ATA Taps Kansas Governor as President

The American Trucking Associations named Kansas Gov. Bill Graves its next president and CEO at the trucking organization’s Management Conference and Exhibition in Nashville, Tenn., in October.

Graves will assume the post Jan. 14, 2003, when he finishes his second four-year term as governor of Kansas. Until then, William Canary will be ATA’s president and CEO; the “interim” designation was removed from his title Oct. 30. Canary has a 15-year working relationship with Graves.

“I feel blessed to have Gov. Graves as the new president, even if it’s still a year away,” said Canary. Canary succeeds Walter B. McCormick Jr., who stepped down in July.

ATA Chairman Duane S. Acklie headed the search committee to find McCormick’s replacement. “He knows and understands our issues firsthand, both as the son of a trucking company owner and as the chief executive of a major transportation crossroads state,” Aklie said of Graves.

Graves grew up in the trucking industry. His father and grandfather founded Graves Truck Line in Kansas, and his father was once president of the Kansas Motor Carriers Association. Several of the governor’s cousins are still in the trucking industry.

“It would be fair to say my family is very proud,” Graves told a Kansas newspaper during a press conference announcing his decision to accept the ATA post. Going to the trucking organization is “a little bit like coming home.”

In other ATA business, Acklie completed his tenure as chairman of the 68-year-old trucking organization at this year’s convention. He passed the torch to the new ATA chairman, David G. McCorkle of McCorkle Truck Line of Oklahoma City.

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