Arkansas Trucking Association turns 90, 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 year, according to a Monday (May 9) news release.

Executive forums will take place Wednesday and Thursday at the Hot Springs Convention Center. According to the release, about 300 attendees, comprising trucking executives and industry and political leaders, are expected to participate.

Featured speakers include Gus Malzahn, head football coach at the University of Central Florida, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Event speakers will address leadership, electric vehicles, workforce shortages, politics and rising insurance costs.

“Transportation is in a period of revolutionary advancements in terms of safety, sustainability and reliability, and our state is well-positioned to take the lead in driving our industry forward,” ATA President Shannon Newton said. “The individuals and businesses we recognize at our awards luncheon are helping ensure safety remains a top priority for our industry as we progress.”

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

Ken Gronbach, author and president of KGC Direct, will provide insights on U.S. demographics and workforce changes. DriverReach founder Jeremy Reymer will moderate a panel on the employment landscape, the driver and technician shortages, retirement ages and the pandemic impact.

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

Following are other speakers:
• Becky Keogh, Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment
• Dr. Charisse Childers, Arkansas Division of Workforce Services
• Jack Atkins, Stephens Inc.
• Butch Rice, Stallion Transportation Group
• Patrick Simmons, Tyson Foods
• Dr. Alex Leslie, American Transportation Research Institute
• J.R. Davis, Gilmore | Davis Strategy Group
• Blake Eddins, Eddins & Associates

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