By Al Muskewitz
PRATTVILLE, Ala. – All you needed to know about the health, strength and vibrancy of the Alabama trucking industry was to look at the parking lot of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Capitol Hill facility Tuesday.
The lot is typically busy anyway with golfers coming from all across the nation to play the historic trail, but on this day, the lot was full. Overflowing, in fact.
The 31st annual Alabama Trucking Association Golf Classic drew 408 players representing industry stakeholders within the state and nationwide and raised more than $328,000 – both all-time highs – for TRUK PAC, its influential political action committee.
More than 150 trucking-related firms contributed to sponsoring the tournament, which supported play on all three golf courses of the facility.
“The volume of people here today speaks wonders to the strength of our membership,” said Mark Colson, the ATA’s new president and CEO.
The turnout was particularly gratifying to Colson since the milestones came in his first year of ATA leadership. Colson assumed control of the organization Aug. 1, following the long and successful tenure of Frank Filgo, who headed the ATA for nearly a quarter century.
“Two words I keep saying that embodies this industry and the people in it are passion and excellence,” Colson said, “and when you look around here today that’s what you’ll see. It pumps me up every day.”
Colson deflected a lot of the credit for this year’s success to Andrew Linn of the Southland Transportation Group who chaired the 15-member golf and fundraising committee. But Lynn quickly turned it right back to Colson.
“His energy level has just taken it to an all-time high,” Linn said. “Mark’s leadership and his goal for the Alabama Trucking Association gives a renewed energy for its members and seeking out future roads to do lots of good things for many, many years to come.
“We are super excited about what’s to come and the benefits this association is going to have from this fundraising event … Trucking is very, very vibrant in Alabama and is looking that way for many, many years to come.”
The PAC supports pro-trucking associations and trucking-friendly candidates and has been successful in making its mark. The ATA was out front in such recent important industry initiatives as the Rebuild Alabama Plan that goes to improving the state’s infrastructure, allowing 18-21-year-olds to obtain CDLs for intrastate commerce and the Truckers Against Trafficking legislation.
Al Muskewitz is editor-in-chief at Wright Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Al Muskewitz