Page 1

POLI TI CAL CHANGE: Howt heT r uc k i ng I ndus t r yCanI nf l ue nc e Out c ome s

Wi nt er2018


VOLUME 11, Issue 4 Open Road is owned by the Louisiana Motor Transport Association and published four times a year. For more information, contact the LMTA at 225-928-5682.

EXECUTIVE editor / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

D. Chance McNeely chance@lmta.la

CONTENTS

Letter From the Executive Director 3 D. Chance McNeely

LMTA’s strategic plan 4 Paving the Way for a Bright Future by Drew Hawkins

MEMBER SERVICES

Rachel E. Justus rachel@lmta.la

renaissance publishing Editor Topher Balfer art director Molly Tullier Chief Executive officer Todd Matherne vP of sales Colleen Monaghan account executive Shelby Harper Shelby@myneworleans.com | (504) 830-7246 contributing writers

Drew Hawkins, Alexander Jusdanis Photographer John Ballance

Highway Funding 10 It’s Time to Take Back the Head Seat at the Table by Chance McNeely

Changing the Legislative Landscape 12 LMTA and TransPAC Aim to Change the Status Quo by Alexander Jusdanis

HELP Inc. CEO Karen Rasmussen: 16 Finding the Balance Between Safety and Efficiency by Drew Hawkins

FEDEX Manager of Government Affairs, Bill Primeaux: 18 Trucking in the Legislative Arena by Drew Hawkins

LMTA Officers Andrew Guinn, Sr.

Chairman of the Board Port Aggregates, Inc. Lake Charles, LA Gary Gobert President Lake City Trucking Lake Charles, LA

David Newman 1st Vice President Newman Transport, LLC Pearl River, LA

Todd Ruple 2nd Vice President Preferred Materials, Inc. Sibley, LA

Tim Ordoyne Vice President at Large Schriever, LA

Judy Smart Secretary RoadRunner Towing & Recovery, Inc. Baton Rouge, LA

Ben Hogan ATA Vice President Dedicated Transportation, LLC

Advertisers Index 20

Lafayette, LA

Kary Bryce ATA Vice President Alternate Preferred Materials, Inc.

Mike Knotts Treasurer Cobbs, Allen & Hall of Louisiana, Inc.

Sibley, LA

Bossier City, LA

Q4 NEW LMTA Members Louisiana Motor Transport Association (LMTA) is a Louisiana association of trucking companies, private carrier fleets and businesses which serve or supply the trucking industry. LMTA serves these companies as a government affairs representative before legislative, regulatory and executive branches of government on issues that affect the trucking industry. The association also provides public relations services and serves as a forum for industry meetings and membership relations. For information contact LMTA at: Louisiana Motor Transport Association, Inc. 4838 Bennington Avenue • PO Box 80278 Baton Rouge, LA 70898 • Phone: 225-928-5682 • Fax: 225-928-0500 www.lmta.la Copyright 2018 Open Road, Louisiana Motor Transport Association and Renaissance Publishing LLC. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Louisiana Motor Transport Association, Inc. 4838 Bennington Avenue • PO Box 80278 . No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the owner or Publisher. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazine’s managers, owners or publisher. Open Road is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope.

Bayou Insurance Jeffrey Gordon 1300 Hudson Lane, Ste. 15 Monroe, LA 71201 318-805-6448

East Texas Truck Center, LLC Josh Burch and Ronnie Gulledge 3009 NW Stallings Dr. Nacogdoches, TX 75964 888-488-3024

Jody Cloud Trucking, LLC Jody and Heather Cloud PO Box 259 Turkey Creek, LA 70585 337-461-7729

Southwest Engineers John Philip Vehorn and Gretta G. Golden 39478 Highway 190 East Slidell, LA 70461 985-643-1117

