2024 Tow Summit Speakers 

 

Giorgis, Bill

Bill Giorgis, a second-generation owner of Mike’s Wrecker Service in Saginaw, Michigan, stands out as a prominent advocate in the towing and recovery industry. His influence spans from local initiatives to national leadership roles, reflecting his deep commitment to advancing industry standards and safety.

As former president of the Michigan Towing Association, Bill forged robust connections in Lansing, advocating before legislators and negotiating with lobbyists on crucial issues. His impact extended nationally during his tenure as president of TRAA, whne he bolstered the organization’s credibility within the Washington, D.C. community.

Notably, Bill conceived and spearheaded the “Law Enforcement Vehicle Identification Guide,” a pivotal resource still utilized today. His dedication to industry safety has garnered numerous speaking engagements, both within and beyond towing circles.

Beyond his professional achievements, Bill is a certified rescue diver, lending his expertise to local emergency operations in Saginaw’s waterways. His civic contributions are equally impressive, earning recognition from the Saginaw County prosecutors’ office for his support of crime victims and extensive community service efforts.

In 2002, Bill Giorgis achieved another milestone as the youngest member ever inducted into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame, a testament to his lasting impact and leadership in the field.

Leslie, Alex

Dr. Alex Leslie is a Senior Research Associate with the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). His research combines a variety of qualitative and data science techniques to analyze industry economics, performance measurement, and labor issues.

Alex serves as the primary author of ATRI’s annual Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking, and he has led recent reports including Issues and Opportunities with Driver-Facing Cameras and Causes and Countermeasures of Predatory Towing.  He is currently engaged in ATRI research on the costs of detention to the American supply chain.  He also contributes to general data collection, programming, and editing across ATRI projects in addition to collaborating with government and industry task forces.

Alex holds a B.A. degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, where he previously worked as an instructor of english and data science.

McGovern, Michael

Michael McGovern’s career is deeply rooted in towing, beginning with his nights, weekends, and summers spent driving a tow truck for his family’s business while pursuing degrees at the University of Tennessee College of Business and later the UT College of Law, where he graduated with honors.

Over the span of 30 years, Michael has become a formidable figure in the legal landscape of the towing industry. He has represented numerous towing companies across the United States, handling high-profile cases from coast to coast. His litigation experience encompasses a wide array of issues including government regulations, discrimination in law enforcement towing, roadside injuries to tow truck operators, police towing contracts, storage lien disputes, rate regulations, and other critical matters affecting the towing profession.

Michael’s legal prowess extends to national prominence as a member of the bar in eight of the 12 federal circuit courts of appeal. His exceptional career includes two appearances before the United States Supreme Court on towing-related cases, where he achieved landmark victories such as shielding rotation towing companies from political reprisals in the O’Hare Truck Service case. Serving as general counsel of the national towing association for 12 years, he has been a pivotal voice in shaping industry policy and advocacy.

A distinguished author and columnist, Michael has contributed his insights to the “Legaleze” column in Tow Times magazine for over two decades. His authoritative 2011 book, “Towing and the Law” (available at www.towtimes.com), remains a definitive reference on legal issues within the towing industry. His contributions have been recognized with induction into the International Towing Hall of Fame, a testament to his unparalleled impact as the only attorney to receive this honor.

Beyond his towing industry achievements, Michael excels as a trial attorney handling criminal defense, civil litigation, business disputes, and personal injury cases through his firm, the McGovern Law Firm, based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Throughout his illustrious career, Michael McGovern has steadfastly advocated for the legal rights and professional integrity of towing companies, cementing his legacy as a leading authority and defender within the industry.

 

Metos, George

George Metos has been facilitating business transactions since 2010, specializing in industrial sectors such as automotive towing and auto parts recycling companies. His passion for business extends across diverse industries, driven by a genuine curiosity and love for the field.

He firmly believes that an accurate valuation is paramount in the mergers and acquisitions process. By establishing a realistic assessment of worth, owners can align their sale with personal life goals and aspirations. George excels in navigating the complexities of finding the ideal buyer, ensuring transactions are structured for mutual benefit.

Prior to his career in business brokerage, George earned degrees in computer science and electrical engineering, and spent two decades in software development. His leadership fostered an environment where 140 technical and creative developers thrived, culminating in a successful merger with a public company—a pivotal moment that sparked his transition into brokering.

George Metos brings a wealth of experience in both technology and business brokerage, adeptly guiding clients through the intricacies of business valuation and sales with integrity and professionalism, achieving satisfying outcomes for all parties involved.

