Max Fuller, co-chairman and CEO of the company, accepted the award on Quinn's behalf on March 6 during TCA's Annual Convention in Kissimmee, Fla.
"Pat had a real love for this industry," Fuller said. "He worked hard in TCA and ATA to make our industry a better place, and I think we are all in a better environment today thanks to his efforts."
Quinn dedicated his entire professional career to the motor carrier industry. Educated as a lawyer, he specialized in transportation law for several years until joining Southwest Motor Freight, where he rose to the position of executive vice president and general manager. In 1985, he founded U.S. Xpress along with business partner Max Fuller, co-chairman and CEO. It eventually grew from a 48-truck start-up operation to become one of the nation's largest privately owned truckload carriers.
As a trucking leader, Quinn was very active in TCA, most notably serving as the organization's chairman from 2001-2002. He served on numerous association committees, including Regulatory Policy, Highway Policy, Carrier/Shipper Relations, Independent Contractor Practices Policy, Financial Oversight & Long-Range Planning, among others. He also participated in TCA's Shipper/Receiver Management Panel and the Improving Efficiency at the Docks Management Panel.
Quinn served a year as chairman of the American Trucking Associations from October 2005 to October 2006, and then volunteered to stay on as chairman for another eight months following the unexpected passing of ATA's chairman-elect, C.J. "Mac" McCormick, III. While Quinn was at the helm of ATA, he earned a senatorial appointment to serve as a Department of Transportation commissioner on the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission. He was also a member of ATA's Image & Communications Committee and helped develop the plan for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
In 1997, Quinn received the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Nebraska. He served on the Trade & Transportation Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as well as the board of trustees at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.
"There's no question that Pat Quinn made a huge impact on trucking during his many, many years of industry involvement," said Gary Salisbury, outgoing chairman of TCA and the president and chief executive officer of Fikes Truck Line, Inc., Hope, Arkansas. "His name was synonymous with trucking. I only wish we could have presented our highest honor to him while he was still with us."
The Past Chairmen's Award recognizes industry leaders who make significant contributions to the business community, the industry, and the TCA. It is the highest honor given by the organization. Contrary to the title of the award, the recipient of the award does not have to be a past chairman of the association.