RITA’s First Female Chair Aims to ‘Move Minds’

WARWICK, R.I. (Feb. 26, 2023) – Debora Babin Katz assumed the gavel as the first woman to Chair the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Trucking Association on Tuesday, carrying on a rich legacy within the 92-year history of that association. In doing so, she paid homage to a former trucking industry trail blazer and vowed to ‘move minds’ as she endeavors to lead and grow that organization’s non-profit Foundation.

“Lena Daly was an exceptional female leader in our industry and her leadership of the Rhode Island Truck Owners Association from 1960 to 1981 contributed to where RITA is today,” said Babin Katz.

“I am excited to move forward on a dual track as RITA’s new Chair: to serve and support our valued members and to advance the mission of RITA’s newly-formed Foundation. The trustees of this Foundation board will be comprised of an incredible group of thought leaders, both within our organization and outside of RITA. We will focus on growing the foundation’s fund to Move Minds by expanding our education scholarships including the Lena Daly/WIT Foundation Scholarship and the John J. Gill Scholarship, in the area of transportation; developing apprenticeship and career development programs and educating the public about the amazing career opportunities in the transportation industry. We will continue to strengthen our relationship with URI’s Supply Chain program and the national Women In Trucking Foundation as part of these initiatives, which will assist our members in addressing a significant challenge they face today: labor shortages,” she added.

photo of katz, spear and kiselica

(L-R) Debora Babin Katz, ATA President & CEO Chris Spear, and Michael Kiselica

Vice President of RITA member TrucBrush, Debora Babin Katz’ board experience includes seven years on the Women In Trucking Foundation, four years as its chair, and on the Executive Boards of both RITA and the Trucking Association of Massachusetts(TAM). She currently serves on the board of the national Snow & Ice Management Association(SIMA) and their Foundation board.

Babin Katz’ ascension to Chair follows a year of successful outreach events by both RITA and the RITA Foundation, including a visit by ATA’s Interstate One to URI in April in a collaborative event between the University of Rhode Island’s Supply Chain Management Program, the ATA’s Trucking U Program and RITA and a fundraiser in September at the Tilted Barn in Exeter.

“Becoming RITA’s Chair is not Debora’s first rodeo,” stated RITA President Chris Maxwell. “She was instrumental in the success of the Women in Trucking Foundation. She also played a key role in building the Foundation of SIMA. RITA’s Foundation was a ship without a rudder until she came along, and now we have a Captain. I look forward to watching her navigate with greatness. I am excited as the Debora Babin Katz era begins as her legacy, a first in so many ways, begins to take root. With her leadership and talent in place, we can channel our energies to serve the greater good of trucking which has a pretty large impact on the greater good of all.”

Babin Katz, who succeeds Attorney Michael Kiselica as Chair, will serve a two-year term for RITA, the exclusive Rhode Island affiliate of the American Trucking Associations.

About RITA

The Rhode Island Trucking Association, Inc. (RITA) is a chartered, nonprofit organization whose membership is made up of truck owners, fleet owners, private and for hire motor carriers, and allied industries. Since 1931, RITA has represented and promoted all motor carrier interests on the state level. RITA, the only statewide trucking association, has been a member of the American Trucking Associations since 1944.

For more information, please visit https://ritrucking.org.

RITA Staff

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