110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 • www.bizneworleans.com

OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

1


2

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2 018


Letter from the Executive Director Dear readers, This edition of Open Road magazine takes a look at where LMTA is headed. We have a great strategic plan that will bring LMTA to the next level, across all aspects of the association. That being said, I want to highlight some key aspects of 2018. It was a big year for LMTA. 2018 set a record as the year that the Louisiana Legislature met the most. It actually felt that it would never end, but LMTA fared well. We stopped another attempt at lane restrictions, we passed a bill to stop escort companies from operating without adequate insurance, and we created a LMTA license plate to raise money for the Foundation. Considering all that was at stake, I am proud of what we protected and accomplished last year. The remainder of 2018 consisted of LMTA revamping its internal operations. I am proud to say that we are now positioned to deliver a better member experience in 2019 and beyond. We have an aggressive recruitment strategy for new members and a team to get it done. We had record turnouts at our events last year, and we have put together a team that will continue to build on this success. To make everything come together, please take the time to attend our new event — the LMTA Winter Management Summit — on Feb 11–13 in Shreveport-Bossier. You can register online when you check out our new website www.lmta.la. Also, download our new app that will serve as a year-round resource and that will host the agendas for all of our events. You can search your App Store for LMTA or LA Motor Transport. It’s free and easy to use! Be sure to allow location services and push notifications so we can stay in touch! I hope you enjoy this edition of Open Road and I look forward to seeing you at our great events this year! Sincerely,

D. Chance McNeely Executive Director Louisiana Motor Transport Association 318-518-5367 (C) OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

3


LMTA’s

Strategic Plan PAVING THE WAY FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE

By DREW HAWKINS

The Louisiana Motor Transport Association is gearing up for a new level of success. Earlier this year, LMTA officers tasked new Executive Director Chance McNeely and a management consulting firm with creating a five-year strategic plan, part of an initiative to solidify LMTA’s leadership status as the voice of Louisiana’s trucking industry. LMTA’s members range from small businesses with single vehicles to larger fleets, and it also includes vendors and suppliers. This membership base reflects the wide spectrum of the trucking population, and LMTA exists to promote and facilitate business growth for the trucking industry at large. Moreover, LMTA runs a number of committees and councils that address different issues and represent different aspects of the membership base. Constant improvements and evolving strategies are required to combat the challenges facing today’s trucking industry — challenges such as fewer drivers on the road and rapidly climbing insurance rates. Such obstacles demand an innovative and forward-thinking game plan. To accomplish this, LMTA enlisted Louisiana-based management consulting firm Emergent Method to develop a strategic planning process for the future. Utilizing company experience and extensive research, Emergent Method helped to identify the needs and goals of the LMTA and developed strategies to ensure the plan’s success, safeguarding against any issues that LMTA as an organization might face. “The goal is to elevate LMTA’s operations in every aspect,” said Seth Irby, Senior Consultant at Emergent Method. “By improving board governance and engagement, growing the membership base

and improving membership experience, in addition to being a voice for the industry at the state legislature, we’ll push LMTA’s priorities.” As part of their development, Emergent Method surveyed the LMTA staff, board and members to craft a summary report that identifies the priorities and needs of the organization itself, as well as Louisiana’s trucking industry as a whole. As for the game plan, LMTA staff were involved in the process to develop a strategy and identify the best ways to implement that strategic vision. The resulting product involves a comprehensive month-by-month program, with regular evaluations and reliable performance metrics to gauge success. Why all these moving parts? Emergent Method created a living document that can be adapted to the fast-paced and changing landscape of the state’s trucking industry. As the needs of LMTA’s membership evolve, so too will the company’s strategic plan. “If you’re using the exact same plan we gave you a year ago, you’re probably doing something wrong,” Irby said. LMTA aims to move into the future as a leading member organization, with prosperous membership and benefits that advance its interests. Each component of the company plays a crucial role in its success, from the decision-making leaders to staff and the individual members, and it is critical for these components to work in sync. Because of this, Emergent Method created a strategic plan that encompasses priority areas of the LMTA: the board, internal operations, membership growth, membership experience and governmental affairs.

INTERNAL OPERATIONS

BOARD RECRUITMENT, ENGAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE

4

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2 018

MEMBERSHIP EXPERIENCE

MEMBERSHIP GROWTH

GOVERMENTAL AFFAIRS


1

Board Recruitment, Engagement and Governance LMTA aims to move into the future as a dynamic and visionary organization, capable of navigating a changing industry. In order to do so, the organization must have innovative leaders at the helm. LMTA’s Board of Directors comprises experienced industry professionals from various cities, all with the goal of advancing LMTA and the trucking industry. The strategic plan aims to ensure that LMTA will continue to have the highest-caliber leaders whose time and talents are used to their full potential, meeting annually to plan for the future and assess the company’s performance in all areas. It is up to the Board not only to set the vision for the future, but to ensure that LMTA is functioning to fulfill this vision.