 

Porter, Mike

Mike Porter’s journey with Speed’s began in 1985, marking the inception of a career defined by diverse achievements over the past 33 years. Starting as a young recruit, he pursued higher education while managing a lien company and contributing to the establishment of Portland Tow Desk. His tenure at Speed’s has been marked by significant roles, from overseeing dispatch operations to starting TDR Way, a company that teaches how to convert leads into clients.

Returning to Speed’s as COO in 2001, Mike ascended to the role of CEO of Speed’s Enterprises five years ago. In this capacity, he has been instrumental in steering the corporation’s five entities encompassing towing services, town car operations, and financial services.

Beyond his corporate responsibilities, Mike is an entrepreneur, managing PB Leasing, Tri-County Towing, and CoolManConor Sales training ventures. His commitment to personal growth is evident through his Dale Carnegie graduation and his extensive reading habit, with a library of over 10,000 books covering leadership, sales, marketing, and self-help topics.

An esteemed speaker, Mike has addressed audiences nationwide on leadership principles, sales strategies, effective communication through body language, and enhancing business profitability. His influence extends to industry leadership, having served as president of the Oregon Tow Truck Association and currently holding a board position at the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum.

 

Riker, Brian

Brian, the esteemed founder and president of Fleet Compliance Solutions LLC, has extensive knowledge rooted in over 30 years of hands-on experience “In the Ditch.” With a robust background that spans ownership of multiple towing and auto transport companies, Brian offers invaluable guidance and wisdom drawn directly from his deep industry expertise — ensuring he grasps your needs firsthand.

In addition to his pivotal role at FCS, Brian is a multifaceted industry leader. He hosts the highly acclaimed podcast, On The Road with Your D.O.T. Guy, recognized as a premier source of trucking insights. Moreover, Brian is a prolific writer and sought-after lecturer for towing industry publications, specializing in compliance issues.

Despite his packed schedule, Brian maintains a direct connection to the field with a valid Class A CDL. He eagerly seizes opportunities to operate tow trucks, car carriers, and other impressive rigs at trade shows and for clients whenever possible. His unwavering dedication and ongoing involvement underscore his commitment to delivering unmatched expertise and service across all facets of the towing and transportation industries.

Throughout his career, Brian has logged over 2 million miles in various commercial motor vehicles, encompassing light-duty and CDL-required auto transport equipment, tow trucks, school and coach buses, as well as traditional tractor-trailers with dry van, refrigerated, lowboy/flatbed, and tanker-trailers. He has also leveraged his expertise as an expert witness, focusing on standards of care and customer education requirements in small fleet operations across specialized markets. Brian’s areas of proficiency extend to hours of service (HOS) compliance, driver training, pre-hire qualifications, vehicle maintenance, and inspections for both traditional fleets and non-traditional operations like those of plumbers, electricians, construction companies, and mobile service providers.

Brian’s comprehensive industry experience and unwavering commitment to excellence make him an indispensable resource for navigating the complexities of towing and transportation regulations with confidence and success.

 

Russell, Geoff

With 50 years in the towing, recovery, and specialized transportation industry, Geoff began as an operator and rose through management, founding several successful ventures, including co-founding Guardian Fleet Services, the largest towing and specialized transportation company in the U.S. Actively engaged in various towing associations, including co-founding the Sunshine State Towing Association, Geoff has contributed significantly to the industry at multiple levels. He advocates for the towing industry through legislative support, public education, and organizing seminars, emphasizing professionalism and collaboration. Geoff is a regular presenter at the Tow Summit and has supported the Summit since its inception.

Smith, Rudy

Third generation co-owner and president, Rudy Smith Service Inc.

Rudy was born into a towing and recovery business but his passion, and gift, has been the inner workings of the political system. He has represented the industry’s interests in Louisiana on every piece of towing legislation introduced into the State’s Legislature or before the Louisiana Public Service Commission since 1980.

When cities and townships started enacting unfairly low, arbitrarily set rates on the towing industry, Rudy organized and led efforts forcing the Louisiana Public Service Commission to assume its Constitutionally assigned duties to regulate all non-consensual tow pricing. These efforts resulted in uniform statewide rates, set using the utility ratemaking process, carried out via fact finding, costs study and regularly recurring “rate case” adjustments.

Member

  • International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Towing and Recovery Association of America
  • Towing & Recovery Professionals of Louisiana 
    • Director for 15+ years
    • Vice President, 2 years
    • Legislative Committee Chair – 15+ years
  • Greater New Orleans Executive Association
  • Knights of Columbus

Innovator

  • Co-founder, Beacon Software
  • Co-founder, Towing & Recovery Management Summit
  • 2016 American Towman Silver Star Award

Recognition

  • New Orleans Executive of the Year 2014

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