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For Immediate Release
May 7, 2012

For Information Contact:
Gary Petty, NPTC

NPTC Presents Private Fleet Leadership Awards

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Private Truck Council (NPTC) recognized seven executives for their impressive contributions to the private fleet community during the group’s Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition held April 29 – May 1, 2012 in Cincinnati.

Since 1990, the Private Fleet Professional Leadership Awards, co-sponsored by Heavy Duty Trucking/Newport Business Media, have recognized those individuals who have made significant contributions to the National Private Truck Council, their profession, and the private trucking community.

The Private Fleet Executive of the Year, NPTC’s highest individual award, went to Ralph Benson, President of Sentinel Transportation LLC. Benson was named President of Sentinel Transportation, LLC in 2002. Under his direction, Sentinel provides a wide range of dedicated truck transportation and related services for DuPont and ConocoPhillips. Prior to his appointment to Sentinel, he spent 21 years with Conoco Inc., where he had various operations, commercial, optimization, strategy, and finance assignments in the transportation and marketing business units.

Benson has served a member of the NPTC Board of Directors and chaired its Annual Conference Planning Committee for four years. He also served as Secretary of the NPTC Board for two years. He serves as a lead member of the Steering Committee overseeing NPTC’s Benchmarking Survey and has been a frequent presenter at the NPTC Annual Conference and the Private Fleet Management Institute

The Fleet Safety Professional of the Year was awarded to Katherine Fellenstein, CTP, Manager, Transportation Safety & Compliance/Substance Abuse Testing, Weyerhaeuser Company. Fellenstein has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Akron and an MBA from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA. For the past eight years, she has been a safety and health professional specializing in trucking safety and compliance.

After obtaining her CTP designation in 2009, she has served as a member of the NPTC Safety Committee and the NPTC Annual Conference Planning Committee. She also has taken an active role on the Steering Committee for Private Fleet Management Online. She also is a frequent presenter at the Annual Meeting, NPTC’s Safety Conference, and a past presenter in NPTC/J.J. Keller’s joint webcast series.

Mike Lickert, CTP, Corporate Fleet Manager, Talon Logistics, was named Private Fleet Member of the year. Lickert oversees the private fleet for Giant Eagle, a full-service grocery store chain serving the Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania market. In his more than 31 years of transportation and supply chain experience with the company, he has held positions in all forms of distribution. He has been involved in installing warehouse management systems, on-board computers, trailer-tracking technology, maintenance software, and proof of delivery systems.

Lickert earned his CTP designation in 2006 and is an active member of the NPTC Board of Directors, the NPTC Institute Board of Governors, and the NPTC Safety Committee. He is a frequent speaker at NPTC industry meetings and helped to convince his company to join NPTC as a Five-Star Member and helped arrange publication of his company’s private fleet profile in Fleet Owner Magazine

This year’s Allied Member of the Year award went to Instructional Technologies, Inc. (ITI) of Vancouver, WA. The company provides Pro-TREAD and Pro-TREAD In-Cab interactive, computer-based, truck-driver training––delivering more than 80,000 lessons each month––to some 215 carriers with anywhere from 15 to 40,000 drivers. In February 2012, ITI sold its four millionth lesson.

ITI is the sponsor of new Private Fleet Management Online, is a Five-Star Member, and serves as a member of NPTC Board of Governors. Company officials have been presenters at NPTC events and are long-time exhibitors and sponsors of the Annual Conference.

Accepting the award on behalf of ITI was President and CEO Dr. James Voorhees, who founded the company in 1995.

George Carpenter, CTP, Senior Implementation Training Consultant for TMW Systems, received the Membership Development award, for his efforts while Director of Warehouse Management System Project for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). In that role, George was responsible integrating technology into the supply chain process and assisting operators in leveraging technology to improve efficiencies and drive process change. He also served in a variety of positions with AAFES from driver to Director of Private Fleet Operations.

Carpenter was an active member of the NPTC Board of Directors and chaired the NPTC Membership Committee. He is active in the Dallas chapter of the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA). He holds a degree in Business Administration from Baker College and is a Microsoft Certified Professional. He earned his CTP designation in 2006.

The Dan Smith Life Achievement award was awarded Ron Tartt, CTP, General Manager, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC. Tartt has been with Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC for more than 38 years. During that time, he has held various positions in distribution and transportation with both field and corporate experience. He has managed operations in Memphis, Denver, Akron, Chicago, Ontario and Hawaii. In 1995, he moved to Bridgestone Firestone’s corporate headquarters in Nashville, TN where he was named to his current role. He is responsible for more than 300 tractors, more than 700 trailers and more than 400 drivers delivering tires and auto parts to some 6,000 customers on a weekly basis, from seven distribution centers across the US and Canada. In 2011, the fleet traveled more than 36 million miles, delivering more than two billion pounds of product to their customers. Ron is former Chair of the NPTC Board of Directors and the NPTC Institute Board of Governors.

Tartt earned his CTP in 1997 and has sponsored many people from his company to go through the program. He also is a frequent grader and mentor for CTP candidates and a frequent speaker at NPTC events and webcasts.

The newest NPTC award, the C.H. Robinson Worldwide Excellence in Backhauling Award, went to Chuck Amen, CTP, Corporate Transportation Operations Manager, Hillyard, Inc. Amen has more than 30 years of transportation experience. He began employment with Hillyard in 2001 and currently oversees a private fleet that delivers to 24 distribution centers and more than 100 independent distributors in 48 states. Hillyard is a 105-year-old “cleaning resource” company with corporate headquarters in St Joseph, MO and has been an NPTC Member since 1997.  Amen obtained his CTP designation in 2009.

Amen discovered this new backhaul opportunity by attending the NPTC Annual Conference in 2011 and speaking with C.H. Robinson Worldwide on the NPTC trade show floor. CHRW had just introduced a new special app for backhaul program augmentation. Since Hillyard drivers all have I-Phones, the companies agreed to an experimental “trail run” and the results have been extraordinary. Drivers get expedited information about backhaul load opportunities; no phone calls are involved. The driver simply updates load information with the click of a button and statuses for all parties are updated. Prior to this new program, the private fleet operated at about 25% empty miles. Today it is as low as 5%-6%. The company now saves enough money with its backhaul program to pay for the annual diesel fuel bill of its private fleet operation, which now averages around $1.7 million|


About NPTC
Founded in 1939, the National Private Truck Council is the only national trade association exclusively representing the interests of the private truck industry and corporate/business private truck fleet management. With an actively engaged leadership team of Board representatives, member volunteers and staff, NPTC in the past decade has grown significantly to serve a rising professional class of private fleet practitioners meeting the challenges of modern corporate transportation networks. NPTC is the leading learning resource center, government affairs advocate, and business networking culture for America’s top private fleet and supplier member companies.  The Council produces benchmarking, best practices, and economic data reports on the private fleet market; administers the highly regarded Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) training program, and conducts some of the most successful events in the trucking industry including the Annual Conference and Trade Show, the Private Fleet Management Institute, and the National Safety Conference. For more information about the Council’s activities and programs, visit our website at

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