Visit Indy
Indy Airport

Return to duty

May 4, 2021
After year with no in-person meetings, NTTC to gather in June in Indiana for 2021 Annual Conference & Exhibits

The National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) has strived to set the bar for transportation safety for more than 75 years.

Now it’s looking to do the same for in-person gatherings.

The association’s 2021 Annual Conference & Exhibits is expected to be one of the first major post-pandemic annual meetings for the surface transportation industry—following American Trucking Association’s Mid-Year Management Session slated for May—and NTTC leaders, and carrier and associate members, are eager to lead the way.

“Not just us, internally, but our membership is clamoring to get back to in-person events,” said Ryan Streblow, NTTC’s interim president. “The last year has shown that live gatherings are a critical element, and there’s still a need for that personal touch.”

NTTC did not hold its annual conference last year, which would have been the 75th anniversary celebration—and the association’s 72nd annual meeting overall. Instead, key events, such as Tank Truck Week, and the reveal of the 2019 North American Safety Contest champions, were conducted virtually, and the selection of the next NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year was postponed to this year’s meeting.

The 2021 Annual Conference & Exhibits are set for June 13-15 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana. NTTC welcomed more than 600 industry players for the last live edition of its longest-running meeting in April, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Streblow said the association expects approximately 450 attendees this year as people begin to return to normal while still dealing with concerns or restrictions that vary by state.

The return originally was slated for May in San Diego, but pushed back and relocated to put more distance between the meeting and the pandemic, and to make it easier for people to drive in by keeping the meeting centrally located.

“We’re still anticipating a really solid turnout,” Streblow said. “The decrease primarily is going to be in the spouses who attend.”

The three-day Annual Conference—which offers North American tank truck industry leaders the opportunity to collaborate and take action on high-level issues facing the industry through its committees and educational sessions—commences with several committee meetings Sunday, June 13; continues with the opening breakfast and Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Award Ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Monday, June 14; and concludes with the North American Safety Award presentation at 1:30 p.m., and the Allied Committee for the Trucking Industry (ACT1) Grande Finale event at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, June 15.

In addition, NTTC will crown the 2021-22 executive committee chair, host its annual Political Action Committee (PAC) golf tournament and reception, and open its exhibition hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 14, and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 15. The Exhibit Show featured more than 65 booths in 2019. NTTC offered 46 spaces this year, and about half were filled as off press time in early April. Exhibitor registration is open through June 11.

Streblow said the association’s ability to host a meeting early in the post-pandemic era is a result of hard work by staff and committee leadership, who did a “spectacular” job of planning and preparing for multiple eventualities.

“We mapped out three scenarios for our ability to deliver this event,” Streblow said. “They ranged from being able to deliver everything, because COVID is non-existent, all the way to where COVID is such a factor we can’t get together. So we mapped all these scenarios out so that we’re able to plan accordingly and adjust on the fly.”

During a virtual North American Safety Contest presentation last October, Trimac Transportation claimed the 2019 Outstanding Performance Trophy—aka the Heil Trophy—in the Harvison division, which is for carriers with operations covering more than 15 million miles; and G&D Trucking/Hoffman Transportation secured the top award in the Sutherland division for carriers at or less than 15 million miles.

The annual award recognizes tank truck operations in North America with the best safety programs and records each year. The awards, which represent the gold standard for safety in the tank truck industry, are part of NTTC’s mission to encourage and promote safety and success for all its carrier and fleet members.

Trimac secured its third trophy with an accident frequency of .681 in the over 90 million miles class of the 2019 Competitive Safety Contest. Trimac also earned the top safety honor in 2002 and 2007, before the debut of two mileage divisions in 2014. G&D Trucking claimed its second trophy in three years with an accident frequency of .091 per million miles in the 7-12.5 million mile class of the Competitive Safety Contest.

Overall mileage was down in 2020, due to COVID, but Streblow said he was “incredibly” impressed by the low U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) accident frequencies he saw while reviewing applications, and that this year’s Grand Award winners in the Competitive Safety Contest “completely outperformed” past classes.

“Our safety numbers have improved across the board,” Streblow said. “We didn’t have a single carrier over 30 million miles who didn’t reduce their accident frequency.”

For the first time this year, NTTC will announce the Outstanding Performers on stage, a day after the equally dramatic reveal of the next winner of the William A. Usher Sr. Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award.

The association picked eight 2019-20 champion finalists in January 2020. It intended to name a successor to K-Limited’s Barbara Herman last May at the Annual Conference, but that was cancelled due to the coronavirus, leading NTTC to suspend the program and instead crown one of the current candidates this year.

The long-suffering finalists, highlighted in a series of stories by Bulk Transporter over the last four months, are:

  • Ronald Baird, Hoffman Transportation/G&D Trucking
  • James Ellis, Sr., Grammar Logistics
  • Ronald Evans, Liquid Cargo
  • Darrien Henderson, J&M Tank Lines
  • Alen Smailovic, Highway Transport
  • Abdul Standfield, Quality Carriers
  • Edward Stasyshyn, Trimac Transportation
  • Tony Stinnett, Usher Transport

“They’ve been waiting more than 15 months to find out who won that award, and when you take a look at all of those drivers, it’s a pretty impressive group,” Streblow said. “They’ve combined for millions of safe miles and numerous accomplishments.”


The 2021 Annual Conference & Exhibits keynote speaker is Seth Mattison, an Internationally renowned expert, author and futurist. As founder of Luminate Labs, he advises many of the world’s leading brands and organizations on the key shifts happening around talent management, change and innovation, leadership, and the future of work.

Mattison’s ideas have been featured in publications like The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Huffington Post, and The Globe and Mail, and he recently was named an Editors’ Picks for Favorite Speakers of the Year by MeetingsNet.

Over the past decade, Mattison has shared his insight with thousands of business leaders around the world and received accolades from many of the world’s biggest brands, including MasterCard, Johnson and Johnson, IBM, The Dallas Cowboys, AT&T, PepsiCo, GE Energy, E&Y, Caterpillar, and The Walt Disney Company.


The Annual Conference unofficially tees off at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 12, with the NTTC PAC Golf Tournament.

This year’s tourney is only the second in the last five years. The association did not host a golf tournament in 2017 and 2018, when the Annual Conference was located in cooler climes less amenable to April golf, and last year’s event was scratched by COVID. The 2019 tournament was at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort.

“This event sets the tone for us for the year, when it comes to driving our political action committee dollars,” Streblow said.

“It’s always well-attended and well-received by our carrier members.”

The 2021 PAC Golf Tournament will take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, which measures 7,180 yards. The Pete Dye-designed course offers one of the most unique experiences in sports, with four holes situated inside the famed Speedway, and 14 adjacent to the backstretch of the 2½-mile track.

Following a shotgun start, players compete in a four-person scramble. The suggested minimum donation for the competition is $400 per player, which includes greens fees and cart. Completed registration forms and payment are due by May 21, and space is limited to 40 participants. Email [email protected] for more information.

NTTC also is hosting a PAC Reception at 5 p.m. June 14 at Osteria Pronto.

About the Author

Jason McDaniel

Jason McDaniel, based in the Houston TX area, has more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning journalist. He spent 15 writing and editing for daily newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, and began covering the commercial vehicle industry in 2018. He was named editor of Bulk Transporter and Refrigerated Transporter magazines in July 2020.