ICSA is fortunate to have some of the most experienced and recognized trucking and truck safety experts on our team.
Lead Safety Consultant
Mike Hitchcock has an extensive, life-long background as a driver, mechanic and independent owner/operator. Before joining ICSA, he spent 23 years at Knight Transportation, where he was promoted to Regional Safety Director, and ultimately to Senior Director of Safety for Knight/Swift. Mike also served as Director of Recruiting
and Driver Development before joining ICSA in January 2021. His safety successes at Knight Transportation led to the company’s premier safety award – the Hitchcock Award –being named after him.
Mike understands the trucking business from both a driver’s and a fleet’s perspective. He has experienced the challenges single-truck operators and small fleets face as they juggle profitability while
minimizing the risks of crashes or legal challenges. Mike's industry and safety knowledge enables him to help ICSA’s single-truck operators and small fleets improve their safety performance.
In addition to helping fleet owners develop driver coaching skills, Mike lends his expertise to ICSA’s safety training and education efforts. He is also the author of Coaching Corner, a featured column in ICSA’s monthly newsletter, Landing Gear, and has developed much of this material into a model safety plan that is available to ICSA members at no cost.
Dennis Phillips is an Ohio native who joined the U.S. Army right after he graduated from high school. In the Army, he served as a combat medic overseas and upon returning to the United States, was assigned to the ambulance and ER sections at Moncreif Army Hospital at Ft. Jackson in S.C.
Dennis acquired his CDL in 1993 and became an OTR driver for a dedicated fleet serving Ford and GM. In 2003, he decided to move west for the warm weather, where he became an OTR driver and then a local driver for Knight Transportation, working out of its Las Vegas terminal.
After Dennis served as a driver for about three years, Knight promoted him to Terminal Safety Director and ultimately to Regional Safety Director, where he oversaw safety compliance for the company’s west coast operations, spending many days on the road reviewing terminal safety and compliance and helping each service center maintain a solid DOT record. In the process of doing this work, Dennis became OSHA-certified in workplace safety, drug and alcohol collection, and became a Smith System trainer.
In his role as an ICSA safety consultant, Dennis brings these certifications, along with his experience both as an OTR and a local driver, to assist ICSA members in achieving good safety records.
Lonnie Burkhalter joined ICSA as a safety consultant in early May 2022 after spending 19 years with Knight Transportation in a number of different roles. Lonnie most recently served as Driver Development Manager for Knight Refrigerated in its Dallas Service Center. He also has held positions that included service center manager; safety director; operations manager; and dedicated fleet manager.
Lonnie is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he received his degree in criminal justice and police science. He was a Licensed Texas Peace Officer and worked in law enforcement for many years prior to joining the trucking industry. During his law enforcement career, Lonnie was also a traffic accident investigator. This experience has been helpful to him as he views in-cab camera videos on causes of accidents and ways they can be prevented. During his law enforcement career, he also served in narcotics, homicide and patrol.
Lonnie has also been trained as a Smith System Driver Instructor, is a certified drug collector for urine, hair and alcohol testing and has had extensive training in Safety Supervision of Motor Fleets. As with the rest of the ICSA team, Lonnie has dedicated his career to public and highway safety.
Rafael Valentin joined ICSA as a safety consultant in late 2021 after spending 14 years with Knight Transportation in several roles in including dispatching, recruiting, and safety. Rafael also helped create the Squire Program where he was the Corporate Director of Safety and Training.
Rafael has a double major in Marketing and Operations from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He brings with him a strong understanding of business practices and solutions, including a real- world use of data and statistical analysis. Rafael’s unique skill sets include both academic and practical problem-solving abilities.
Karen Rasmussen’s interest in truck safety started when she served as Director of Public Relations for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in the late 1970s. Her love of trucking and truck safety followed her to the California Trucking Association in 1984, where she led a statewide effort to educate the public about how to drive safely around large trucks on the highway.
Karen left CTA in 1997 to become Director of Governmental Relations for Ryder System, Inc. In 2001, Karen was recruited to become President & CEO of Arizona Trucking Association. During her 11-year tenure, AzTA won numerous awards, including the 2010 summa cum laude award for the best state association truck safety program.
In 2012, Karen became President & CEO of what is now PrePass Safety Alliance, the non-profit owner of the PrePass weigh station bypass system. In late 2019, she became a Board member of the Independent Carrier Safety Association (ICSA) and ultimately became its Executive Director in June 2020.
Karen’s reputation in the trucking industry centers on her leadership in improving truck safety and profitability. She served on American Trucking Associations’ Safety Policy Committee for 22 years, as well as on the Image and Communications Committee and the Energy & Environment Committee.
Karen served on numerous trucking boards, freight planning committees and trucking technology groups. Among her many awards are being named best state trucking association executive in 2005; one of five finalists for Outstanding Woman in trucking award in 2014; one of CCJ’s Outstanding Women in Trucking in 2016; and many other awards and accolades.
Director of Operations
Prior to joining a large trucking company’s corporate claims office, Shawn Nelson was in private law practice for nearly 20 years. He was involved very early in establishing ICSA, including doing much of the groundwork that led to ICSA’s incorporation as a non-profit in November 2019.
He joined the ICSA team in 2020 and was named Director of Operations in 2021. Shawn works closely with ICSA’s safety and insurance programs and provides expertise in managing ICSA’s insurance authorizations in the 47 states where the organization operates. He also plays a key role in assisting ICSA’s executive director to ensure ICSA’s compliance with non-profit regulations and in its government relations efforts.
Shawn is also involved in key industry organizations, including the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, American Trucking Associations, where he represents ICSA on the Safety Policy Committee, and the Truckload Carriers Association, where he serves on the Safety and Security Committee.
Project Manager | Communication Specialist
Mallory Smith | Bailey Roth
Mallory Smith – Project Manager (left)
Mallory Smith is ICSA’s newest team member, brought on board to work closely with our safety and leadership teams to provide administrative and project support for membership satisfaction.
Prior to ICSA, Mallory spent several years in hotel management, where she developed key administrative, meeting planning, sales and project management skills. Just prior to joining ICSA, she worked for a firm handling personal auto insurance claims. Mallory has a degree in Hospitality Management from Utah Valley University.
Bailey Roth – Communications Specialist (right)
Bailey Roth joined ICSA in December 2022 to assist in member communications, digital marketing and social media management. Since joining ICSA, Bailey has taken over formatting and production of the Regulatory Roundup bulletin and the monthly Landing Gear newsletter, launched ICSA’s Facebook Page and oversees ICSA’s website design.
Prior to ICSA, Bailey led a team of student workers for the dean of Phoenix-based Grand Canyon University and oversaw digital marketing for the College of Business.
Bailey likes working for a nonprofit centered around safety, as this is one of her passions. Her grandfather owns a small truck fleet of his own, so she is familiar with the trucking industry. Bailey grew up going on ride alongs with her grandfather and is glad to work for an association that helps keep him - and all drivers on the road - safer.