Shepard Dunn, president & CEO of Bestway Express of Vincennes, IN, has been elected chairman for 2014-15 by the board of directors of the Truckload Carriers Assn. The vote took place as part of the organization’s annual convention at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX.
According to TCA, Dunn got involved with the trucking industry in an 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. 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.
Dunn is active in TCA 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 Corp., 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 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:
- First Vice Chairman: Keith Tuttle, President, Motor Carrier Service, Inc., Northwood, Ohio
- Second Vice Chairman: Russell Stubbs, CEO & President, Frozen Food Express, Dallas, Texas
- Secretary: Daniel I. Doran, President, Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Treasurer: Rob Penner, Executive Vice President and COO, Bison Transport, Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Association Vice President to ATA: Thomas Witt, President, Roehl Flatbed & Specialized, Roehl Transport Inc., Marshfield, Wisconsin
- Immediate Past Chairman: Tom Kretsinger, Jr., President, American Central Transport, Inc., Liberty, Missouri
- At-Large Officer: Dennis Dellinger, President, Cargo Transporters, Inc., Claremont, North Carolina
- At-Large Officer: Josh Kaburick, Chief Operating Officer, Earl L. Henderson Trucking Company, Salem, Illinois
- At-Large Officer: Daniel L. Oren, Vice President, Dart Transit Company, Eagan, Minnesota
- At-Large Officer: Aaron Tennant, President, Tennant Truck Lines, Inc., Colona, Illinois