(Alexandria, VA) —Michael Shaffer, former chairman and CEO of Atlas World Group and a current member of the Atlas Board of Directors, is the recipient of the Moving & Storage Institute's 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service. Shaffer received the highest honor bestowed by the moving industry during AMSA's 95th Annual Education Conference & Expo in San Diego on Feb. 11, 2014.
A former AMSA chairman and member of the association's board of directors, Shaffer is credited with bringing a host of technological advancements to the moving industry and advocating for new systems to improve processes. Among them are creating the industry's first real-time trailer tracking system, and pushing for widespread implementation of hand-held devices and mobile apps for both inventory and consumer needs.
"Mike Shaffer is someone we all have been so proud to have representing this industry: trusted, unflappable, wise and an all-around good guy," said Linda Bauer Darr, AMSA president and CEO. "He is well-respected by his colleagues and competitors and has served both Atlas and the moving and storage industry so well over the years."
Shaffer, who served as a U.S. Army helicopter crew chief during the Vietnam War, was hired as a dispatcher trainee at Atlas Van Lines in 1969. A true self-made man, he has devoted his 44-year career to improving the moving experience for consumers, drivers and agents, and making the move experience as seamless as possible for customers.
During his tenure as Atlas chairman and CEO, Shaffer led the company to unprecedented growth, taking the firm from the sixth-largest to the second-largest van line in the country. With the strategic acquisition of two competitors, Shaffer added more than 700 employees and 850 vehicles to the fleet. Shortly thereafter, Atlas World Group grew 134 percent and posted record revenue numbers for several consecutive years.
"Mike set high benchmarks for quality and customer service, and is extremely deserving of this recognition," added Katrina Blackwell, MSI chair.
The Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service is presented each year by AMSA's Moving & Storage Institute to an individual who has demonstrated leadership, professionalism and integrity and made a significant contribution through technology, operations and/or sales innovation that has led to industry growth and advancement.
Recognized as a prestigious symbol of leadership, innovation, integrity and service, the award is given to an active AMSA member with at least 20 years of service in the industry. The recipient must have contributed to the planning, promotion and execution of a special project and/or have advanced the industry through technological development, services or techniques. Additionally, the winner must have enhanced the overall public image of the moving and storage industry through leadership within the community.
The Moving & Storage Institute Board of Directors, state association executives, past recipients, and AMSA's Board of Directors nominate and vote for the winning candidate, whose identity remains confidential until the award is announced during AMSA's Annual Education Conference & Expo.