A New Beginning

Michael Riccio, CTB | LEONARD’S EXPRESS

WHERE DO I even begin? That was the question I asked myself when the Association asked me to contribute an article to 3PL Perspectives magazine. As I head into my 14th year with TIA, and as my first year as TIA Board Chairman, I am continually amazed at the evolution and innovation of the transportation industry to meet the emerging needs of our customers and business partners.

Similar to the industry, the Association also faces these same opportunities for change. One of the ways in which the Association is meeting these needs is through the recent hiring of Anne Reinke as our new President & CEO. Anne brings with her invaluable experience and perspective to achieve the goals and vision of our organization. I am honored and excited to work alongside her and help her accomplish these initiatives. This excitement and energy are shared within TIA staff as they collaborate with Anne on inventive ways to provide services to our members. Between market volatility, the shifting landscape in technology, challenges created by the pandemic, and potential regulations coming from a new administration in Washington, there are many challenges for the organization to address. With Anne’s leadership, I believe these challenges create an opportunity for TIA to grow and make a lasting impact on the industry.

During my time as Chairman, there are four strategic areas that I plan to focus on to benefit and complement the goals of the Association.

BETWEEN MARKET VOLATILITY, THE SHIFTING LANDSCAPE IN TECHNOLOGY, CHALLENGES CREATED BY THE PANDEMIC, AND POTENTIAL REGULATIONS COMING FROM A NEW ADMINISTRATION IN WASHINGTON, THERE ARE MANY CHALLENGES FOR THE ORGANIZATION TO ADDRESS.

  1. Education: In addition to the great educational courses we currently offer, we are continually developing tools and services to help our members meet their specific needs. As your company evolves and grows, your challenges and needs change. We are working to tailor programs to meet the distinct needs of your organization based on size, scope and the services you provide.
  2. Advocacy: The rules and regulations created by bureaucrats can have many unintended negative consequences on our businesses and on the industry as a whole. The TIA Government Affairs team works diligently on advocating to our elected officials for the industry interests, but we need our members’ involvement to bring a powerful voice to the table.
  3. Connections: The ability to meet and bounce ideas off new individuals who have or are experiencing similar industry challenges is one of the greatest benefits of being a member of the Association. I have created lifelong friendships through TIA, and I feel this is one of our association’s greatest values. In addition to these existing friendships, I believe we have the opportunity to build stronger relationships with our shippers and carriers. How do we change the carrier’s perception of us, so that they accept us as an extension of the shipper and not a hurdle to get over? We must continue to collaborate and network with other industry associations to forge closer alliances.
  4. Transparency: Lastly, as culture in our country changes, we as an industry need to foster these changes and create an environment of inclusivity and transparency. Anne is already addressing this through building trust with her staff, Board of Directors, our members and our vendors. I would like to continue this work by implementing policies and creating opportunities that involve all of our members. We plan to continue this adaptation by creating a space that provides opportunities to all of our members and implementing policies that address all constituents’ needs.

It is a new beginning for our organization, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!

Mike Riccio is the Chairman of TIA and the Chief Marketing Officer at Leonard’s Express. Leonard’s Express is a family owned, asset-based transportation provider based in Farmington, New York.

Image credit: CIENPIES DESIGN/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM