Speakers and Panelists

The 2017 NIT League Transportation Summit will bring some of the top thinkers, analysts, and decision makers in freight transportation and business leadership to San Diego to share their insights with League members. Here are just some of the speakers and panelists you’ll hear and meet.

Opening Keynote Speaker: Ken Blanchard


Acclaimed management expert Ken Blanchard, author of the best-selling The One Minute Manager and co-founder (with his wife, Marjorie) of an eponymous global consulting business, will formally open the Summit with his keynote address. Ken and his executive team focus on three goals—to make a difference in people’s lives, to drive human worth and effectiveness in the workplace, and to help each organization they work with become a provider and employer of choice.

Tuesday Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Mick Ukleja


Mick Ukleja is the founder and president of LeadershipTraQ, a leadership consulting firm, and a founder of the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership at California State University, Long Beach. He will headline an afternoon presentation and panel discussion that will focus on the changes and challenges facing companies and employees as the Baby Boomers retire and Millennials seek to make their mark on the workplace.

Dinner Speaker: Mike Singletary

Mike Singletary was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998 after an illustrious career that included 10 NFL Pro Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl win in 1986 with the Chicago Bears. Twice voted the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, Mike was known as “Samurai Mike” for his passion and intensity and as the “Minister of Defense” because he is also an ordained minister. After retiring as a player, Mike began coaching in the NFL, eventually becoming head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. His career as a motivational speaker was foreshadowed by his inspirational pep talks to teammates and players in locker rooms before games.

Navigating the Intergenerational Workforce

Following on the heels of the keynote presentation by Mick Ukleja, this session will look at how employers and employees are navigating the rise of the Millennial workforce and the transition of Boomer workers to full or phased retirement. This session will—

  • Provide decision-making tools for workers seeking to transition to retirement within the next five years;
  • Make the business case for attracting and hiring Millennial workers;
  • Showcase how one company is implementing a company-wide plan to train new workers as longtime employees head toward retirement; and
  • Provide a greater understanding of the Millennial worker’s characteristics, work style, and long-term goals.

The session panelists are as follows:

  • Julie Alsup, manager of government relations for International Paper, a leading manufacturer of paper, packaging, and pulp products
  • John Chen, director of marketing at MCI USA, an association management and events management firm
  • Debbie Taylor, an executive recruiter with Edna A. Rice and Associates, an executive recruiting firm that specializes in the rail and transportation industries
  • Mike Regan (moderator), chief of relationship development at TranzAct Technologies, a supply chain solutions firm

The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040

Energy is vital to every aspect of modern life. Around the clock, around the globe, people rely on energy to prepare their meals, get to work, heat and cool their homes, and much more. In this informative session, William Landuyt, an energy adviser in the Corporate Strategic Planning Department at ExxonMobil, will discuss the factors that drive the world’s energy needs and the likely choices that will be made to meet those needs.

Highway Transportation Panel

What does the future hold for trucking? Disruption? Adoption? Metamorphosis? NITL’s Highway Committee has pulled together an outstanding collection of industry experts who will offer a wealth of takeaways for you and your company. This panel discussion, moderated by Mark Willis, host of the popular Sirius XM radio show “Road Dog Trucking,” will look at freight transportation from a variety of perspectives—economic, technological, corporate, regulatory, and human. Join us for an educational and unpredictable discussion that will help you move your supply chain planning forward. This is one session you won’t want to miss!

  • Alan Amling, vice president of corporate strategy, UPS
  • Trent Broberg, general manager, Truckstop.com and Real Time Freight
  • William Morrisroe, vice president of sales and marketing, Cold Carriers
  • Eric Starks, chairman and chief executive of FTR Transportation Intelligence, a transportation economics firm
  • Jeff Tucker, CEO of Tucker Company Worldwide, America’s oldest privately held freight brokerage
  • Mark Willis (moderator), host of the popular Sirius XM radio show “Road Dog Trucking”

Ocean Transportation Panel

The maritime freight industry has been jolted in recent weeks by the announcement of the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy and the merger of several other large shipping firms. This panel discussion will reflect on these and other developments and explore the future of ocean transportation.

  • Rebecca Dye, commissioner with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission, which regulates the U.S. international ocean transportation system
  • John Butler, president and CEO of the World Shipping Council, the leading voice of the liner shipping industry
  • Duncan McGrath, global container freight manager at Cargill, a leading supplier of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services

Rail Transportation Panel

Titled Tomorrow’s Railroad: Are We Ready?, this panel discussion with key members of the rail sector will address a number of topics, including updates to the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act, railroad investment, enhancing collaboration between shippers, railroads, and regulators, positive train control technology, and the impact of the new president’s administration on the railroad industry. Panelists are as follows:

  • Deb Miller, vice chairman on the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, which regulates railroad rates, service, mergers, and traffic
  • David Garin, group vice president of industrial products at BNSF, the second largest freight railroad in North America
  • Brad Hildebrand, global rail and barge lead at Cargill, a leading supplier of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services
  • David Nahass, president of the Railroad Financial Corporation (RFC), a financial advisory firm focused solely on the global rail industry.
  • Jean Jacques Ruest, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Canadian National, Canada’s largest railroad
  • Richard Dodd (moderator), president of RDC Logistics and president of the North American Rail Shippers Association