New ATA Management is Praised in Arkansas
On July 9th, Chris Spear officially assumed the role of president and CEO for the American Trucking Associations. While Spear’s background in the industry has made him a well-known name and a trusted resource for many within the field, his new position has been particularly well received by those in Arkansas – a place that Spear is no stranger to.
Before succeeding Bill Graves in his new position at ATA, Spear served as vice president of government affairs for Hyundai Motor Company. However, before that, Spear served as a legislative director for US Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) from 2000-2001. He also was a speaker at the Arkansas Trucking Association’s annual meeting in Hot Springs last year. At this time, he’d recently been named as ATA’s vice president and chief of legislative affairs.
Shannon Newton, who serves as president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, spoke positively of Spear based through their contact at meetings in Washington. She said: “I’m very, very excited about the new hire and the energy, the new strategy and the new leadership style. I think the industry will actually benefit from having a more directed, tactical approach to moving legislation, advancing the priorities of the industry. It will be done with someone at the helm who is very inclusive and communicative. I think everyone will have a better understanding of what is going on and will be given the opportunity to weigh in and be helpful. That will make our industry stronger.”
Bill Graves, who will serve as a consultant until the end of this year, is still held in high regard by the industry. However, Spear’s experience on the legislative floor equips him with a slightly different skillset that many believe will prove valuable. Spear recently named four of his five appointees to his leadership team. These individuals bring similar skillsets which many believe will benefit ATA.