ARLINGTON, Va. (July 7, 2016) — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has tabbed Chris Spear, a former ATA senior vice president of legislative affairs, to be its president and CEO, succeeding the retiring Bill Graves.
Mr. Spear is returning to the ATA from Hyundai Motor Co., where he is vice president of government affairs. He previously was with the ATA from March 2014 to October 2015, before moving to Huyandai.
During his 20 months with the ATA, Mr. Spear was instrumental in developing and advancing the association's strategic advocacy agenda, which resulted in public policy that advanced ATA's pro-trucking, pro-safety and pro-efficiency agenda, the ATA said.
Mr. Spear also worked for Honeywell International, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Labor, and as a staffer for three U.S. senators.
Mr. Graves is retiring after more than 13 years with the ATA.
“Chris' enthusiasm for the trucking industry and the mission of ATA — to effectively advocate and communicate efforts that improve safety and profitability for our members — is second to none,” said ATA Chairman Pat Thomas, senior vice president of state government affairs at United Parcel Service of America Inc.
“We had many excellent candidates for the position, but [Mr.] Spear is the right fit for the organization. We are extremely pleased that he will be joining us.”
Mr. Spear called trucking “the backbone of our economy and a catalyst for American job growth, delivering critical goods to businesses and homes coast-to-coast. I am excited to work alongside ATA's members and federation partners to ensure the industry continues to prosper and safely move our nation forward.”
Former ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, headed up the search committee for finding Mr. Graves' successor. He said Mr. Spear “has the strategic vision and leadership to maintain ATA's position as the strongest voice on behalf of the trucking industry in Washington and beyond.”
Mr. Byrd also lauded Mr. Graves for his 13 years' service to the ATA.
“It's been my honor to lead ATA as president and CEO for almost 14 years,” Mr. Graves said in an ATA press release.
“Trucking has always been close to my heart, and I'm very proud that a trucking company bore my family's name. Now is the time to pass on the leadership responsibility to Chris, a person whom I have great respect for and confidence in his ability to lead ATA. I look forward to providing assistance in his leadership transition.”