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Content Advisory Group

Vertical Alliance Group, Inc., is proud to recognize the team of safety, transportation, and human resource specialists who have contributed to the making of our training materials.

Mike AlstonMike Alston, MBA, CHMM, CDGP
Transportation Compliance (HAZMAT)
Since 2005, Mike Alston has served as the Vice President of Operations for Transportation Compliance Associates, Inc., where he is responsible for providing expert consulting and auditing services across the United States in all modes of transportation.  He creates customized compliance programs for organizations needing hazardous material regulatory training.  Mike’s prior experience also includes being the Principal Engineer Hazardous Materials at Westinghouse Electric Company, serving as the Regional Transportation Safety Manager for Sunoco, Inc., and serving as the Regulatory Compliance Manager for Aristech Chemical Corp.


Mike AlstonDan Baker
Dispatcher/Driver Relationships

Dan Baker is a native Texan, who has lived in Texas all his life. He began his career as a Methodist Minister in San Antonio, Texas. After leaving the ministry in 1969, he became a professional speaker, and as fate would have it, he was adopted by the trucking industry, where he quickly became a favorite among drivers, dispatchers, safety professionals and trucking companies of all shapes and sizes. Dan speaks nationally on how to connect the realities of trucking with the people issues that control those realities.


Mike AlstonTimothy Barton
Safety, Trucking Industry

Timothy Barton spent almost 18 years of his career in the transportation industry as the Safety Supervisor at Southern Refrigerated Transport, Inc., in Texarkana, AR.  During his tenure in this role, he regularly provided insights and content information for Vertical Alliance Group, Inc.’s, online training program.  He now serves as the Safety Manager for TMC Transportation, Inc., in Des Moines, Iowa.



Mike AlstonAngie Buchanan, MBA
Safety, Trucking Industry

Angie Buchanan joined Melton Truck Lines in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1996 and has been serving as the Vice President of Safety and Human Resources since 2008.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Business from Northeastern State University.




Mike AlstonRodney Dwayne Butler, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Human Resources
Since 1993, Dwayne Butler has owned and operated Red Carpet Employment Agency, Inc., in Texarkana, Arkansas. He is active in his local community, serving in various roles including as Board Member for the Chamber of Commerce, President of Tri-State SHRM, President of B.O.N.D., Area 11 Governor for Twin Cities Toastmasters, and is a 1998 graduate of Leadership Texarkana. He is currently serving as a Board of Director for the Mid-South Region of the Better Business Bureau. He has been strategically instrumental in forming the local Texarkana BBB Advisory Board.


Mike AlstonLawrence Earl, M.D.
Health and Wellness

Dr. Larry Earl has served as the Medical Director for the National Academy of DOT Medical Examiners since April 2012, where he oversees the development of online training courses for the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.  Additionally, he has served the urgent care and occupational health industry since 2011 as a consultant through his business Urgent Care Mentor.  He started his career in medicine in 1984 as an urgent care staff physician, becoming Corporate Medical Director for Healthnet Medical Group in 1991 and then went on to hold various roles in the medical field including: President of MiniMedCare, Co-Founder of Atlantic Physicians Services, President of IMCC, Consultant for Concentra, and COO/CMO of ASAP Urgent Care.

Mike AlstonVern Edwards
Safety, Trucking Industry

Vern Edwards is the Director of Safety at R+L Carriers Shared Services, LLC.  With over 30 years’ experience in the transportation industry, Vern’s experience started with commercial driving and progressed to training and management.  Over the years, he has served on steering committees and advisory groups from the initial CDL implementation to the CSA/SMS program.  In his current role, Vern oversees 4 internal business partners with fleet safety management, training, regulatory compliance, and accident case management.


