Robert Petrancosta, Con-way Freight’s vice president of safety, has been named the American Trucking Assns. (ATA) Safety Director of the Year. A 43-year industry veteran, Petrancosta began his career as a driver.

“Back when I started in trucking, I just wanted a good job that I could enjoy and enable me to provide for my family,” said Petrancosta. “It’s been all that and much more. I have been fortunate to work for good people and a good company that has encouraged me to learn and push to higher goals, and gave me the opportunities and support to achieve those goals. It’s humbling and gratifying to be honored with this award.”

“Bob is a true leader and has represented the entire trucking industry with such dedication, passion and integrity,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO. “He is truly the consummate professional who has been instrumental in creating an enduring, wide-spread and results-oriented safety culture.”

Petrancosta joined Con-way Freight in 1988 and over his career has advanced with the company from driver to freight operations supervisor, safety supervisor, service center manager, manager of safety, and director of safety and environmental. Since 2007 he has served as the company’s vice president of safety. He is responsible for all safety and Compliance activities for Con-way Freight and its 21,000-person workforce spanning a network of over 300 service centers in North America.

“There is no individual in the LTL industry with more credibility and respect as an advocate and a leader in motor carrier safety than Bob Petrancosta,” said Doug Stotlar, Con-way Inc. president & CEO. “His credibility stems from his experience. When he speaks to our drivers about safety best practices and how to improve, they listen, because they know he comes from their world and understands the challenges and rigors of the job they do every day. And he still has his CDL!”

Petrancosta has been an active member of several ATA committees including the Hazardous Materials Committee (Chair), the Safety Policy Committee, the Hours of Service Subcommittee, the Occupational Safety & Health Committee, the Regulations Committee (Chair), the National Truck Driving Championships Committee. He was appointed by the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to two two-year terms on the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee. He also was previously honored with the ATA’s Safety and Loss Prevention Management Council’s 2006 Leadership Award. Mr. Petrancosta attended Waubonsee College, Sugar Grove, Ill., majoring in hazardous materials technology. He and his wife, Patti, live in Ann Arbor.