2

INTERNAL OPERATIONS

• Development of a board job description will clearly define the roles, responsibilities and expected commitments of board members, elected officers, committee chairmen, divisional vice presidents and chapter presidents. • By clearly defining the working relationship between staff and the board, proper board oversight will be established, and staff will feel empowered to own their unique areas of operation. • Updating bylaws will ensure alignment with the newly adopted strategic plan. To identify areas of improvement, an annual board and staff assessment process will be conducted to provide active feedback for the plan.

If the Board members are the organization visionaries, the LMTA staff are the boots on the ground. The goal is to modernize operations to be as efficient as possible for LMTA to reach its full potential and provide a better membership experience. After all, the day-to-day operations of LMTA are what drive the overall success of the organization. The staff members are tasked with accomplishing the strategic goals that help the organization’s mission become a reality.

Because LMTA is a robust and complex organization, there are many opportunities for growth. Therefore, it is critical that LMTA staff and the resources that support it must be top-notch for all other areas of operation to excel and for the strategic goals to be met.

• Improve the hiring and onboarding process and staff development program in order to increase retention and satisfaction. This includes continuous improvement of internal processes, infrastructure and management to ensure the successful implementation of the strategic plan. • “We’re looking to modernize. This includes updating software and hardware, as well as updating older policies and procedures, in order to streamline operations and ensure that staff reaches their full potential,” McNeely said. • I​ncrease annual revenues to $1.5 million by 2023 to fund the advancement of strategic initiatives and improve membership experience. In addition to this, a long-term solution for the LMTA Office that provides adequate space, amenities and resources must be identified as the organization moves forward with this strategic vision.

OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

5


6

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2 018


3

MEMBERSHiP GROWTH

“LMTA is its members,” McNeely said. LMTA’s membership base drives the fiscal health, reach, visibility, political influence and reputation of the organization. Members pay dues, serve on committees and the Board, provide resources, attract new members and act as ambassadors for the organization. Simply put, LMTA can do more for the trucking industry if they represent a larger portion of the industry. The quality and quantity of the membership base are the driving forces behind LMTA’s ability to fulfill its mission and achieve its vision.

• Dramatically increase the size of the organization to allow access to more resources and expand reach and reputation. The goal is not just for a rapid increase in membership, but for sustained growth by making recruitment and retention a priority. “We do not want to be comfortable with the status quo,” McNeely said. • Expand geographic reach and percentage of the total trucking companies represented by providing compelling membership benefits to increase growth and retention. • Help to improve the performance and operations of member companies. By renewing focus on carrier members and overall improvement of LMTA’s membership recruitment strategy, the plan aims to increase total memberships to 600 by 2021 and 750 by 2023.

4

MEMBERSHiP EXPERIENCE

It’s no secret that if folks are happy, they tend to stick around. Membership retention is directly correlated to membership satisfaction. This satisfaction is driven by the experience LMTA offers. The sheer diversity of LMTA’s membership, which includes fleet companies as well as individual drivers, makes it no small feat to meet the needs of each member. To address these challenges, LMTA strives to provide many opportunities for members to get involved in the association’s operations, expand their professional network, and gain new skills through an expanded education and training program. To achieve long term affinity, the rallying cry that should spur all members is the momentous importance of promoting the trucking industry and addressing the critical issues that face it.

To support the membership experience, the strategic plan features several established goals and priorities to improve membership retention, participation and satisfaction.

• Increasing engagement with younger members in order to cultivate the next generation of leaders, as well as providing meaningful educational opportunities, events and partnerships for all members. • By improving marketing and communication efforts and infrastructure, LMTA can ensure that the association remains relevant and can effectively reach its target audiences. • McNeely wants to make sure that the LMTA of the future very clearly answers the important question: “What do I get when I am a member?” The strategic plan includes data and analytics that allow for improved and ongoing assessment of membership satisfaction. Ultimately, LMTA aims to reach 90% membership retention rate by 2023.

OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

7


8

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2 018


5

GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

As most Louisiana trucking professionals know, the industry has long endured political issues that hinder its prosperity. “Everything that you own has been on a truck,” said McNeely, “and people seem to forget that.” It is paramount that LMTA be able to successfully advocate for legislation that promotes the goals of the trucking industry. Governmental affairs determine the future of this industry, and LMTA’s involvement in policy is “among the most important aspects” of the new strategic plan, according to McNeely.

