Raise a Glass

Three long-time truck journalists have recently retired (or at least semi-retired)…and we’re happy to see them leave. That’s because they’re entering a new and wonderful phase of life of (hopefully) leisure… and we wish them nothing but the best.  They’ve earned it.

But, believe me they will be missed.  They were true pros.  

Wendy Leavitt. I met Wendy when I first entered the trucking industry — she’s was the ad/pr manager at Kenworth.  She was warm, responsive, open to ideas…and loved executing those ideas.  We worked on some wonderful projects together — launching the Trucker Buddy program comes first and foremost to mind. It’s a program still going strong to this day.  And, we had tons of fun with a PR campaign around the James Bond movie, "Licence to Kill” — in which KW W900L’s had a starring role. Who ever thought a W9 could do a wheelie?   And the Alabama concerts at MATS — which turned into a 15-year love fest between Kenworth, truckers, and the band (and drivers who drove the T600s).  As Wendy would say…and I can hear her saying it…’we had a hoot!’  And I couldn’t agree more.  We did.  Our relationship grew in a different way when Wendy left Kenworth to become an integral part of Fleet Owner’s editorial staff.  Instead of pitching her PR ideas, I was pitching her story ideas, and keeping her abreast of client news.  And we had lunches.  Lots of them.  Fun.  Those will continue.

Tom Berg…ahh Tom.  He was pounding out trucking stories well before me. For 40 years, our industry had the pleasure of having him. While semi-retired from Heavy Duty Trucking magazine, Tom says he’ll keep doing some work with Construction Equipment magazine.  Tom is knowledgeable. To the point. A terrific writer who says what he thinks and writes what is honest.  I always look forward to seeing Tom at trade events and pitching him story ideas.  He is a 'prove it to me' kinda guy….and if he doesn't think something in the trucking industry will work, he will tell you so.  He has always been the voice of reason. Refreshing.

Marsh Galloway….another industry giant who worked at the American Trucking Associations for 25 years.  I got to know him after he became the editor of the Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) Quarterly magazine.  The nicest guy you’ll ever want to meet and I can’t believe it, but it wasn’t till a couple of years ago that I could put a face with the voice when I met Marsh at TMC in Nashville.  He was an institution at TMC…not sure anyone can fill his shoes.

So to the three of you….we raise a glass in your honor.  Thanks for all your work in the trucking industry.  And your friendships.  You won’t be forgotten.