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Truckload Carriers Association Elects Shepard Dunn of Bestway Express, Inc., as 2014-2015 Chairman
Incoming chair was not born into trucking, as many company presidents are — but you’d never know it
The board of directors of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has elected Shepard Dunn, president and CEO of Bestway Express, Inc., of Vincennes, Indiana, as its 2014-15 chairman. The vote took place as part of the organization’s Annual Convention at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas.
Dunn came to be involved with the trucking industry in a most unusual way. In 1994, he was working in the travel industry when he was approached to manage a dedicated operation for Bestway Express. He knew almost nothing about trucking. The offer came from his wife’s cousin, C.J. “Mac” McCormick, III, who ran the flagship company in the McCormick family chain of enterprises.
Believing that Dunn had the necessary people and sales skills to be successful in the business — and ignoring those who said Dunn would fail because he “did not have trucking in his blood” — McCormick hired Dunn as an executive vice president at Bestway. Dunn soaked it all in and loved everything he was taught. By 2003, Dunn had been promoted to president. Three years later, however, his career took a bizarre twist when his mentor was tragically killed while piloting a small airplane. The McCormick family named Dunn as Bestway’s CEO in January of 2007, and the company has continued to flourish under his leadership.
Ever since Dunn joined TCA, he has been active on numerous committees, including Carrier/Shipper Relations, Highway Policy, Independent Contractor Practices Policy, Industry Supplier Relations, Membership, Recruitment & Retention Human Resources, Regulatory Policy, and TCA Communications & Image Policy. As a member of the organization’s executive committee and board of directors, he has held the positions of first and second vice chair, secretary, and at-large officer (twice). He is also a member of the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) board of directors and its Safety Policy Committee, and he is a former chairman of ATA’s Highway Policy Committee.
Locally, he serves on the boards of directors of the Knox County (Indiana) Chamber of Commerce, the Knox County Development Corporation, the Indiana Legal Foundation, and Conexus Indiana, an initiative that aims to keep the state of Indiana at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and logistics. Dunn also serves on the Transportation Advisory Board for the 8th Congressional District.
As he steps into the TCA chairmanship, Dunn believes that continuity should be paramount as the organization continues to build on the programs already established in recent years. He cites the work of 2011-12 Chairman Gary Salisbury, who steered the association toward improving trucking’s image, followed by his successor, Robert Low, who added a unique health-and-wellness focus.
“Image really started with Gary – he floated the idea out there and got the ball rolling,” said Dunn. “Then Robert got the entire industry talking about image, especially the health of the professional truck driver. Now look at us… we’re providing equipment, manpower, and funds for Wreaths Across America, producing pro-trucking commercials, and holding health fairs during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. We’ve even got an official, country music singer spokeswoman, Lindsay Lawler, who literally sings the praises of our Highway Angel program to the general public. We’re going to continue to build on those fabulous ideas and make sure they stay in front of our industry. That’s our job,” he said.
Dunn’s year at the helm of TCA falls in the middle of a 3-year strategic plan that was initiated by last year’s chairman, Tom Kretsinger, Jr.
“The plan really helped TCA focus in on measurements of what we are trying to accomplish,” said Dunn. “Now my philosophy is, ‘Let’s get really good at our core.’ We will roll through my term with good, sound measurements, and then begin the discussion again under next year’s chairman for another 3-year plan. I’m the transition guy that will make sure we keep on truckin’!”
Dunn will lead TCA until the next Annual Convention, scheduled for March 8-11, 2015, at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida. The following individuals were elected to assist him:
You can learn about TCA’s activities under Dunn’s leadership by following the association on www.truckload.org/Facebook—and Twitter—www.truckload.org/Twitter. On both social media sites, you can also learn about this year’s Annual Convention with the hashtag #2014TCA.
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