The state legislature is often chaotic and unpredictable, with priorities and people changing on a regular basis. It is important that LMTA stay current and relevant. Fortunately, LMTA has a good team in place with valuable governmental experience that will help the organization navigate the changing landscape.

• Legislative goals include prioritization of highway funding, tort reform to stabilize the commercial liability insurance market, and added funds for initiatives to improve education and workforce development efforts. • Rename and develop a plan for the Governmental Affairs Committee to outline a long-term political strategy and ensure maximum operational efficacy. • LMTA looks to improve the entire trucking industry’s impact by sponsoring a positive and proactive public relations campaign.

the beginning of a new era for LMTA It’s the beginning of a new era for the Louisiana Motor Transport Association. Under the guidance of a new Executive Director, the company will adopt a comprehensive roadmap to realize its full potential beginning in 2019. The success of this strategic plan lies in the hours of work and planning that preceded its implementation, as well as its built-in ability to evolve as needed. “A plan with lofty goals and no strategy is setting the staff up to fail,” McNeely said. To ensure its success, this plan has been constructed to allow for it to be adapted to the ever-changing needs of LMTA and the trucking industry. Emergent Method designed three key “mile-markers” for the LMTA to evaluate its progress in achieving the goals of the strategic plan. These include a “performance scorecard” with performance metrics tailored to each section of the organization; this will used to update the Board and section heads in meetings. Each year, these scorecards will be updated for relevancy to the strategic plan. The second mile-marker is consistent feedback

from all areas of the organization and trucking community, and the third marker involves regular assessment of all staff and board members. To kick off the new strategic plan, Chance McNeely has organized the first ever “Winter Management Summit” to be held in Shreveport-Bossier from February 11-13 2019, with the purpose of introducing the strategy and assigning roles for the execution of that strategy. The goal is to make sure that everyone understands how to implement the vision. “For this strategy to work, we need all hands on deck,” said McNeely. Under these exciting developments, the LMTA will serve as a tenacious force within the trucking industry, constantly improving its services and assuming a leadership role. By regularly listening to and surveying members, staff and the board, and collecting feedback from key stakeholder groups and market research, LMTA will assume the mantle as the voice of the trucking industry — a voice that will be heard loud and clear for years to come. B

OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

9


Highway Funding:

The head seat at the table has always been ours, and it’s time to take it. By Chance McNeely

Per-Mile Cost Increases (2014-2015) Miles of NHS Segments: 8,012 Congestion Cost Change:

LOUISIANA’S COST OF CONGESTION A National Highway System (NHS) Analysis

LA Cost per NHS Segment Mile (2015) Total Cost: $1,983,024,503 Miles of NHS Segments: 8,012 LA Cost per Mile: $247,492 2015 State Rank: 9

Cost per NHS Segment Mile 2015

$247,492

Louisiana’s Congestion Cost Increase 2014 Congestion Cost: $1,084,754,304 2015 Congestion Cost: $1,983,024,503 Cost Increase: $898,270,200 Percent Change: 82.8%

Thirty years ago, politicians in Louisiana led us to believe that transportation funding had been solved. They were wrong and, motives aside, the state has been paying the price ever since. In 1989, the voters dedicated the existing 16-cent fuel tax to transportation and levied a new 4-cent tax to build 16 projects. We still have that 20-cent fuel tax today. The fuel tax is an excise tax: that means it’s a set amount per gallon with no tie to the cost of fuel. Excise taxes are cheap for government to collect and great for steady funding, but they fall short when it comes to keeping up with inflation and, with respect to the fuel tax, also fail to account for enhanced fuel economy over time. To keep its purchasing power, the fuel tax rate has to be increased periodically. In Louisiana, we haven’t done that, and we are all paying for it. Louisiana ranks among the top 10 states in the country for fuel burned by trucks that are stuck in traffic. It’s $250k per mile, per year, according the think-tank arm of the American Trucking Associations. The primary reason Louisiana hasn’t raised its fuel tax is because there is little trust in government. Our government has earned that in many ways, but starving the beast hasn’t gotten us anywhere. While a third party studied state DOT efficiency across all fifty states and found Louisiana to be the 14th most efficient, if nothing changes, DOTD’s operating expenses will continue to grow to the point where it consumes the entire state fuel tax. All states struggle with this issue and are pursuing solutions. Setting 10

