Laura McMillan, vice president of training development at Instructional Technologies Inc., is dead at age 56.
“In many ways Laura had been responsible for the success of ITI in our early years,” said Jim Voorhees, CEO of ITI, in an ITI statement on McMillan's passing. “In 2005, Laura came to Vancouver to see what this little company — there were only six of us then — had been developing in the realm of training. At the time she was working at Schneider National Trucking. I remember she asked us if we thought we could handle the workload of supplying training to a company as big as Schneider. We promised we would build the best training she had ever seen. She put her faith in us, and it was a huge step forward.”
According to the statement, McMillan played a large part in the growth and success of ITI over the years. She had BS in business management and an MA in instructional system design and adult learning. McMillan also had an active commercial driver's license and more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, including the Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) accreditation from the National Private Truck Council.
"In short, she was brilliant,” said Don Osterberg, ITI strategic advisor and former senior vice president at Schneider National. “Recruiting her into the transportation industry serves as one of my proudest accomplishments. I know without reservation that her efforts served to enlighten leaders in ways that ultimately served to save lives. Laura was soft spoken, pragmatic, selfless, and fiercely dedicated to improving the trucking industry. She flattered me recently by referring to me as her mentor, but truth be known, I learned far more from Laura than she ever learned from me. She was my hero. Her wisdom will live on in all who had the honor of knowing her."
She spoke at a number of industry conferences, published articles, and her ability to solve client problems made her one of the most recognized training people in our industry, according to ITI. She has been interviewed many times by the HDT editorial staff, including for this episode of the HDT Talks Trucking podcast on the entry-level driver training rule.
McMillan served on numerous committees and boards, including the American Trucking Associations, National Private Truck Council, Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Driver Institute, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s entry-level driver training curriculum sub-committee, American Society of Training and Development, Women in Trucking, and the Commercial Vehicle Training Association.
McMillan was also a writer, a marathon runner, a world-traveling scuba diver, and a watercolor painter. For anyone that would like to share a memory of McMillan, ITI has set up a memorial web page.