Arkansas Trucking Association celebrates 90 years and hosts conference in Hot Springs

Little Rock-based trade group Arkansas Trucking Association will host its annual business conference this week in Hot Springs as it celebrates its 90th anniversary, according to a Monday, May 9, press release.

Executive forums will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Hot Springs Convention Center. According to the release, approximately 300 attendees, including trucking executives and industry and political leaders, are expected to attend.

Guest speakers include Gus Malzahn, head football coach at the University of Central Florida, and Governor Asa Hutchinson. Speakers at the event will address leadership, electric vehicles, labor shortages, politics and rising insurance costs.

“Transportation is in a time of groundbreaking advances in safety, durability and reliability, and our state is well positioned to take the lead in moving our industry forward,” said ATA President Shannon Newton. “The individuals and companies we recognize at our awards luncheon help ensure that safety remains a top priority for our industry as we move forward.”

Harold Sumerford, president of the American Trucking Associations, will speak about the leadership of the organization and the J&M Tank Lines trucking company, cybersecurity challenges and the future of the industry.

Ken Gronbach, author and president of KGC Direct, will provide information on US demographics and the changing workforce. DriverReach founder Jeremy Reymer will moderate a panel on the employment landscape, driver and technician shortages, retirement age and the impact of the pandemic.

“This year our association celebrates 90 years of promoting and protecting the trucking industry in Arkansas,” said Newton. “We are proud of our rich history and the leaders who have guided us through recessions and pandemics. This conference is an opportunity for current and future leaders to come together, learn from each other, strengthen those relationships, and develop a game plan for success.

Here are some other contributors:
• Becky Keogh, Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment
• Dr. Charisse Childers, Arkansas Division of Workforce Services
• Jack Atkins, Stephens Inc.
• Butch Rice, Stallion Transport Group
• Patrick Simmons, Tyson Foods
• Dr. Alex Leslie, American Institute for Transportation Research
• JR Davis, Gilmore | Davis Strategic Group
• Blake Eddins, Eddins & Associates

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