GATS To Get Family Focus

This year’s Great American Trucking Show will put new emphasis on relations with the announcement of the Great American Trucking Family and two other family-related events.

Truckers News will present the winner of its Great American Trucking Family during the Sept. 6-8 show in Dallas. The winner was selected from reader nominations of families with many members and deep involvement in the industry. The winner will also be featured in the September issue of the magazine.

Focus on the Family will present a two-hour seminar, “Strengthening Your Family for the Long Haul,” 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. The panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Bill Maier, psychologist in residence at Focus on the Family, the nation’s largest family-oriented Christian ministry.

Panelists will discuss what it takes to raise a family while on the road, as well as how fleets can benefit by attracting and retaining truckers when they address their physical, emotional and family needs. The panelists will be Chuck Sonn, founder of Hope Haulers. (His Chaplain’s Corner column appears on; Scott Weidner of Transport for Christ; Yvette Maher, vice president of women’s ministries for Focus; and Bob Hataway, president of Transalive, a nationwide service that assists injured or ill truckers with transportation; Rick Towe, vice president of driver relations at Covenant Transport, which provides a benevolence fund and faith-based care and counseling for its drivers.

The discussion will continue from 8:30-10 a.m. Sept. 8, and will include a performance by former trucker Kenny Robbins. He was named 2000 Country Gospel Artist of the Year and last year was inducted into Country Gospel Hall of Fame.

The Focus on the Family weekday broadcast, which averages 2 million listeners daily in the United States, once featured Transport for Christ, a trucking ministry, says Stephen Reed, director of resource sales for Focus. “We had a huge response,” he says. “We were amazed at how many truckers actually listen to the broadcast.”

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Other highlights at GATS:

  • Free concert by Tracy Byrd Friday evening, sponsored by Volvo Trucks.
  • Internet & Technology Pavilion.
  • Overdrive’s indoor Pride & Polish contest.
  • The Commercial Work Truck Pavilion, for class 3-7 trucks.
  • GATS Fleet Executive Conference, Sept. 5 and 6.
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