LAS VEGAS, Nevada — The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has elected Tom Kretsinger, Jr., president of American Central Transport, Inc., Liberty, Missouri, as its 2013-2014 chairman.
Kretsinger received his bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College and his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. In 1981, he chose to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by joining the family law firm, Kretsinger & Kretsinger, which specialized in motor carrier law. He also became involved with American Central Transport (ACT), the trucking company that his father purchased in the 1970s as E.K. Motor Service and then renamed. In 1998, he became ACT’s general counsel; he has served as its president since 2005.
Kretsinger writes and speaks on industry issues on BigTruckTV.com and is a regular speaker and panelist for the industry at many events. He has been active in TCA as a member of the organization’s executive committee and board of directors. Some of his previous positions include first and second vice chair, treasurer, at-large officer, and scholarship fund trustee. Over the years, he has served on TCA’s Benchmarking Management Panel, Regulatory Policy Committee, Carrier/Shipper Relations Committee, Bylaws Committee, and Independent Contractor Practices Policy Committee. He also serves as chairman of the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Litigation Center, vice chairman of its Labor and Regulatory Policy Committee, and is a member of ATA’s executive committee and board of directors. Locally, he is a past chairman of the Missouri Trucking Association, and he still sits on that organization’s board of directors.
During his year at the helm of TCA, Kretsinger is looking to strengthen and build upon the achievements of the two most recent chairmen. “I appreciate the important contributions that my predecessors, Chairman Gary Salisbury and Chairman Robert Low, have made to the industry’s image and, particularly, drivers’ health. We need to build on the foundation they’ve laid,” he said.
Kretsinger’s first objective as chairman will be to conduct a strategic plan, something TCA has only done twice in the last 20 years. The result should produce a snapshot of what the organization should look like in three years, with the ultimate goal of building a “best in class” organization that will keep truckload issues moving forward well into the future.
“I believe annual planning is an excellent way to focus on the important things and help TCA carry out the mission envisioned by its members. It will allow leadership to track our progress toward important goals, help maintain continuity as leadership changes, and develop dashboards (key performance indicators) to determine objectively if we’re being successful in the areas of most importance to the truckload segment. After all, in order to get to where you’re going, one has to know the destination,” he said.
The avid outdoorsman and fisherman plans to build on TCA’s current truck driver image and health and wellness efforts, such as Trucking’s Weight Loss Showdown, the Highway Angel program, and the Wreaths Across America initiative, and take these important activities to the next level. “Drivers are the most valuable, but increasingly rare resource vital to the trucking business,” he said. “In three years, we want to be changing our image, making a difference, and improving our drivers’ lives.”
While Kretsinger plans to continue TCA’s highly successful educational and networking offerings, he is also mindful of the membership’s viewpoints and the increasingly regulated nature of their businesses. Therefore, he will place renewed emphasis on advocacy and will appoint a committee to explore ways that TCA’s policies can generate the best possible impact in Washington. “Our members’ voices need to be heard. Working within and in conjunction with ATA, truckload carriers are a powerful voice and have a lot more influence in shaping policy than they sometimes realize,” he said.
Kretsinger will lead TCA until the next Annual Convention, scheduled for March 23-26, 2014, at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. The following individuals were elected to assist him, including Bison Transport’s Rob Penner, who will serve as treasurer:
First Vice Chairman: Shepard Dunn, President & CEO, Best Way Express, Inc., Vincennes, Indiana
Second Vice Chairman: Keith Tuttle, President, Motor Carrier Service, Inc., Northwood, Ohio
Secretary: Russell Stubbs, CEO & President, FFE Transportation Services, Inc., Dallas, Texas
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