At its spring Supply Chain Forum, the Haslam College of Business recognized Mack Dove’s contributions to the field and the university with a Distinguished Service Award.
“Mack has been a tremendous supporter of all supply chain efforts at the Haslam College of Business,” said Chad Autry, head of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management. “Our students benefit from his yearly scholarships, and our research and department benefit from being able to attract top talent through the Dove endowments.”
Dove supports the John H. Dove Transportation Excellence Endowment, the G. Mack and Nancy R. Dove Foundation Scholarship Endowment and the John Dove Professorship Endowment. Chris Craighead, who holds the professorship named for Dove, said the position’s prestige goes far beyond endowment.
“I’ve always been proud to have come to Tennessee as the Dove Professor because of the people who came before me and the work they accomplished in this role,” Craighead said. “When I actually met Mack and Nancy, I was truly awed and honored to be associated with the Doves. The leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and family values of the Doves are second to none!”
Mack Dove came to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1954 to support the family business, AAA Cooper Transportation, by obtaining his undergraduate degree in transportation with the intention of pursuing a law degree. At that time, the trucking business was heavily regulated by the federal government and required complex legal maneuvering.
Dove’s plans to pursue law changed, and when the trucking industry deregulated in the 1980s, he was able to vastly grow the family business based on knowledge gleaned during his undergraduate experience. AAA Cooper Transportation entered the 1980s with $43 million in annual sales. At the end of the decade, sales had grown to more than $136 million, and the company had greatly expanded its service area.
Today, AAA Cooper Transportation has greater than $500 million in annual sales and more than 4,600 employees. The business continues to be privately owned and family-run, with Reid Dove, Nancy and Mack’s son, now serving as president and CEO.
For Mack Dove, the success of his business and the reason for his investment in Haslam boils down to valuing people.
“You have to communicate with your people and give them the right knowledge and tools,” Dove says. “You concentrate on keeping your people safe and making sure that they understand their jobs. Good people sense is good business sense.”
Dove is the second recipient of a Global Supply Chain Institute Distinguished Service Award. Gerry Niedert, the former head of Black Horse Carriers, was honored in the spring of 2016.