Arkansas Trucking Association

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Trucking Conference Looks to the Horizon

Trucking execs, industry and political leaders gather in Rogers for Annual Conference

2020 conference horizon email blast

The Arkansas Trucking Association will host its annual business conference and vendor showcase in Rogers next week. The educational forums will be held Monday, August 17th and Tuesday August 18th at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center. The event’s forum topics will help attendees answer the question, what’s “on the horizon” for the state, nation, and trucking? A lineup of expert speakers will discuss industry research and the legal climate for trucking business, economic concerns including global trade, public health and safety, and tort reform in Arkansas. Featured speaker former White House Press Secretary and Arkansan Sarah Huckabee Sanders will also take the stage to share stories from her time at the White House.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to 2019. A trusted confidante of the President, Sanders advised him on everything from press and communications strategy to personnel and policy. For two and a half years, Sanders was at the President’s side, battling with the media, working with lawmakers and CEOs, and staffing the President on every foreign trip, including dozens of meetings with foreign leaders. Sanders is only the third woman and the very first mom to ever hold the job of White House Press Secretary.

The event’s luncheons will also be an opportunity to recognize and salute the safest drivers, fleets and safety professionals in the industry and to highlight the vital role that trucking has played throughout the pandemic this year.

“Inside the industry, we’ve always known that trucking is essential to the American way of life,” said Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “But throughout the challenges and tragedy our nation has experienced in 2020, the public has recognized how much we carry on our shoulders. Safety and essentiality have always been a part of the industry vocabulary, and as consumers speak and appreciate that language, we want to highlight those with outstanding safety records who overcame enormous obstacles to deliver.”

American Transportation Research Institute’s President and COO Rebecca Brewster will share the industry’s latest research including what has been learned about the effect of nuclear verdicts (those over $10 million) on trucking. In another forum, Wright Lindsey Jennings’ Justin Allen will discuss the challenges to tort reform in Arkansas, where efforts stand today and the future of the fight.

John Manzella, world-recognized speaker, author of several books, and a nationally syndicated columnist on global business, trade policy, labor, and the latest economic trends, will provide insight into how COVID-19 and economic trends have impacted U.S. and world growth. His Monday afternoon presentation will reveal global dangers, analyze sectors, examine trade relationships and forecast what’s ahead.

Then Tuesday morning, Jack Atkins, managing director of transportation research for Stephens Inc., will dive into the economic recovery in his presentation, “Truckload Stocks: Preparing for the Summit Push as the Cycle Inflects.”

Other presentations include a special report on Issue 1 from a panel of highway stakeholders lobbyist Robert Moery, Executive Director of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation Joe Quinn, and Deputy Director and COO of the Arkansas Department of Transportation Randy Ort. Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero will present an update on public health in Arkansas, insight into the health department’s roles and responsibilities engaging with the private sector, and guidance for the trucking industry going forward.

This annual event was originally scheduled for May, but was postponed in response to the spread of COVID-19 in the state. In preparation for next week’s event, Arkansas Trucking Association submitted a safety plan for approval by the Department of Health. Some changes will include a new layout for practicing social distancing, mask wearing everywhere that distancing isn’t possible, contactless photo opp station during the awards luncheon, and a wristband system for attendees to indicate their safety boundaries and comfort-level with contact throughout the event.

“The wheels of trucking did not stop rolling. Even though this year’s event will be smaller, look a little different, and require a new skillset to deliver important expertise and discussion while keeping every attendee, presenter, vendor, facility and association staff member safe, we can’t stop rolling either,” Newton said. “Our industry is competitive and full of fiercely independent entrepreneurs, but we all really need each other’s perspectives and vision to continue making a difference in the communities we serve.”

The conference will begin with a board of directors meeting with Sen. John Boozman as a special guest and a networking hour with law enforcement Monday morning. Monday’s luncheon will recognize the carriers and individuals whose efforts have contributed to a safer industry over the past year. The guest speaker during lunch will be Rep. Steve Womack.

This year’s lineup includes the following presenters and speakers:

JUSTIN ALLEN, Wright Lindsey Jennings

JACK ATKINS, Stephens Inc.

REBECCA BREWSTER, American Transportation Research Institute


ROBERT MOERY, Broadview Strategies

RANDY ORT, Arkansas Department of Transportation

JOE QUINN, Arkansas Good Roads Foundation

DR. JOSE ROMERO, Arkansas Department of Health


Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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