New UMA CEO Scott Michael: 8 things to know

Scott Michael, the United Motorcoach Association’s new CEO and President, is quickly coming up to speed in his new role. You might have met him virtually at the UMA Town Halls, and he’ll be at the 2022 UMA Motorcoach EXPO in Long Beach, California. He began his tenure at UMA on Oct. 4., replacing Larry Killingsworth, who has stayed on during October to facilitate a smooth transition.

Scott Michael
Scott Michael

One reason for Michael’s seamless shift into his new job is that he has found parallels between UMA and the American Moving and Storage Association, which he led until 2020 before the organization merged with the American Trucking Associations. The majority of his career — 26 years — has been with AMSA, where he held numerous roles, including running the association’s Membership Department, recruiting and retaining 3,000 members. 

The culmination of his work at AMSA was five years as President and CEO, where he strengthened the association’s lobbying team to focus on consumer protection issues, served on a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration working group to streamline paperwork, enhanced the criteria for the industry’s ProMover certification program, oversaw the termination of the group’s pension plan, and moved the association’s headquarters to a new location.

Here are eight things you might not know about UMA’s new leader: 

1. Ivy League. Michael graduated from Princeton University in New Jersey in 1989 with a degree in political economy. After graduation, he settled in Washington, where he began a career working for associations.

2. Lives near a tourist destination. His neighborhood is next to Mount Vernon, one of the Washington area’s most visited destinations. Michael says he fell in love with the city as an eighth-grader when his family took a cross-country tour from their home in Oregon. When they stopped in Washington, he knew the nation’s capital was where he wanted to be. 

3. Family man. He and his wife have been married for 26 years. They have three daughters and two dogs. 

4. Leads by listening. A practitioner of the Servant Leadership philosophy, Michael places a priority on listening. “I want to listen to your concerns. I think that it’s very important for us and the association to understand where you’re coming from and make sure that we’re serving your needs and helping you,” he told Members at his first UMA Town Hall.

5. Transportation expertise. Michael has found parallels between the UMA and the AMSA. Both transportation-focused industries fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They are both primarily made up of small, family-owned businesses. As leader of the AMSA, Michael served on the board of the American Highway Users Alliance from 2014-2020. That coalition represents users and supporters of the nation’s interstate highway system seeking enhanced highway safety and investment in the infrastructure of key roads and bridges. 

6. Lobbying experience. While leading the AMSA, Michael successfully pushed FMCSA’s Household Goods Consumer Protection Working Group to streamline paperwork and reduce regulations on movers and consumers. 

7. Military connections. About a quarter of movers’ business is military shipments for military families. Scott was the AMSA’s liaison between the industry and the military for about 20 of his years with the association. “I understand the military market is increasingly important for motorcoach as well, so that’s going to be a fun opportunity to continue to be involved in that space,” he said. 

8. One out of 400. Michael was selected from among more than 400 applicants for the position. The search committee was led by UMA Board Member David Moody, with Holiday Tours in North Carolina. “I’m appreciative of the rest of the search committee because it definitely was not a one-man job,” Moody said. “Throughout the interviews, it became increasingly clear that Scott was the right person for the position. We’re happy to have him aboard.”

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