VTA senior management transition

Victorian Transport Association (VTA) president Paul Freestone has announced that the VTA Executive Council has endorsed a major succession plan for the Victorian Transport Association that will see long standing VTA Chief Executive Officer, Philip Lovel AM, hand over the reins to current Deputy CEO Neil Chambers from July 2012.

“On 30 June this year, I complete 26 years service at the VTA,” said Mr Lovel. “This is a long time to hold such a position. Now is the time to stand aside to allow a new enthusiastic person to lead the VTA into the next phase of its long existence.

“Neil has worked with me since 2003 as Industry Services Director and Deputy CEO. I am, along with the Board, very pleased to hand over to such a knowledgeable and professional person.”

Mr Lovel will maintain a part-time role as Executive Director of the Association over the next few years. “I will be handing over corporate knowledge and assisting the new management team to ensure that the VTA continues its reputation as the leading employer/prime contractor organisation representing the transport and logistics industry.

“I will remain as a Director of the TWU Superannuation Fund, having been an employer representative on this highly successful Industry Fund since 1986. In addition, I am committed to being Secretary/Treasurer of the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) for the next few years.

“The industrial relations scene is changing in our industry, with additional regulation such as the Road Safety Remuneration legislation, the ever evolving application of the Fair Work Act, the modernisation of the Award structure, and the prevalence of individual enterprise agreements. ARTIO has a central role in representing employers to Fair Work Australia, and to the new Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.”

Mr Lovel is also keen to continue to chair the Victorian Transport Industry Safety Group (TISG), and to be involved in VTA-led industry enforcement authority safety liaison forums until the new management structure of the association has been finalised.

Mr Lovel will also assist in delivering key industry events in 2012 and 2013, including the Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIAs) on 1 September at Crown Palladium, and various events leading up to Freight Week 2013 in September next year.

“This is a very seamless hand over, full of goodwill and support,” he added. “The VTA is changing everyday, along with our industry and customer base. The succession plan allows the VTA as an organisation to change and grow as well.”

Paul Freestone acknowledged the fantastic effort Mr Lovel has put in over difficult times that have included recessions, union industrial campaigns, new Governments and a changing membership base.

“I am amazed at what the VTA has achieved under Phil’s period of service. There are many industry changes that have been addressed or initiated by the VTA Board, Committees and Groups, led by Phil and by Neil also. Thankfully, Phil has agreed to stay around to assist in the change over,” said Mr Freestone.

Neil Chambers said he is looking forward to the challenges in assuming the role of CEO, and guiding the Association’s services and initiatives into the future.

“We have recently renewed the Strategic Plan for the Association,” Mr Chambers said. “Our future lies in providing knowledge, delivering services and leading initiatives to assist our members to be as profitable, safe, sustainable and as productive as they can be.”

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