Chris Spear selected as the American Trucking Associations’ next president

July 6, 2016

The American Trucking Associations announced that former ATA senior vice-president of legislative affairs, Chris Spear, will serve as the federation’s next president and chief executive officer effective July 9. He succeeds Bill Graves, who is retiring after more than 13 years with ATA.

Spear is currently vice-president of government affairs at Hyundai Motor Company and has a long career on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies, as well as in the private sector. Previously, Spear successfully led ATA’s efforts on the Hill and was instrumental in developing and advancing the association’s strategic advocacy agenda, which resulted in public policy that advanced ATA’s pro-trucking, pro-safety and pro-efficiency agenda.

“Chris’ enthusiasm for the trucking industry and the mission of ATA--to effectively advocate and communicate efforts that improve safety and profitability for our members--is second to none,” said ATA Chairman Pat Thomas, senior vice-president of state government affairs at UPS. “We had many excellent candidates for the position, but Spear is the right fit for the organization. We are extremely pleased that he will be joining us.”

Spear, recognized as a passionate advocate, effective communicator and relationship builder, has a wealth of political experience in Washington DC and in the business arena. Spear was vice-president of global government relations at Honeywell International, and he held executive branch positions including Assistant Secretary of Labor. Spear also served as professional staff for Senators Tim Hutchinson (R-AR), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Alan Simpson (R-WY). He holds bachelor and masters degrees from the University of Wyoming.

"I'm honored to have the opportunity to lead this great association and serve this vital industry,” said Spear. “Trucking is the backbone of our economy and a catalyst for American job growth, delivering critical goods to businesses and homes coast-to-coast. I am excited to work alongside ATA’s members and federation partners to ensure the industry continues to prosper and safely move our nation forward.”

Graves will serve as an advisor to ATA for the remainder of 2016. He looked back fondly on his time with ATA.

"It’s been my honor to lead ATA as president and chief executive officer for almost 14 years,” he said. “I’ll always appreciate the opportunity ATA members afforded me in 2001 when I was chosen for the position and the support they’ve provided since 2003 when I moved to Washington to assume that role. Trucking has always been close to my heart, and I’m very proud that a trucking company bore my family’s name. Now is the time to pass on the leadership responsibility to Chris, a person whom I have great respect for and confidence in his ability to lead ATA. I look forward to providing assistance in his leadership transition. It’s an exciting new time for the ATA and I wish the organization, and Chris, nothing but success.”