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Kidd to leave Ark. Trucking Association post, start new agency

By John D. Schulz, Contributing Editor
February 24, 2014

Lane Kidd, the highly respected president of the Arkansas Trucking Association since 1992, is leaving the organization to devote his full energies to The Kidd Group, LLC, a business investment and public affairs firm he created in 2013.
“I’ve wanted to pursue my own projects for some time now and there are many opportunities out there, so this feels like a good time to say goodbye to the ATA,” Kidd said. “My career as ATA president has been a phenomenal experience, and I’m handing the keys over with ATA looking much better than it did 22 years ago.”
The Kidd Group will operate in Washington, D.C., and Arkansas. It will provide business services in the transportation industry where Kidd said he is most experienced—corporate advocacy and public affairs strategies, media relations, corporate branding and publishing.
“We also have the capability to arrange private equity opportunities for companies in the transportation industry,” said Kidd.
Gary Salisbury, Chairman and CEO of Fikes Truck Line in Hope, Ark., and ATA chairman, said Kidd put the ATA on the map: “During Lane’s tenure, he has taken a relative unknown group of truckers and propelled us to the front of the line. The ATA is known across the country as a leader and an example for other associations to strive for. As chairman of the ATA, I speak for the board of directors when I say that Lane will be missed and we wish him success as he starts his newest pursuits.”
Kidd said he was proud of his accomplishments at ATA, but will most remember the friendships with industry leaders during his tenure. Because it is home to such nationally important carriers as J.B. Hunt, Maverick Transportation, ABF Freight System and others, Arkansas is an important trucking state that was always in the forefront on industry matters.
“We’ve achieved so much in this association over the last 22 years,” said Kidd, “but spending personal time with industry icons like J.B. Hunt and Sheridan Garrison (founder of Arkansas Freightways, which later became a key part of FedEx Freight) will always be the best of my experiences in this job, because you couldn’t spend five minutes with them without learning something about business but also about life.”
Salisbury said the ATA will announce plans on naming a replacement soon.
The ATA and Kidd released a list of the organization’s major milestones under Kidd’s leadership:
• 1993 - Created the Arkansas Trucking Association Self Insurers’ Fund for Workers’ Compensation to provide workers’ compensation insurance to smaller trucking companies; a success that has paid timely benefits to injured workers and has distributed more than $18 million in dividends to enrolled trucking companies.
• 1994 - Launched the first ever statewide $100,000 TV campaign to promote the trucking industry.
• 1994 - Defeated state legislation to increase the state diesel tax.
• 1995 - Successfully opposed a $1.5 billion highway bond program that would have levied
more than $300 million in new taxes on the trucking industry by now, defeating the proposal
by a record setting 87-13 percent margin.
• 1998 - Coordinated a statewide media campaign to persuade the Arkansas Highway
Commission to reverse a plan to toll 334 miles of interstate highways that would have cost
the trucking industry $800 million by 2016.
• 1999 - Began publishing Arkansas Trucking Report magazine, now an award winning bimonthly industry publication that has more than 25,000 readers nationally and has featured
84 trucking executives on its cover.
• 2000 - Successfully advocated the defeat of state legislation that would have reinstated a
weight distance tax, at a cost to trucking companies of approximately $30 million annually.
• 2003 - Supported passage of a sales tax cap on the purchase price of new and used big
trucks and semi-trailers, immediately saving the industry $16 million every year.
• 2005 - Managed campaign opposing Gov. Mike Huckabee’s ballot initiative that would have
given the state highway commission authority to incur up to $500 million in state debt without
a vote of the people. The proposal was defeated by a 60-40 percent margin.
• 2007 - Advocated the Arkansas General Assembly to create a state drug and alcohol
clearinghouse to store the positive drug tests of all pre-employment and random exams of
truck drivers.
• 2010 - Created the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (the Trucking Alliance) to promote
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor’s and Rep. Rick Crawford’s legislation to mandate
electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) and to create a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse.
• 2011 - Advocated passage of a full sales tax exemption on the purchase price of new and
used large heavy trucks and semi-trailers, saving the industry about $23 million every year
and growing.
• 2012 - Recognized as the major industry group to persuade the U.S. Congress to include the
electronic onboard recorder mandate and the drug and alcohol clearinghouse in MAP-21, the
transportation bill.
• 2013 - Worked in cooperation with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Dept. to
pass state legislation creating a revolving $2 million fund to promote the research, safety,
and development of an efficient freight transportation system in Arkansas.
• 2013 - Supported passage of state legislation to offer workers compensation insurance.

About the Author

John D. Schulz
Contributing Editor

John D. Schulz has been a transportation journalist for more than 20 years, specializing in the trucking industry. He is known to own the fattest Rolodex in the business, and is on a first-name basis with scores of top-level trucking executives who are able to give shippers their latest insights on the industry on a regular basis. This wise Washington owl has performed and produced at some of the highest levels of journalism in his 40-year career, mostly as a Washington newsman.

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