everyone,” he said. “And it’s an exciting industry. We all know this, but we need to find a way to convey it to those who haven’t yet considered careers in transportation and logistics.”

To accomplish this, trucking’s leaders must work together to elevate the public perception of the jobs in this industry, Van Alstine added.

“The pandemic shined a positive light on all that we do, and we must continue to showcase our essentiality in recruiting and retention efforts so that the roles we are offering become first choice careers, just like they should be,” he said.

Van Alstine succeeds immediate past chairman Harold Sumerford Jr., CEO of Birmingham, Ala.-based J&M Tank Lines.

“It has been an eventful but amazing year serving in this position,” Sumerford said in his remarks at the banquet.

Harold Sumerford Jr. receives commemorative portrait from Dan Van Alstine

Sumerford receives a commemorative portrait from Van Alstine. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

He cited major wins for the industry, including the bipartisan infrastructure law and the court victory against Rhode Island’s truck-only tolling program.

“We’ve seen a lot accomplished in a year, and I know there’s a lot more to come,” Sumerford said.

Walker Hayes performs at the MCE 2022 annual banquet

Country star Walker Hayes performs at the MCE 2022 annual banquet. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

Later in the evening, country music star Walker Hayes capped off the event with an energetic performance for MCE attendees.

In total, the annual conference drew nearly 2,900 attendees and featured 164 exhibitors.

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