‘Top Graduate,’ rising star
Each month NPTC President and CEO Gary Petty writes a column in Fleet Owner magazine that focuses on the individuals, companies, best practices, and resources that make private trucking the force that it is in the American economy. Reaching more than 100,000 subscribers, three-quarters of whom are private fleet professionals, this column provides an excellent forum to communicate the value of the private fleet. Click here to view the archive.
Gary Petty | firstname.lastname@example.org | Private Fleet Editor for FleetOwner Magazine
Gary Petty has more than 30 years of experience as CEO of national trade associations in the trucking industry. He has been the president and CEO of the National Private Truck Council since 2001.
“Our Dot Transportation ways are successful, but other companies are doing things differently and are also successful. PFMI taught me to see success in more than one way. It was awesome learning about alternatives.” —Taylor Wise, CTP
TAYLOR WISE, CTP, assistant transportation manager-admin with Dot Transportation, was honored this April at NPTC’s annual conference as the “Top Graduate” of the Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) Class of 2022, an award sponsored each year by FleetOwner.
Raised in Concord, a small village of 150 residents in western Illinois, Wise’s intent was to be a biologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or Bureau of Land Management. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. She is working on completing her master’s degree in biology-plant ecology with a special interest in invasive plant species.
While working on her graduate degree, Wise served as a biological science laboratory teaching assistant helping to promote learning and development of entry-level biological science students by leading hands-on laboratory classes.
Her introduction to transportation began when, while in school, she accepted a position as a package dispatch supervisor for UPS Inc. There, Wise supervised daily activities of package handlers and drivers, including planning and organizing daily routes for distribution. “I really enjoyed the people and was ready for a full-time opportunity,” she said.
After a few years, she accepted a management trainee position with Dot Transportation, working and training with various teams and individuals to learn about the core functions of Dot Foods. “This was a tremendous job,” Wise said. “I fell in love with what I’m doing.”
And now as assistant transportation manager, she manages the Dot Transportation administrative payroll team for Dot drivers and owner-operators, and she helps provide quality customer service for drivers covering payroll issues and related driver questions.
When Wise signed up for the Private Fleet Management Institute (PFMI), she had no preconceived expectations and was not too worried except about the time constraints. The first day, however, she thought the job was overwhelming and knew it would be more of a time commitment than had been expected. “At that point, I decided I was going to be a sponge,” Wise said.
“PFMI leader Tom Moore emphasized looking at the ways others are doing things,” Wise emphasized. “Our Dot Transportation ways are successful, but other companies are doing things differently and are also successful. PFMI taught me to see success in more than one way. It was awesome learning about alternatives.”
“At PFMI, everyone was speaking out and sharing information,” she continued. “It was all so very beneficial. All the attendees were serious about being there and keen to learn from one another. They were, to a person, top quality individuals across the board. … Tom warned us in the beginning it would be like drinking from a fire hose—and it was!”
Wise said that after eight years of studying biology at the undergraduate and graduate level, she felt confidence as a test taker. “The CTP exam was probably the hardest test of my career,” she noted. “From the sheer volume of material to the time allot-ted to answer questions, the exam was a unique challenge in my experience. Only three out of the five core subject-matter topics covered by CTP applied to my job. Finance was the hardest part for me; fortunately, I focused on the hardest stuff first.”
“The special thing about NPTC and becoming a CTP is being around people who are passionate about what they do and excited to be a part of the council’s culture,” Wise explained.
“After the CTP graduate ceremony with my CTP Class of 2022, and after a few days of attending workshops and round-table discussion sessions at the annual conference,” Wise said, “I collected a stack of over 30 business cards of colleagues I met at the show who are now part of my business network. And from my CTP class, I have 77 fellow graduates and contacts I can reach out to and keep the flow of ideas and insights going.”
“As a final thought, the only thing left to say really is how grateful I am to NPTC for the opportunity to learn and to Dot Transportation for supporting me.”
Taylor Wise, CTP