HELP Inc. announced Karen Rasmussen, president and CEO, as the 2017 recipient of the J. R. "Bob" Halladay Award from the Trucking Associations Executive Council (TAEC).

The award was presented to Rasmussen at the 2017 TAEC annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Halladay Award’s namesake is the late J.R. “Bob” Halladay, the first elected chairman of ATA’s TAEC. He began his career in the trucking industry in 1952 with the Kansas Motor Carrier Association and, in the decades that followed, was instrumental in developing legislation that helped boost the trucking industry’s role in post-war America. Halladay held a number of positions with ATA before retiring in 1990, and wrote The Story of the American Trucking Associations in 1994. Rasmussen is the 21st recipient of the award since its inception in 1991.

"Karen Rasmussen’s dedication, loyalty, hard work and endless efforts in the trucking industry are unprecedented. She is a consensus builder and believes in what is best for highway safety,” said David Lorenzen, Iowa Dept. of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement and chairman of HELP. “She supports the state trucking associations and has a keen sense of how to bridge gaps that can occur within industry, law enforcement and the legislatures both within states and nationally toward positive solutions. I congratulate her selection to receive the Halladay Award.”

"Receiving the Halladay Award is one of the most meaningful milestones of my career," Rasmussen said. "Bob was not only a friend and mentor, but was also one of the people I most respected in the commercial transportation industry. He was a pioneer in association management and a leader in industry government affairs," she said. "He was also an encyclopedia on the trucking industry who taught many of us much of what we know about the industry's history."

Rasmussen has led HELP for nearly five years after serving as president and CEO of the Arizona Trucking Association for 11 years while concurrently serving on HELP's Board of Directors as Arizona's private sector representative. Rasmussen's 40-year career in trucking and truck safety also included lengthy tenures with the California Trucking Association, Ryder System, Inc., Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Oklahoma Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.