On July 24, American Trucking Associations (ATA) welcomed the 2016 – 2017 class of LEAD ATA to the nation’s capital for a round of key congressional meetings.  


“Since the start of LEAD ATA, I have gotten the chance to see the effect that this day of congressional visits has on emerging trucking leaders and elected officials on both sides of the aisle,” said ATA Chairman Kevin Burch, President of Jet Express Inc. “It is a surreal feeling to watch our LEAD ATA participants interact with the lawmakers of our country and offer an authentic trucking perspective to the men and women we count on to represent the nation’s interests.”


LEAD ATA has a robust agenda during the group’s visit to Washington, D.C. Before meeting with Members of Congress and their legislative aides, LEAD ATAers will sit down with ATA President and CEO Chris Spear for a full summary of trucking’s critical legislative issues and take a deep-dive into ATA’s advocacy message. In Congress, a host of trucking-related issues are gaining attention, including infrastructure funding and tax reform. LEAD ATA participants will receive a candid look at the legislative process and experience a flurry of political activity with both chambers of Congress looking to finalize legislation ahead of the August recess. 


Beyond introducing elected officials to emerging trucking leaders, ATA hopes to foster longstanding connections between legislators and the business leaders in their home districts. Further expanding trucking’s network of grassroots advocates allows the industry to share its story of safety, essentiality and productivity to new audiences and stakeholders.


“Taking our LEAD ATA class to the U.S. Capitol and getting them involved in the legislative process creates a unique method for our industry’s message to be relayed,” said ATA First Vice Chairman Dave Manning, President of TCW Inc. “ATA provides our future leaders a special opportunity to meet with Members of Congress and legislative aides in person to discuss the issues that they’re passionate about both personally and professionally.”


As part of the trip to the nation’s capital, LEAD ATAers will tour the National Mall, visit the Lincoln Memorial and see the White House, the site of ATA’s historic meeting with President Trump. Photos of last year’s trip can be found on LEAD ATA’s official Facebook page.


LEAD ATA, sponsored by PeopleNet, is a one-year program created to engage the trucking industry’s best and brightest and prepare them to become leaders of tomorrow. Participants gain real-world experience and in-depth industry insights not available through any other program, all while making lifelong industry connections. Interested trucking industry professionals can apply online for consideration as part of next year’s class of LEAD ATA.