Ruan Recognized at IMTA's 75th Anniversary Management Conference

Sep 28, 2017 By:

Ruan is a proud and longstanding member of the Iowa Motor Truck Association (IMTA), an organization tasked with promoting the success of the trucking industry in Iowa. Our founder, John Ruan, was integral in the founding of the IMTA 75 years ago.

In 1942, Mr. Ruan organized a meeting with 11 other trucking executives who were struggling to represent Iowa’s trucking industry to the government, so together they formed the IMTA. The legacy of like-minded truckers—even those who might be competitors—who worked together to promote the industry was prevalent in September at the IMTA’s annual management conference and 75th anniversary gala.

“As an IMTA intern many years ago, I saw the power of a strong, unified voice that could represent the trucking industry,” said John Ruan IV, president of Ruan, Inc., at the anniversary gala. “Trucking touches the life of every single person.”

At the opening ceremonies, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds echoed his sentiment about importance of the industry—an industry that employs one of every 13 Iowans.

“You make an impact on every Iowan, from the clothes we wear to the food we eat. You touch the final mile of every item delivered,” Governor Reynolds said. “Growing your industry and building a better Iowa go hand in hand.”

Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, attended the conference and spoke about the important obligation that state associations and their members have in lobbying state and federal governments regarding regulatory issues.

“The biggest arrow in our quiver is you—taking the time to tell your story,” he said, citing the trucking industry’s successful effort in getting Congress and former President Obama to permanently strike down the 2013 hours-of-service 34-hour restart provisions. The ATA continues to work on preparing truckers for the electronic logging device mandate; attracting new drivers to the industry; lobbying Congress about duplicitous interstate commerce rules; and helping President Trump achieve a 10-year, $1 trillion highway funding bill.  

“We’ll continue to go to work the trucking way—rolling up our sleeves and getting it done,” Spear said. “We will do the shoe-leather work.”


The IMTA distributes Best of the Best awards at the annual conference, and Ruan took home several, including Iowa Driver of the Year.

Des Moines driver Bill Wright was honored as the 2017 Iowa Driver of the Year for his commitment to safety and customer satisfaction. Wright has accumulated more than 3 million miles during his 34-year career as a professional driver.

“I hope that the example I try to set out on the road helps to improve the image of a professional truck driver and the trucking industry as a whole,” Wright wrote in a letter for the nomination. “My desire is to inspire the younger generation of drivers to be the best they can be, and to carry on a great tradition.”

At the same time, Cedar Falls, IA, driver Jeff Smith was honored as a finalist for the Driver of the Year award. Smith has driven more than 2 million miles during his 27-year career.

And, Safety Manager Joe Kizaur, who specializes in our gases and chemicals business unit, was honored as a Safety Professional of the Year finalist.

Ruan also took home an award as a company: the Fleet Safety Award in the general commodity, 20-50 million miles, category.

“I’d like to thank all of our professional drivers for their dedication and commitment to safety,” said Vice President of Safety Lisa Gonnerman.

Account Services Manager Lindsey Hermanson and Accounting Supervisor Bryon Rowland were recognized for participating in the IMTA’s 2017 Leadership Class, where they learned about the trucking industry’s lobbying efforts, public speaking and unique leadership styles.

Congratulations to all of our winners, and to the IMTA on 75 years! We’re proud that you represent Ruan.