Jason McDaniel | Bulk Transporter
Randy Obermeyer, TMC general chairman, at right, presents Matt Jablon, district service director for Daimler Truck North America, with a Silver Spark Plug award Monday during TMC's 2023 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

TMC recognizes four Silver Spark Plug winners

March 1, 2023
Cummins and Daimler Truck North America professionals were among the 2023 winners of TMC's highest member honor.

ORLANDO, Florida—The American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council recognized four members with Silver Spark Plug awards Feb. 27 during its 2023 Annual Meeting.

Randy Obermeyer, TMC’s general chairman, presented the council’s top honor to Brian Liimatta, customer service manager at Cummins; Matt Jablon, district service director for Daimler Truck North America; recently retired industry veteran Anita Byrne; and Jack Poster, TMC’s Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards (VMRS) services manager.

“The Silver Spark Plug is given to individuals who demonstrate professional excellence in commercial vehicle maintenance as our industry’s highest honor,” said Robert Braswell, TMC executive director, in a news release. “Our winners this year represent the highest level of expertise and ability in our industry. We are pleased to recognize them with this award.”

Silver Spark Plug winners are full or associate members with at least five years of active service in support of TMC leadership and/or activities who have earned the respect of their peers; demonstrated industry leadership; and contributed new ideas, practices, or innovations in the management and maintenance of commercial motor vehicles that contributed materially to equipment  improvement.

“Today we honor four individuals who have clearly demonstrated all of the above,” Obermeyer told the packed Town Meeting crowd.

Liimatta, a member since 2015, is active in the S.3 engine study group, having served as second vice chairman, and on several S.3 taskforces. He also served on the S.14 study group, and has moderated or contributed in several technical sessions. “He is known for going above and beyond, and has worked on various RPs, Obermeyer said. “He is always willing to take on challenges.”

Jablon, a member since 2014, is active in the S.16 service provider study group, having served as the group’s vice chairman, and chaired two taskforces. “He was one of the pioneers of S.16,” Obermeyer said. “His work experience and passion for the service side of the business has been a true asset to the group’s work and accomplishments.

“He’s a silent leader who doesn’t seek recognition for his contributions—and isn’t afraid of putting in the work.”

Byrne, who wasn’t present, has been a member since 2009. She recently concluded a term as associates vice chairman, and previously served on TMC’s member outreach and mentor committees. “Her work on taskforces and study groups has been outstanding,” Obermeyer said.

Poster has been with TMC since 2007. He has dedicated his service to improving and updating VMRS, which is the industry standard for equipment cost reporting, having organized or served as moderator or panelist for numerous technical sessions pertaining to VMRS. “He is always helpful and participatory, and easy to work with," Obermeyer said. “He is Mr. VMRS.”

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Added Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO: “I want to share my congratulations with the individuals receiving TMC’s highest honor—the Silver Spark Plug. They have demonstrated the kind of professionalism and dedication to our industry that the millions of Americans employed in trucking aspire to.”

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Jason McDaniel

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