David O’Neal didn’t want to leave Arkansas, so he kept turning down Roadrunner Transportation Systems, which wanted him to take over its safety division at the company headquarters in Downers Grove, Illinois.
O’Neal had joined the Arkansas Trucking Association in 2015 to fill the newly created position of director of safety services. He was later promoted to vice president of safety programs and industry engagement.
After trying to persuade O’Neal to leave Arkansas, Roadrunner finally capitulated and offered O’Neal the opportunity to run its safety program from Little Rock out of the offices of Roadrunner subsidiary Rich Logistics. O’Neal accepted the offer to become Roadrunner’s vice president of safety, overseeing the safety programs of the company’s 18 subsidiaries.
“It was an interesting opportunity for what they wanted to do,” O’Neal said. “But I wasn’t in any way, shape or fashion interested in leaving Arkansas.”
O’Neal worked for FedEx for two decades before joining ATA when it created a safety program that included his position, the Arkansas Road Team and other projects. His carrier experience helped him with the organization side at ATA and now he returns to managing the day-to-day safety operations of a national transportation chain.
“It was just a great opportunity,” O’Neal said. “There was zero heartburn at ATA. I love [President] Shannon Newton and the entire team.”