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According to leading research, gender diverse companies enjoy better financial returns and may be better poised for success. Women have typically been underrepresented in the specialized transportation, rigging and lifting industries and the reasons are myriad. This topic will be addressed at the SC&RA’s Specialized Transportation Symposium February 28-March 2 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch in St. Louis, MO.

The Symposium’s opening session “How Changing Your Company’s Values and Hiring Practices Can Lead to Greater Success” will feature speakers Marcia Taylor, CEO, Bennett International Group, and Ellen Voie, president and CEO, Women in Trucking. Kim Yeager, director of marketing/member relations, Nevada Trucking Association, will moderate the session that will touch on how Taylor and Voie achieved success in the industry. They will discuss how companies are realizing the benefits of hiring women and offer practical steps to take to include more women in the transportation workforce.

Todd Gibson, Bridge Evaluation/Hauling/Permit engineer, West Virginia DOT, and Doug Miller, vice president, Burkhalter, will present “Oversize/Overweight Uniform Permit Transport 2021: Specialized Transportation Commits to Uniform Permit Weight Analysis/Allowance.” They will unveil SC&RA’s Uniform Permit Transport 2021 proposal as a basis for discussion with individual states and regions.

Bryce Baker, COO, Oxcart Permit Systems, will address what it will take to make local permitting processes more efficient. His presentation, “Nudging Local Permitting Processes into the 21st Century” will cover local permitting challenges, trends and best practices.

A highlight of the symposium is entertainment by Mack Dryden,

a comedian from Mississippi, who won two AP writing awards as a reporter before becoming a professional entertainer. He has performed on The Tonight Show, JAG and ABC’s The Guardian. His stories of surviving two battles with cancer, a stay in an African prison and sharks in show business are said to be inspiring and hilarious. His presentation is aptly titled: “Falling on Your Face Is Still Moving Forward.”

Dave Osiecki, president, Scopelitis Transportation Consulting, will discuss “What’s Really Going on in Washington D.C.” Get the latest updates on DOT rules, regulations, and compliance issues such as hours of service, CSA scores and ELDs from a transportation expert and insider.

Other presentations and breakout sessions include:

  •  “Tipping the Scales in Your Favor: Overcoming OS/OW Challenges,” featuring speakers Don Braman, license and applications supervisor for OS/OW Unit, Connecticut DOT; Jackie Darr, permit section manager, North Dakota Highway Patrol Motor Carrier Operations; and Shelley Latham, sales/operations, Perkins STC.
  • “In-Cab Technology: Changing the Role of Drivers,” presented by Joe Doerr, product line manager, NBIS, and Dave Merrill, general manager, Pahoa Express.
  • “Bigger is Better: Using New Driver Training to Break Down the Complexity of Specialized Carriers” will be presented by Fred Kovall, field safety specialist, ATS, Inc. and Pete Trimble, director, corporate safety/claims, Keen Transport.
  • “It’s Time to Take Another Look: Effective Permitting Techniques From a Permit Services Representative” will be addressed by Marka Woodruff, team manager/president, Permit America; Becky Woods, vice president, WCS Permits; and Gladys Work, RCS regulatory and business analyst, Comdata.
  • “Inspections and OS/OW Enforcement in the Midwest and Beyond” will be discussed by Todd Armstrong, Master Sgt., Illinois State Police and Captain Chris Turner, Kansas Highway Patrol and president, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).
  • “When Time is Your Friend: The Importance of Planning Ahead with States on Large and Complicated Loads” includes a panel presentation by Mihir Patel, vice president, Logisticus Project Group; Rob Simon, vice president, heavy haul and specialized division, Bennett Motor Express; and Justin Underwood, assistant director, Tennessee DOT.
  • “Manufacturers Perspective on the Future of Trailers,” will feature the two leading trailer OEMs, Troy Geisler, vice president, Talbert Manufacturing; and Dave Lutz, president, TransMaster Trailers/Master Solutions.

Other highlights include the Exhibit Center, 2017 Transportation Job of the Year reviews and a presentation by SC&RA’s Jason Bell and Lisa Grepps on five ways to leverage SC&RA membership investment.