The Truckload Carriers Association has turned in-house to find its new president.
James Ward, currently the group’s volunteer chair, will become president after the retirement of current President John Lyboldt. Lyboldt is stepping down April 1.
Ward’s background is not as an association head. Rather, he comes from the industry, serving as president and CEO of D.M. Bowman of Williamsport, Maryland. TCA’s prepared statement on Ward’s ascension said he would retire from those two positions at D.M. Bowman.
The move might be seen as unusual in that such positions tend to be filled by someone who has experience in the Washington lobbying scene. For example, Lyboldt was senior vice president of dealership operations at the National Automobile Dealers Association when he joined TCA in December 2015. More recently, Anne Reinke, the head of the Transportation Intermediaries Association, became head of that 3PL-focused organization after a stint in the Department of Transportation and a long career with Class 1 railroad CSX. And although Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, had worked in the federal government earlier in his career, he was hired out of Hyundai in 2016. (Spear earlier this year had his contract extended five years.)
Ward was urged to apply for the role, according to the TCA statement. “In response to several members’ urging him to apply for the president’s position, Ward recused himself from the search process before its outreach began in late August,” the statement said.
Ward’s background before his time with D.M. Bowman includes both white-collar and blue-collar work. He was managing director of Willis Towers Watson’s transportation division, “where he provided risk management and safety services to multiple transportation clients,” the TCA said. Before that, he was a trainman and engineer for CSX, being promoted later to Maryland safety manager for the railroad.
Ward will remain as TCA chair until his ascension to the top day-to-day role. The TCA is at an all-time high in membership and will hold its 2022 annual meeting in Las Vegas shortly before Lyboldt’s retirement. It held its 2021 annual meeting, also in Las Vegas, in September. By having the 2022 gathering in March, it brings its meeting calendar back into alignment with its pre-pandemic numbers.