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For Immediate Release
April 27, 2011

For Information Contact:
Gary Petty, NPTC

NPTC Presents Private Fleet Leadership Awards

Since 1990, the Private Fleet Professional Leadership Awards, co-sponsored by Heavy Duty Trucking/Newport Communications, 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 Rick Foster, CDS, Director, Private Fleet Safety, Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC. A 39-year veteran of the transportation industry with experience in both common carrier and private carrier environments, Rick Foster has experience in many levels of trucking operations and safety management. Currently Director-Private Fleet Safety with Wal-Mart Transportation, he has previous experience managing the company’s LTL cross-docks and third party consolidators nationwide. Foster started with Wal-Mart as Safety Manager in Plainview, Texas and has been in his current role for 11 years.

Foster has been an active NPTC member since 1997, serving as Secretary, Vice Chair and currently Chair of the Board of Directors. He has served on the Legislative and Regulatory Review Committee since its inception and has been a frequent speaker at NPTC events. Awarded the ATA National Safety Director Award in 2005, Foster is also a member of ATA and the Safety and Loss Prevention Management Council, the Arkansas Trucking Association Safety Management Council and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

The Fleet Safety Professional of the Year was awarded to Bill Hartman, CTP, Manager, Private Fleet Operations, GNC Transportation, LLC. Starting his career with GNC in 1992 as a driver, Bill Harman was promoted to transportation supervisor two years later. In 1998, he was tasked with running transportation out of the company’s Greenville, SC manufacturing facility. The following year, Hartman was named operations manager for the Leetsdale, PA distribution center. During his tenure, he also became the interim distribution center manager for the Phoenix operation while new management was put into place. In 2004, he was promoted to the Manager of Private Fleet Operations with more than 120 drivers, 88 tractors and 121 trailers delivering to more than 4,000 stores in the continental US.

An active member of the NPTC Safety Committee, the 10-year veteran of the Air Force was recently elected as Vice Chair of the committee. He has spoken at numerous NPTC events and webcasts and is a member of the NPTC Annual Conference Planning Committee. He obtained his CTP designation this year.

Gary Strausbaugh, CTP, Vice President, Transportation, Mennel Milling Company, was named Private Fleet Member of the year. Strausbaugh is Vice President of Transportation for The Mennel Milling Company. His experience consists of more than 30 years in the grain and food industry controlling both truck and rail transportation together with warehousing. The Mennel truck fleet consists of tractors, pneumatic bulk tanks, van trailers and hopper trailers to meet the needs of both flour and feed customers. The rail fleet consists of covered hopper and pressure differential cars to transport grain and flour. Strausbaugh is currently responsible for rail and truck rate negotiations, equipment specifications and replacement, warehousing, dedicated carrier operations, private and contract truck fleets and rail profitability.

After receiving his CTP designation in 1996, Strausbaugh has become active in all forms of NPTC governance. A former chair of the NPTC Institute Board of Governors, he has served as a member of the NPTC Board of Directors, and was elected Secretary to the Board in 2008 and Vice Chair in 2010. Strausbaugh has been a frequent presenter at the NPTC Annual Conference and the NPTC Private Fleet Management Institute. Strausbaugh is also active in the of Ohio Trucking Association, Midwest Association of Rail Shippers, the National Private Truck Council, TMC and Toledo Transportation Club.

This year’s Allied Member of the Year award went to D. Michael Pennington, Meritor, Inc.. Pennington is Manager – Industry Relations for Meritor Inc. In that position, he has responsibility for the Tier 1 global supplier’s industry relations, encompassing the management and direction of the major supplier’s relations with over 25 industry associations and consortiums. Pennington is also the founder of PenNotes LLC, a new strategic marketing communications counseling firm, serving the global commercial vehicle industry. He is a member of the Truck Writers of North America, the Public Relations Society of America, the Automotive Press Association, and an advisor to Trucker Buddy International.

Pennington is currently President of Act 1 – the Allied Committee for the Trucking Industry. Pennington, who serves on the NPTC Institute Board of Governors and is a member of the Council’s PR and Marketing committee, has been a frequent sponsor and attendee at NPTC meetings, including the NPTC Annual Conference, the Private Fleet Management Institute and the National Safety Conference.

Brian McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, PeopleNet, received the Membership Development award. McLaughlin has been with PeopleNet since 2001. In addition to his marketing and Product planning duties, he manages all of the company’s sales efforts in the United States and Canada. His list of key accomplishments includes establishing the company’s product planning process, increasing the awareness and equity of the PeopleNet brand, and developing a multi-faceted demand generation process.

The winner of the 2008 NPTC Allied Member of the Year Award, McLaughlin has been active on the NPTC Conference Planning Committee for many years and under his leadership, he has sent more than a dozen of his colleagues through the Private Fleet Management Institute and Certified Transportation Professional program in the last four years. Last year, PeopleNet expanded its Five-Star Membership and became the sponsor of the NPTC Benchmarking Survey. As part of that relationship, PeopleNet sponsors 40 new NPTC members each year.

The Dan Smith Life Achievement award recognized Charlie Bumb, formerly of Cummins Inc. Bumb began his career in 1961 with Indiana Bell Telephone Company spending most of the next 12 years in marketing and general management positions. He left to join Cummins in sales and marketing. He became an officer in 1984 and retired in 2001 as Vice President – National Accounts.

Bumb played an instrumental role in bringing about the merger of the Private Truck Council of America and the Private Carrier Conference to create the current National Private Truck Council. His leadership ensured the newly formed organization had the internal leadership, funding and focus to garner the support of the Fleet and Allied membership.

The newest NPTC award, the C.H. Robinson Worldwide Excellence in Backhauling Award, went to Brian Holley, Director of Transportation, Whiteline Express, Ltd. Holley has nearly 20 years of experience in the transportation industry. He is responsible for managing the transportation of more than 100,000 loads annually for Whiteline Express, the transportation and logistics division for Plastipak Packaging, Inc. His focus is on safety, cost containment, and continually improving performance while reducing Whiteline’s carbon footprint.

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. NPTC is the premier marketplace of information, networking and skill building for private fleet professionals as it leads in shaping the future of corporate transportation.

For more information about the Council’s activities and programs, visit our website at

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