ANN ARBOR, Mich. - When Bob Petrancosta first climbed into the cab of a truck over four decades ago, he had no inkling that he was starting down a career path that would see him rise to the top safety officer for one of the industry's premier transportation enterprises, and have his achievements recognized with the most prestigious safety honor the trucking industry can bestow on one of its own.
That scenario became a reality this week when he was named Safety Director of the Year by the American Trucking Associations' Safety Management Committee.
"Back when I started in trucking, I just wanted a good job that I could enjoy and enable me to provide for my family," said Petrancosta, who began as a driver and today is Con-way Freight's vice president of Safety. "It's been all that and much more. I have been fortunate to work for good people and a good company that has encouraged me to learn and push to higher goals, and gave me the opportunities and support to achieve those goals. It's humbling and gratifying to be honored with this award."
"Bob is a true leader and has represented the entire trucking industry with such dedication, passion and integrity," said Bill Graves, president and CEO, American Trucking Associations. "He is truly the consummate professional who has been instrumental in creating an enduring, wide-spread and results-oriented safety culture."
Con-way Inc. President and CEO Doug Stotlar first met Bob Petrancosta nearly 20 years ago on a Con-way Freight loading dock. "There is no individual in the LTL industry with more credibility and respect as an advocate and a leader in motor carrier safety than Bob Petrancosta," Stotlar noted. "His credibility stems from his experience. When he speaks to our drivers about safety best practices and how to improve, they listen, because they know he comes from their world and understands the challenges and rigors of the job they do every day. And he still has his CDL!"
Con-way Freight President Greg Lehmkuhl noted that the ATA's recognition is a reflection of Bob's passion for safety, his integrity and leadership skills. "Bob Petrancosta demonstrates every day a commitment to excellence that inspires all of us. His knowledge and experience have been critical to our journey to world-class safety," Lehmkuhl said.
Robert Petrancosta joined Con-way Freight in 1988 and over a 24-year career has advanced with the company from driver to freight operations supervisor, safety supervisor, service center manager, manager of safety, and director of safety and environmental. Since 2007 he has served as the company's vice president of Safety. He is responsible for all Safety and Compliance activities for Con-way Freight and its 21,000-person workforce spanning a network of over 300 service centers in North America.
He has been an active member of several American Trucking Associations committees including the Hazardous Materials Committee (Chair), the Safety Policy Committee, the Hours of Service Subcommittee, the Occupational Safety & Health Committee, the Regulations Committee (Chair), the National Truck Driving Championships Committee. He was appointed by the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to two two-year terms on the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee. He also was previously honored with the ATA's Safety and Loss Prevention Management Council's 2006 Leadership Award. Mr. Petrancosta attended Waubonsee College, Sugar Grove, Ill., majoring in hazardous materials technology. He and his wife, Patti, live in Ann Arbor.
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Robert Petrancosta Named Safety Director of the Year