Maine Motor bids farewell – and thanks – to Hanington
Dale Hanington recently retired after two decades at the head of the Maine Motor Transport Association (MMTA). His many contributions to the organization and to the transportation industry were honored at a farewell celebration December 15 in Augusta.
Over the years, Hanington has earned the respect of many in the industry, and the event was packed with well-wishers, despite his request for a modest event with only a few of his closest friends.
“Anyone who has been paying attention to the MMTA over the past 20 years knows what Dale has meant to the trucking industry,” said MMTA Chairman John Lightbody when Hanington’s retirement was announced. “He has fought for safety, for economic prosperity and for reasonable regulations in Washington and in Maine.”
Brian Parke, who for many years was Hanington’s second-in-command, delivered a rousing send-off for his former boss, saying “Dale has touched our lives either professionally, personally, or in my case, both. . . he epitomizes the words ‘integrity,’ ‘honesty’ and ‘leadership.’”
He jokingly referred Hanington as a “special-interest trucking lobbyist” – a label that Hanington was happy to wear, even when some people used it in derogatory terms. Parke said Hanington has been “only too proud to represent truckers and the people that are employed in our ‘special interest’ industry.”
Parke told the audience that Hanington loved the trucking industry because he “loves the fact it is one of the most important components to economic prosperity.” He also said Dale loved MMTA members for their concern with highway and workplace safety. But mostly he simply loved the people he met and represented in the industry.
Many of Maine’s top leaders in government and industry were on hand to praise Dale’s accomplishments. Many of those who couldn’t attend the send-off, sent words of thanks and congratulations.
U.S. Senator Susan Collins sent a video message to recognize his retirement and his accomplishments, in particular, his decades-long work on the truck weight pilot program to increase weight limits on Maine’s interstate system. After many years of active lobbying by MMTA and other leading individuals and business organizations, the pilot program was included in the 2010 budget authorization and signed by President Obama in late December.
Governor Baldacci’s office also sent words of congratulations. Those in attendance included Senator Kevin Raye (R-Washington County) and Senator Jonathan Courtney (R-York County), and Maine Turnpike Authority Executive Director Paul Violette. Violette worked closely with Hanington on the Turnpike Widening project and on establishing the Turnpike’s commercial discount toll program. The MTA is current working with the MMTA on a truck stop electrification project, as well as expansion of parking facilities at the West Gardiner service plaza.
Friends and well-wishers also took the chance to congratulate Hanington on his recent national honor. Hanington received the American Trucking Association’s 2009 Leadership Award for his tireless efforts to promote the interests of the trucking industry on a state and national level. “I’ve known and worked with Dale for nearly two decades,” said Jim Runk, chair of the Trucking Association Executives Council when he announced Hanington as the award recipient in November. “He has always been a strong advocate for the trucking industry and a staunch supporter of the ATA federation.”
Hanington is being succeeded by Brian Parke as MMTA’s president and CEO. Parke has served as the MMTA’s vice president since 2006 and brings 14 years of experience with the association’s self-insured Workers’ Compensation Trust program in both loss prevention and as the trust administrator.
FMI: For more information about the MMTA, visit www.mmta.com