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2018

2015 Congestion Cost Increase

$898,270,200 Per-Mile Change: $112,109 Percent Change: 82.8%

$898,270,200

PerMile Cost Increase

$112,109

*Numbers from the American Transportation Research Institute’s “Cost of Congestion to the Trucking Industry: 2017 Update”

up a structure that controls these expenses is an important precursor to raising the fuel tax. To get specific, did you know that 5 cents of the existing fuel tax goes specifically to DOTD employee health care and retirement costs? As a group of business executives, we know that those costs are skyrocketing for everyone, and we have to act to stop the cannibalization of the fuel tax. I think we need to give taxpayers their five cents back, and we can do this by permanently transferring this expense to the general fund. Similarly, we can cap DOTD’s operating expenses to permanently preserve the existing tax. These moves alone don’t solve the revenue problem — but they would stop the bleeding so that we can focus on solving the problem. In addition to not addressing these rising costs, past efforts to increase highway funding have been unrealistic. A 17-cent increase in one year with no reform? That hasn’t been done anywhere in the country, and the trucking industry will never stand for that approach. Phasing in an increase over time with smart reform is a proven method that many state trucking associations across the country have come to support in recent years. As primary highway users, the industry has an important voice and perspective in this debate. We are in a place now to not just be heard, but to steer the conversation. As the only consumer organization in this decades-long debate, the head seat at the table belongs to LMTA. If we don’t take it, someone else will. B


OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

11


Changing the Legislative Landscape

With elections on the way, LMTA and TransPAC aim to change the status quo By Alexander Jusdanis

The nuts and bolts of politics and policy

It’s easy to get lost in the terminology: lobbying, political action committees, campaigns, election cycles, caucuses, and the list goes on. The fact is, these terms amount to a hill of beans for most business owners who are busy trying to keep the world going around. That is particularly true in trucking, as its executives are generally involved in multiple aspects of operations. One of the key reasons that industries create trade associations — like LMTA — is to pool resources that allow them to hire a professional staff to deal with the political “mumbo-jumbo” described in the opening line. For Louisiana trucking, and the LMTA, this task has never been more important. To try and simplify everything, trade associations lobby public officials. Lobbying is ultimately a communicative effort that seeks to influence the decisions of public officials. It’s about building relationships of mutual respect and working collaboratively to achieve policy goals for the industry. Being able to do this takes effort and time. Political action committees (PACs) are a different animal. PACs are seeking not to directly influence public officials — that’s lobbying — but to instead elect the public officials who are empathetic to both business and the trucking industry. Are the two areas related? Sure. However, it’s much easier to get wins lobbying if the right people are elected in the first place. That is why a well-funded political action committee and trade association will position an industry to be successful. The stage is set for 2019 to be a huge election year for Louisiana that will have lasting impacts on the trucking industry. With 12

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2018

legislative elections on the horizon, more than 60 seats between the House and Senate are up for grabs, marking a unique opportunity to re-establish the industry’s footing in government and the everchanging Louisiana political landscape. The results of the election could mean big change for the trucking industry or, if the wrong people get elected, it could mean more of the same challenges.

The Louisiana Disparity

Historically, excessive litigation has been a financial drain for Louisiana’s trucking companies. Many trial lawyers have made a profitable business out of suing the state’s trucking companies, driving up insurance rates to unreasonable levels. And since many of these law firms hold strong influence over the legislature and judiciary, the trucking industry has its work cut out. Trucking companies in Louisiana are paying three-to-five times as much — or more — for auto liability insurance than those in other states. These high premiums strain Louisiana companies and put them and all Louisiana businesses at a major competitive disadvantage. The damage of high trucking insurance premiums extend way beyond the industry itself. “These volatile yearly increases in premiums often eliminate a trucking company’s profit margin. The only way to stay in business is to eventually pass on some of the cost to shippers, and one way or another that gets passed on to consumers. The point being, our state’s entire economy suffers. It’s bad for the Louisiana citizen,” McNeely said. Insurance premiums aren’t high because Louisiana’s trucks are comparatively reckless, though. In fact, McNeely said they’re safer than the national average. According to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform,


Louisiana has the worst legal climate of any state in the country. This has opened the door for frivolous — and lucrative — lawsuits. The vast number of highway billboards advertising the services of personal injury lawyers makes it clear: in Louisiana, suing trucking companies is big business. “Unfair lawsuits are driving up our insurance rates, and it’s unsustainable,” said McNeely. “We have to do something to reign that in.”

