Ficker new president of NITL

Ficker new president of NITL

WASHINGTON - The National Industrial Transportation League has named John B. Ficker as its new president.

Ficker will assume his new post on Sept. 1. He is currently a member of the NIT League's executive board. He is also logistics development manager with Weyerhaeuser Corp. based in Federal Way, Wash. His background includes logistics management in the paper industry, and rail transportation.

Ficker succeeds Edward Emmett, who resigned earlier this year to head a logistics consultancy.

Ficker said he wanted the group to be responsive to its members, and that members would drive its agenda in the future.

"We're going to be active in those areas where our members direct us to be active," he said. "I want to make the League a value to its members that makes them want to participate. I tell members, you can help frame transportation policy, or you can let it happen to you."

Ficker was a member of the NIT League board that adopted the Vision 2020 program last year. For the first time in its 96-year history, the league is admitting carriers and other supply-chain participants to full membership.

Ficker said that transportation issues were no longer "us versus them," but required a collaborative approach of shippers and carriers.

"We are going to provide leadership to the industry, and be the preeminent organization in the country and the world," he said.

Ficker and Chairman Tom Pellington said that the NIT League is financially healthy, and has sustained a membership of some 600 companies, despite economic conditions that can threaten trade-association membership.

"We have held our own. I consider that a real positive thing," Ficker said. "If you can stay even, that's actual growth in this environment."

The League has been searching for a new president since Edward Emmett resigned in March. Pellington said that despite the five-month interval, the league board held out to find the right candidate.

He said Ficker is the right person at the right time to lead the league into the new era of collaboration among all participants in transportation.

Ficker will take over from Peter J. Gatti, who served as interim president. Before Emmett resigned, Gatti was vice president for international policy. Pellington said Gatti would stay with the league, but he hinted Gatti would be getting new responsibilities.

"There are some real good things happening with Peter Gatti," Pellington said.

Gatti said Ficker was a "terrific choice" to be NIT League president.

"He knows the industry inside and out. That kind of experience is going to serve our organization well," Gatti said. "The league has a long history, but the most exciting days lie ahead. You're going to see a larger, stronger organization that represents all parts of the industry."