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Trucking announcements: WTG celebrates 40th anniversary, Nikola names Vesco to board – Truck News

Each week, TruckNews.com lists news, notable moves, promotions and awards in the trucking industry.

Our latest installment includes Woodcock Transportation Group marking its 40th anniversary, Nikola Corporation appointing a board member, promotions at Phillips Industries, and a new chief safety officer at FMCSA.

WTG marks 40th anniversary

Sebringville, Ont.-based Woodcock Transportation Group (WTG) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. “We’ve always been a family business,” said owner Brad Woodcock. “It’s evolved over the years into a very different business, but it still comes back to service.”

Picture of WTG trucks in a yard
(Photo: WTG)

In 1973, Brad’s father Bob Woodcock and his older brother Lorrie purchased Merchants Delivery in Stratford, Ont. The company had a small fleet of delivery cars, vans, and a 5-ton straight-truck delivering parcels from local retailers to residents in the city.

By 1979 the business outgrew the Stratford location, and required a larger facility, which brought them to Sebringville. The two continued to expand the business until the senior Woodcock retired in 1983.

Brad purchased his father’s share of the business, and the company changed its name to Woodcock Brothers. A licensed mechanic, Brad purchased and maintained the trucks, and operated a used-car lot, while Lorrie looked after the operations. From that time onward the focus of the company has been hauling freight.

The company has doubled in size from 40 to 80 tractor trailers. In 2004, Lorrie retired and sold his shares of the business to Brad, who became the sole owner of the company, which became Woodcock Transportation Group in 2020.

Woodcock said that succeeding for more than four decades takes a great team, willingness to evolve with the industry’s demands, and the ability to make difficult decisions when the need arises.

Nikola Corporation appoints Vesco to board of directors

Picture of John Vesco
John Vesco (Photo: Nikola Corporation)

Truck and energy company Nikola Corporation has appointed John Vesco to its board of directors. Vesco has had extensive executive leadership within transportation and supply chain organizations, including Hub Group and Schneider.

“We are thrilled to welcome John Vesco to Nikola’s board of directors. With his wide-ranging expertise in creating strategic customer relationships, asset management and navigating complex supply chain models, John brings a wealth of knowledge that I am confident will enrich our vision moving forward,” said Steve Shindler, chairman of Nikola’s board of directors.

A graduate of Walsh University in Finance and Business Administration, Vesco went on to complete a master’s in business administration from Silver Lake College.

Phillips Industries promotes White, Forthoffer

Phillips Industries, designer and manufacturer components and technology solutions, has promoted Amber White to vice-president of corporate marketing and Dan Forthoffer to vice-president of corporate research and development.

“Dan’s R&D team continues to bring incredibly innovative products to market, and Amber is exceptional at communicating the benefits of our solutions and creating an awareness of the value that they add to a fleet’s bottom line,” said Rob Phillips, CEO of Phillips.

Lawless named FMCSA assistant administrator, chief safety officer

The  U.S. Department of Transportation has named Sue Lawless as the assistant administrator and chief safety officer for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Lawless will officially assume the position on Sept. 10.


Lawless will promote the agency’s safety mission, collaborate with federal, state, and local governments, and provide direction to all national commercial vehicle safety programs.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Sue in this position at FMCSA. Her experience in the industry and her years of service at FMCSA will ensure the agency is well-positioned to continue its safety mission,” says Robin Hutcheson, FMCSA administrator.  

Prior to her appointment, Lawless served as the director of FMCSA’s Motor Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Standards Division. She first joined FMCSA in 2001, but later transitioned to the private sector where she was a partner in a law firm and represented motor carriers, motor carrier drivers, and various transportation businesses. Lawless rejoined FMCSA in 2010.

Lawless received a Bachelor of Arts degree from McDaniel College and law degree from the University of Baltimore. 

If you know of other people moves in the trucking industry and would like us to consider your announcement, email Leo Barros at leo@newcom.ca

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