A Chance to Turn the Tables

This next chance is the 2019 state legislative election. Due to the lasting effects of term limits being implemented, Louisiana will see an unprecedented turnover in the legislature in next year’s elections. This opens up a window for the trucking industry to make a serious change in the makeup of the House and Senate. Louisiana voted to implement legislative term limits of 12 years in 1995, and they first took effect in 2007. These limits were introduced to prevent legislators from holding onto unopposed seats indefinitely, one of several measures intended to make legislative politics feel like a civic duty instead of a career move. “I like to tell people, we’ve done such a good job of making this not a good job,” said Danny Martiny, a Republican Senator whose term will be up in 2019. For example, Martiny noted how legislators’ pay has been fixed at $22,800 per year for almost four decades, and how they recently reduced retirement benefits. The trucking industry has long had a strong ally in Martiny, and with his departure, must work to find new allies in the legislature. While term limits were put into effect with good intentions, they have brought along unforeseen side effects that have significantly altered Louisiana politics. For one, instead of running against an incumbent and facing a potential loss, many potential candidates now simply wait until the incumbent is termed out so that they can run unopposed. Because the limits were introduced all at once, the makeup of the legislature drastically changes once every 12 years. When term limits first came into effect in 2007, 70 legislative seats — roughly two-thirds of the legislature — went up for grabs. In next year’s election, 64 seats will open up, and the stakes are very high. The legislators who fill them will not only make up the majority for the next 12 years, but they will also re-draw Louisiana’s legislative and congressional districts in both 2020 and 2030. This massive turnover is both a blessing and a curse, McNeely explained. If the trucking industry can work to elect a majority of truly pro-business candidates, the legislature can be reclaimed. For this reason, the Political Director of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry John Diez said, “2019 will be the most pivotal election in Louisiana history.”

The Voice of the Trucking Industry

Luckily, the trucking industry is structured to help turn the tides in the upcoming election with its political action committee: Trans PAC. This non-partisan political action committee supports candidates who support and understand the Louisiana trucking industry. “In order to protect our businesses, we must have a legislature that views a thriving business community as an asset to our state,” said TransPAC Chairperson Nataly Bryce. “TransPAC is about getting the right people in office.” This doesn’t just mean blindly electing conservatives. McNeely said that there are a lot of “foxes in the henhouse,” candidates who successfully run conservative campaigns and then vote for expanding lawsuits once in the legislature. TransPAC painstakingly identifies the real pro-business candidates and strategically spends money on their campaigns and against their opponents. TransPAC is one of the industry’s best tools for retaking the legislature. To make real headway, it needs the support of the companies it represents, and this comes down to donations. According to Diez, next year’s election cycle promises to be one of the most expensive in recent history, so it is imperative that the trucking industry comes together and pitch in as much as possible to outspend and out-campaign the trial lawyers, once and for all. It’s important to note that paying LMTA membership dues does not directly support TransPAC. As a PAC, TransPAC is a legally separate entity from the LMTA and has to function with its own separate contributions. When filling out LMTA dues, there is an option to donate $200 to TransPAC, but in reality, this is just the beginning. Ensuring a big win next year will take more than that, and there has never been a more crucial time to donate. “This is our shot,” said McNeely. “There’s a lot at stake here. If the true business folks are not elected this cycle, then we’ve got a long time before we have another chance.” Diez echoed McNeely’s urgency: “You know they say: Get involved in politics or get out of business!” B

To contribute to this cause, please make checks payable to TransPAC and mail to PO Box 80278, Baton Rouge, LA 70898. Any amount makes a difference.

OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

13


14

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2018


OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

15


Allied Industry SPOTLIGHT

HELP Inc. CEO Karen Rasmussen: Finding the Balance Between Safety and Efficiency By Drew Hawkins Currently celebrating their 25th anniversary, HELP Inc. was the first non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to advancing the safety and efficiency of the commercial transportation industry. “Our sole mission is truck safety and efficiency,” said CEO Karen Rasmussen. HELP Inc. traces their origins to the 80s, when a group of transportation directors and trucking executives teamed up to find a way to pre-screen and weigh qualified, safe commercial trucks at highway speeds. This initiative sought to provide greater efficiency to both the trucking industry and the state enforcement agencies by focusing weigh station inspections on carriers that needed attention, while safe trucks with solid safety scores and valid credentials could save time, fuel and money by bypassing unnecessary inspections. To resolve the inherent distrust between public agencies and the trucking industry, a third-party was needed. To fill this need, HELP Inc. was established. “By using technology to pre-check and pre-clear carriers,” Rasmussen said, “our goal is to create a balance between truck safety and public safety.”

