The American Trucking Associations welcomed 13 men and women into the association’s LEAD ATA leadership training program.

“Trucking is an industry that is always looking to the horizon, and part of that is mobilizing and preparing our next generation of industry leaders,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The LEAD ATA program is an important part of making sure that our industry and our association will remain in good hands well into the future.”

LEAD ATA, sponsored by Trimble Transportation, offers exclusive educational opportunities for trucking industry executives, incorporating real-world problem solving and advanced industry insights. Throughout the course of the yearlong program, “LEADers” are educated about the regulatory and legislative processes, and ATA’s efforts to shape those processes, including advocacy, image and outreach, research and leadership training.

“Our company has benefitted significantly from having our employees, including my son, go through the LEAD ATA program,” said ATA Chairman Randy Guillot, president  and CEO of Southeastern Motor Freight and Triple G Express, Inc. “Those who go through LEAD ATA not only gain valuable experience but are able to bring more perspective to their roles by completing projects on the latest industry trends, gaining relationships with the LEAD community, and building relationships with elected officials.”

“Trimble Transportation is honored to once again participate in and support the LEAD ATA program,” said Alicia Jarosh, Trimble’s vice president of customer insights. “The opportunity to meet and work with these aspiring executives is exciting and we are thrilled to continue to support this program and to watch this new class grow in their understanding of trucking while also building strong relationships within the industry.”

The new class of LEAD ATA will meet for the first time in January as part of ATA’s Executive Meeting, and will have three other meetings throughout the year. In addition to their coursework, LEAD ATA participants are also required to complete one individual project – like speaking to a local civic organization or school about trucking, volunteering at their state truck driving championship or hosting one of ATA’s image trucks – during the year.

In addition to announcing the eighth class, ATA also recognized the seventh class as they graduated the program.

“While this was not the year these young men and women had planned on having, we are proud of the work they did as part of the LEAD ATA program,” said ATA Executive Vice President for Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna. “We look forward to recognizing them in person in the future, and to seeing their continued involvement in our association and industry.”

2020-21 LEAD ATA Participants: Jenny Abernathy, CRST Expedited; Brandon Bibbs, U.S. Xpress Enterprises; Adam Blanchard, Double Diamond Transport Inc.; James Breeden Jr., K.L. Breeden & Sons; Nick Card, Combined Transport Inc.; Frank Ems, FedEx Freight; Ryan Fredericksen, Ruan Transportation; Justin Hill, Hill Transportation Services Inc.; Aaron Knight, United Parcel Service; Glen Lyles, FedEx Ground; Alexandra Mangino, Katz, Sapper & Miller; Shawn McCloud, Coyote, A United Parcel Service Company; and Raguram Venkatesan, Optym.

2019-20 LEAD ATA Graduates: Fausto Bizzarri, FedEx Ground; Mezzalina Dejongh, Trimac Transportation; Matt Erim, Amazon; Andrew Erin, PGT Trucking Inc.; Brian Falter, YRC Worldwide; Nate Graglia, Wallport Transit Xpress Inc.; James Jaggers, United Parcel Service; Jake Newman; Newman Carriers Inc.; Michael Shipman, Vertical Alliance Group; Kailey Spangenberg, Conversion Interactive Agency; and Brett Wilburn, Total Transportation of Mississippi.

For more information on the LEAD ATA program, visit

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