Tarheel Wheels - Fall 2015 - (Page 18)

Safety First Al Ganey (left), pictured here with Roy Cox at the NCTA 2015 Annual Management Conference, is NCTA's new chairman. I Ezzell Trucking's Al Ganey becomes NCTA's new chairman. BY JEAN FEINGOLD ncoming North Carolina Trucking Association (NCTA) Chairman Al Ganey joined Harrells-based Ezzell Trucking in 1996, but this company began many years earlier. It was founded by farmer James A. Ezell in 1951 to haul his own turkeys to market. It evolved into a trucking company that hauled other farmers' turkeys and later moved refrigerated, dry van and bulk commodities regionally and cross country. Today, with six locations in North Carolina and one in Virginia, Ezzell Trucking focuses on hauling wood residuals including chips, bark, shavings, logs and wood pellets for the forestry industry in the Carolinas and Virginia. Major customers include International Paper, Weyerhaeuser, Georgia Pacific and Enviva Biomass. The company's 160 employees service three major paper mills, five sawmill facilities and two wood pellet manufacturing plants. The fleet consists of 70 company trucks slip seated with 130 company drivers and 10 owner operators using 270 trailers to move in excess of 1,700 loads per week. After attending Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, NC, where he studied business administration, Ganey worked in the fertilizer industry for Kaiser Agricultural Chemicals from 1974 to 1990. He held various roles focusing on logistics and operations. "In 1990 I transitioned into the transportation industry with MCO Transport, initially as a dispatcher. I moved to operations manager and then sales manager," he said. Ganey joined the Ezzell team as sales director and was promoted to vice president of operations and sales the following year, becoming president/COO in 2004. In this position, Ganey's work concentrates on sales and operations. Seven department heads report directly to him, including human resources and safety. That places him as the point man to deal with two of trucking's most important issues: driver turnover and safety. Ezzell Trucking has figured out innovative ways of dealing with both. "All of our drivers work within a 100-mile radius of their domicile terminal and are home every day," he explained. "This helps with both recruiting and retention." As a family man himself, he sees the importance and value of this type of working arrangement. "I was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina, and still reside there, along with my greatest supporter, my wife Janice of 41 years," Ganey said. "We have been blessed with three wonderful children and three grandchildren who are the light of our lives and all live within five minutes of us." Safety is a top priority at Ezzell Trucking. "Our company has a safety culture that was established by the 18 I tarheel wheels I www.nctrucking.com Ezzell family," said Ganey. "It starts with our company trucks being governed at 60 mph. Since our origin in 1951 we have never been at fault in a fatality. We also incorporate a 'Ride A Long' program conducted by our safety managers, who spend a shift with each driver annually to ensure safe driving practices are followed. This also allows us to spend some 'face time' with our most precious resource, our drivers." Enviva Biomass is the company's largest customer. Chris Wardwell, its director of kogistics, likes doing business with Ganey and Ezell Trucking. "Their day-to-day commitment to serving Enviva as a customer is outstanding," he said. "Al and his team provide a hands-on approach that is greatly appreciated. Ezzell was extremely helpful and flexible during our plant's startup in 2011 and grew with us as the plants developed to their full capacity. Al is a trucking industry pro. We lean on him to keep us current in the ever changing industry and how our operations could be potentially impacted. Al is a 'mean what he says and says what he means' kind of guy." NCTA Matters In becoming NCTA chairman, Ganey is upholding a company tradition of industry service, as Ezzell Trucking's CEO Grover Ezzell is a former chairman. "I owe a great deal to Grover Ezzell for placing his confidence in me 19 years ago and entrusting me in my role," Ganey said. "He also insisted that I become involved with the NCTA and supports our participation in all phases. The NCTA has provided me with a fraternity of colleagues who have provided direction and been an invaluable resource for both me and our company. There have been several companies who have provided multiple chairmen, but I do believe we may be the smallest company to have achieved this honor. I believe this speaks to our commitment both as individuals as well as our company." "When I began my career as a dispatcher I would never have dreamed that one day I would be serving as NCTA chairman and following in the footsteps of the leaders in this industry representing our state, this association and our members," Ganey commented. "It is an honor that I hope to live up to." Industry Issues in the Coming Year Ganey plans to continue the work the association has been doing on several issues. "Over the past several years we have focused on remaining 'toll free' in NC," he said. continued on page 21 http://www.nctrucking.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tarheel Wheels - Fall 2015

President’s Message
Top Tech Challenge
NCTA’s Truck Driving Championship
Scenes From the 2015 Convention
Safety First
Index of Advertisers

Tarheel Wheels - Fall 2015