16

O P E N R OAD Q2 WI NTER 2 0 1 8 2018

Rasmussen became the CEO of Help Inc. in 2012, the culmination of a career in transportation safety spanning more than 40 years. She’s received many trucking industry awards, including the Mike Russell Trucking Industry Image Award from American Trucking Associations in 2016 and the J.R. “Bob” Halladay Award from the Trucking Associations Executive Council in 2017. Rasmussen and HELP Inc. both support LMTA’s mission and assist in LMTA safety programs. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the most efficient trucking company in the world, you must do it safely,” she said. “Louisiana has been a great partner,” said Rasmussen. “LMTA support is helpful with law enforcement and the public sector.” And she’s happy to see that motor carriers are recognizing that without LMTA, they would be fighting regulations on their own. “I believe in the work of the state association. They serve a vital role in industry advocacy. I don’t know how you’d survive without it.” Karen’s message for Louisiana truckers? “Join your association, get involved and support it!” B


Trucking MEMBER PROFILE

FEDEX Manager of Government Affairs, Bill Primeaux: Trucking in the Legislative Arena By Drew Hawkins Bill Primeaux was hired by FedEx back when it was known as Federal Express. “I’ve been with FedEx Corporation going on 32 years,” he said, “and it’s been an exciting ride.” Primeaux boasts a family lineage that can be traced back to the turn of the 18th century, when his family was expelled from Nova Scotia, along with the rest of the Acadians, and eventually settled in South Louisiana. Suffice it to say, Bill never thought he would find himself working for FedEx in Tennessee. “I’m a proud Louisianian,” he proclaims, “who happens to have found himself in Memphis.” Bill’s experience with governmental affairs goes way back. For the majority of those 32 years, Bill worked in the legal and regulatory divisions of the company — which is why Bill appreciates LMTA’s legislative efforts. “LMTA has a proven track record in educating Louisiana’s policymakers about the essential role the trucking industry plays in Louisiana’s economy.” Bill touts LMTA’s promotion of responsible policies to improve highway safety and advance the industry’s environmental goals.

These efforts also align with the goals of a courier delivery services company like FedEx Corporation. “Our mission is multifold,” Bill said, listing five key goals. “The first is to produce superior financial returns for FedEx shareowners via high value-added logistics, transportation and related business services through focused operating companies.” Other goals relate to quality and ethics: meeting customer requirements in the highest quality manner; developing mutually rewarding relationships with team members, partners and suppliers; safety as the first consideration in all operations; and conducting corporate activities to the highest ethical and professional standards. Bill plans to return home to his Acadiana roots in Louisiana someday, but in the meantime, he’ll continue to represent FedEx Corporation and the trucking industry as a whole in legislative matters. “I am proud to call myself a FedEx team member for all these years.” B


OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

19


Advertiser Index Cobbs, Allen & Hall..................................... .................inside front cover & back cover Roadrunner Towing and Recovery INC....2 Wells Fargo Equipment Finance...............3 Dwight Andrus Insurance.........................6 Seven Oaks Capital Associates, LLC.........8 Kenworth of Louisiana...........................11 Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson L.L.P...........14 United Petrolium Transports.................15 Drivers Legal Plan..................................16 Help INC.................................................17 Newman Transport LLC.........................18 Tristate Refrigeration.............................19 JJ Keller..................................................20 Vertical Alliance Group, LLC...................20 United Vision Logistics...........................20 Southern Tire Mart.................................21 Bruckner’s..............................................22 Idea Mill..................................................23 Woodale Truck Repair............................24 Perkins & Associates......inside back cover

20

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2018


OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

21


22

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2018


OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

23


24

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2018


OP E N R OA D W IN TE R 2 0 1 8

25


26

O P E N R OAD WI NTER 2018

Profile for Renaissance Publishing

Open Road Magazine Winter 2018  

Open Road Magazine Winter 2018