HDTX Keynote Speaker to Offer Leadership Lessons from Attack on USS Cole – Fleet Management

Commander Kirk Lippold, USN (Ret.), shown speaking at an event in 2007, was the commanding officer of the USS Cole when it was attacked by al Qaeda in Yemen in 2000.

Photo: Keppler Speakers

The keynote speaker for this year’s Heavy Duty Trucking Exchange brings a unique perspective to the usual leadership topics. Commander Kirk Lippold, USN (Ret.) was the commanding officer of the USS Cole when it came under a suicide terrorist attack by al Qaeda in the port of Aden, Yemen, in October 2000.

He will be speaking at Heavy Duty Trucking Exchange 2022, Sept. 7-9 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The crises that face trucking companies may not be as life-or-death as Lippold and his crew saving the American warship from sinking, but Lippold uses his experiences mitigating crises throughout his naval career to provide takeaways for the audience to assess their own successes and failures to prepare for what the future may hold.

Lippold is the author of “Front Burner – Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole,” which recounts the story of Al Qaeda's bombing of his ship and the continuing ramifications.  -

Lippold is the author of “Front Burner – Al Qaeda’s Attack on the USS Cole,” which recounts the story of Al Qaeda’s bombing of his ship and the continuing ramifications.

Lippold and his diverse crew went from ops normal to a rapidly changing environment in a split second. He can share how inclusive leaders who can rapidly adapt will be best positioned for success in the coming months and years ahead.

Lippold is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and received his commission in the Navy in 1981. He attended the Navy Postgraduate School, where he received a Master’s of Science in Systems Engineering, as well as a 1994 graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and a 2001 graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College.

Currently, Lappold is the president of Lappold Strategies LLC, a consulting firm specializing in executive leadership development and crisis management.

He is the author of “Front Burner – Al Qaeda’s Attack on the USS Cole,” which recounts the story of Al Qaeda’s bombing of his ship and the continuing ramifications.

The HDTX schedule is still under development, but a highlight each year is the HDT Truck Fleet Innovators awards ceremony, followed by a panel discussion featuring the Innovators led by HDT editors.

Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency, is also scheduled to speak at HDTX.

More About HDTX

HDTX is unlike other trucking events, in both its intimate scale and its approach. Educational and networking activities are designed for attendees to build relationships and take home ideas and new contacts that will help them be more successful.

Because the number of participants is limited — no more than 50 fleet managers will be approved to attend each year — attendees get a chance to exchange ideas, not just business cards.

“I like that it’s a smaller format,” said Shawn Miller, west maintenance director for R+L Carriers. “It’s more one-on-one with the vendors and suppliers. I like that. You’re not lost in the shuffle of a huge trucking event.”

Every HDTX participant receives a custom-made, personalized agenda that includes:

  • Insights and advice from leaders in the industry
  • Interactive roundtable discussions with industry peers
  • Group presentations from industry suppliers
  • Custom one-on-one consultations with industry suppliers
  • Social functions

No more than 50 fleet applicants will be offered a hosted trip to attend HDTX, which includes a round-trip airfare to the venue, local airport transfers to and from the venue, all scheduled meals, and receptions. Executives and managers trucking fleets with Class 7 and Class 8 trucks can apply to attend as HDT’s guests at www.heavydutytruckingexchange.com.

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