Mike AlstonEd Fosdick
Driving Instruction & Recruiting, Trucking Industry

Ed Fosdick started his career in transportation in 2000 as the Director of Recruiting for Priority Transportation, a role he held for nearly seven years, before moving to Vice President of Operations at Priority Transportation. Since February 2011, Ed has served as the General Manager for Canadaigua Driving School, where he provides direction to driving instructors responsible for training Class D, B, and A students.  Additionally, he currently serves as the Director of Recruiting for Leondard’s Express, a role he has held since April of 2010.


Mike AlstonEddie Garcia
Spanish Translations
Eddie Garcia provides Spanish translations for Vertical Alliance Group, Inc,’s training videos.  Since March 2001, Eddie has served as the Editor for Amigo Newspaper, where he oversees all aspects of the publication.




Mike AlstonCranford Graves
Safety, Pupil Transportation

Since 1996, Cranford Graves has served as the Maintenance Supervisor at Bowie County Schools Transportation in New Boston, Texas.  Additionally, he serves as the pastor for Antioch Christian Church in Hooks, Texas.




Mike AlstonAllan Hicks
Safety, Trucking Industry

Allan Hicks is currently the Vice President of Safety at B.R. Williams Trucking, Inc., in Oxford, Alabama. During his tenure as safety director, B.R. Williams has received more than 50 safety awards from ATA, the Alabama Trucking Association, and the Truckload Carriers Association. In 2015, Allan was named the American Trucking Association Safety Director of the Year. Allan was awarded the Safety Professional of the Year award by the Alabama Trucking Association in 2001 and the 2014 Alabama Trucking Professional award. His company has also won the Liberty Mutual Insurance Excellence Award for Truck Safety for eight consecutive years.


Mike AlstonDean Huth
Safety, Trucking Industry
Dean Huth started his career behind the wheel as a driver in 1992 and worked his way to the front office, first as a Night Dispatcher, then to Compliance and Fleet Manager, Safety Manager and finally to Risk Manager. He retired in January 2011, and after a very brief time into his retirement, Dean became a guest speaker at multiple transportation events and functions. Vertical Alliance Group, Inc., recognized the significance of Dean’s message and hired him to be a full time Safety Consultant and a keynote speaker for the company.


Mike AlstonJim Norman
Safety, Pupil Transportation

Since 1990, Jim Norman has been the Director of Bowie County Schools Transportation in New Boston, Texas. He received the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation (TAPT) Honoree Award for 2013-14, the association’s highest honor. He has been an active member in TAPT for 23 years, serving on the Executive Committee in various positions, including president in 2006-07. As a master instructor, Jim has shared his knowledge with many people in all aspects of school transportation and safety. Throughout his career, Jim has made it his goal to inform state legislators in Austin about school bus safety, compartmentalization, seatbelts on buses and why school buses are built the way they are.


Mike AlstonJeremy Reymer
Safety, Trucking Industry

Jeremy Reymer has been at Driving Ambition’s helm since 2003. He has embraced the trucking industry and enjoys being actively involved in various trucking associations, including the Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA), the Indianapolis Traffic Club (ITC), the Ohio Trucking Association (OTA), the Tennessee Trucking Association (TTA), and the American Trucking Association (ATA). Jeremy has served as the President of the ITC (2011-2012). He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the IMTA, and served as the IMTA Allied Chairman in 2008. In 2009, he served as the Chairman for Indiana’s Truck Driving Championship.


Mike AlstonTim Scott
CDL Training
Since 1998, Tim Scott has served as the President and CEO at National Driver Referral, LLC, where he has provided consulting, training, and recruiting for the transportation industry.  He specializes in providing entry level commercial driver training to new drivers in the transportation industry.



Mike AlstonKeith Wertz
Workers Comp
Keith Wertz is Vice President of Loss Control at Midwestern Insurance Alliance, a workers’ compensation provider with a strong trucking industry focus, and host of the website truckingworkerscomp.com. Keith is also co-author of “Managing Workers’ Compensation: A Guide to Injury Reduction and Effective Claim Management” and “Chomp Comp: The Small Guide to Lower Workers’ Compensation Premiums.”