ATA honors trucking lawyer Dave Parker


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – American Trucking Associations presented its highest honor, the S. Earl Dove Highway Award, posthumously to Dave Parker.

Parker was a longtime contributor to the industry, most recently as senior legal counsel for Great West Casualty Co. and Great West Risk Management.

The award recognizes individuals whose contributions of time, energy and intelligence have advanced the interests of the trucking industry and the ATA Federation. It is named after the former president of the ATA and former owner of AAA Cooper Transportation.

The presentation was made on October 25 by Nathan Meisgeier, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Werner Enterprises Inc., at the ATA Management Conference and Exhibition.

“I am honored to present the S. Earl Dove Highway Award,” said Meisgeier.

Parker had been a mentor to Meisgeier early in his career.

A longtime trucking executive and lawyer who has devoted much of his legal career to helping the trucking industry, Parker has also served in the United States Marines.

He died of cancer last year at the age of 80.

Meisgeier said Parker will be remembered as a man who has advised many people both as a friend and as a professional. Parker, he noted, had a strong work ethic and his peers enjoyed working with him. He was known for his willingness to share his knowledge and experiences.

“He was highly respected for his analytical skills, his measured approach to complex problems and his willingness to act when there was a problem to be solved,” said Meisgeier.

Parker had been married to his wife Nancy for 57 years. She was unable to attend the ceremony but asked a family friend, Steve Ponder, executive vice president of Great West Casualty Co., to accept the award on her behalf.

“Dave would be honored and touched to receive this award,” Ponder said, reading a letter from Nancy. “It would mean the world to him. Dave has been in the transportation industry for his entire professional career. He never stopped working. The trucking industry was a family to both of us.

Other presentations from the ATA have recognized the leaders of state trucking associations with its service awards every five years in their respective associations.

“These state leaders, along with so many of their colleagues in the audience today, work every day in their state capitals and localities to preserve and promote the best interests of our industry,” said Paul Enos, president of the Nevada Trucking Association and chairman of the executive council of the ATA Trucking Association. “Unlike at the federal level, state legislative initiatives are actually moving very quickly and without warning. This rapidly changing environment presents many unique challenges.

In total, there were 10 executives with 135 years of combined experience:

  • Sheri Call, President and CEO of the Washington Trucking Association, was recognized for her five years of service.
  • Gary Langston, President and CEO of the Indiana Motor Truck Association; Matt Hart, executive director of the Illinois Trucking Association; Chris Maxwell, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Trucking Association; and Jon Samson, ATA vice president of conferences, were honored for their 10 years of service.
  • Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association; John Esparza, president and CEO of the Texas Trucking Association; and Tom Crawford, President and CEO of the Missouri Trucking Association were celebrated for 15 years of service.
  • Myron Rau, president of the South Dakota Trucking Association, was recognized for his 20 years of service.
  • Minnesota Trucking Association President and CEO John Hausladen was honored for his 25 years of service.

Enos said Dave Huneryager, president and CEO of the Tennessee Trucking Association since 2004, plans to retire at the end of this year; and that Rau plans to step down in March.

“So this will be their last MCE. Both will surely be missed and we wish them the best for their retirement. “

During the ceremony, the America’s Road Team was also recognized for its work in favor of safety. The team of professional drivers represent the industry by working to strengthen its commitment to safety, sustainability and professionalism.

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