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Bison Transport’s Rob Penner to Be 2017-18 Chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association
The Truckload Carriers Association's 2017-18 chairman will be Rob Penner, president and chief executive officer of Bison Transport, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Although the official vote will take place at the board meeting (to be held at the conclusion of the 3.5-day event at the Gaylord Opryland), he gave his acceptance speech at the Tuesday general session earlier this morning.
View photos from the event.
Penner began his career in the transportation industry in 1984 as a professional truck driver and joined Bison Transport in 1991, moving through all aspects of operations. He was appointed vice president, operations, in 1998 and was promoted to his current role in January 2017.
An active participant in the transportation community, Penner has served on the board of directors for both the Toronto and Ontario trucking associations and the Trucking Profitability Strategies Advisory Board at the University of Georgia-Athens. He has also been a member of numerous other working committees and advisory boards, and is active with the American Trucking Associations.
For TCA, Penner has been involved in numerous capacities. He chaired the Regulatory Policy Committee from 2010-11 and is a past member of the Highway Policy committee, the Benchmarking Best Practices Group, and the Financial Oversight & Long-Range Planning Task Force. A member of the organization’s executive committee and board of directors, he has also held the positions of treasurer, at-large officer, and first vice chair.
In his chairman’s acceptance speech, Penner stated that change is always on the trucking industry’s horizon. TCA, as the voice of the truckload segment, must embrace the future by building upon the strengths, capabilities, and influence it has built over its 79-year history. He outlined his hope for TCA to move from debate to action by charting a path, detailing a strategy, and focusing on executing that strategy to get things done.
Using a trucking analogy, Penner said that TCA could either be a “trailer,” which follows a path that others choose, or the “truck,” which “puts TCA at the front of the line to lead and provides us the opportunity to tell our story, over and over again.” He said that under his leadership, he hopes to “move the needle on issues that have been with us for decades … through one strong and consistent message that we all share, with a loud, unified voice.”
He then announced the formation of a strategic task force that will research issues affecting productivity, profitability, and the movement of freight across North America. The findings will be turned into a position paper that can be used to provide the background context and rationale that goes into the development and adoption of TCA policies.
“Today, it appears we are trapped spending the majority of our face time with Lawmakers and Regulators talking about what we don’t want… What we need is for them to give us time to talk about what we stand for, not what we stand against,” he said. “We want a seat at the table, and the only way we get that is if we are viewed as a thoughtful partner, capable of presenting meaningful, viable and sustainable solutions to complex problems, and that we back our position with truth and fact. Our new horizon may not be one we are familiar with, but it is one we can shape!”
Penner will lead TCA until the next Annual Convention, scheduled for March 25-28, 2018, at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
The following individuals will assist Penner as TCA’s officers: