Established in 2002, the William K. Smith Distinguished Service Award is presented to a private sector professional in the freight transportation and supply chain area for their leadership in the field and their contributions to mentorship and education of future leaders. The award is named in honor of William K. Smith, who served on the initial committee to establish CTS and on many CTS research and education councils until his death in 2001. While Smith served for many years as a state and national leader at General Mills, he also taught classes in the Carlson School of Management and influenced many others with his passion for learning and teaching.
This year’s award is presented to Bruce Abbe, who stepped down as full-time president & CEO of the Midwest Shippers Association in 2019. He is now CEO of Abbe Communications and Management Services and serves on the executive committee of MnDOT’s Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee, representing the interests of agricultural shippers.
Jason Craig, Vice Chair, Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee
George Schember, Vice President, Cargill Transportation & Logistics
Vanta Coda II, Executive Director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority, and President, Minnesota Ports Association
Brad Emch, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, SAV Transportation Group
Ronald Dvorak, Marketing Director, Lake Superior Warehousing
Robert "Chip" Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Bay and Bay Transportation.
Mark Berndt, Freight Program Leader, Olsson Associates
Meg Schmidt Duncan, Senior Manager of Carrier Relations, Koch Logistics
Kevin McCarthy, director of consulting services, C.H. Robinson
Dan Murray, Vice president of research, American Transportation Research Institute
Ron Have, President of Freightmasters, Inc.
Cathy Petersen, Principal, CJ Petersen & Associates
John Hausladen, President, Minnesota Trucking Association
Richard Murphy Jr., CEO, Murphy Warehouse Company
William Goins, Adjunct Faculty, Carlson School of Management
Howard Gochberg, Faculty, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Metropolitan State University
Ron Lifson, Vice president/general manager, LDI Fibres, Inc.
Gary Eikaas, Executive vice president, Dedicated Logistics, Inc.