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G.E. ‘Butch’ Rice Elected Chairman of Arkansas Trucking Association

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G.E. “Butch” Rice III was elected chairman of the board of directors of the Arkansas Trucking Association on Thursday at the organization’s conference.

Rice, the president of Stallion Transportation Group of Beebe, has been on the ATA board for more than a decade. After a voice vote elected him, Rice teared up at the podium when speaking about his father, Garland, who died three months ago.

“My dad is the reason I’m in this rude and crude industry,” Rice said.

Rice said he was going to do what he thought was best for the organization but, if he was ever wrong, he wanted the other executives to “please straighten my a** out.”

Rice founded Stallion in 1992 and the company has grown into a 74-truck operation. Rice said during his years as a board member he has learned a lot about the dynamics of the trucking industry, which includes large companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville and J.B. Hunt Transport Inc. of Lowell but also numerous companies that have a dozen or fewer trucks.

“On the board, you leave your company outside the door,” Rice said. “We’re made of a real diverse group.”

Rice replaces J.B. Hunt’s Craig Harper as chairman, and ATA named three new members of the 21-person board. Bryan McDuffie of Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale and Todd Venerable of MHC Kensworth of Little Rock joined the board, as did Doug Voss of the University of Central Arkansas.

Tim Thorne, the president and CEO of ABF Freight, the largest subsidiary of ArcBest Corp. of Fort Smith, was also officially named to the board after having previously replaced Roy Slagle, who retired this past year from ABF Freight.

Voss replaced John Ozment as the board’s academic member. Ozment, a professor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, was recognized by ATA President Shannon Newton with a plaque for his many years of service to the organization.

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