Our 2022 Seminar Speakers


Chip Thompson


Shane Coleman leads ERSCA’s training department and is a second-generation towing professional with over 33 years of experience in the towing and recovery industry. Having started in a family business in the suburban Detroit, Michigan, area, his experience with private and municipal towing is extensive. While in the family business, he served local communities, accumulating over 92,000 hours of service as an operator.

Most recently, he was a product specialist, product manager and product trainer with a major manufacturer for a period spanning nine years, and which led to the creation of initiatives for sales and product development. Shane credits his family business experience, his passion for equipment and working closely with his father in the design and building of their own equipment bodies for giving him the experience to see what is needed in today’s industry.

Training is one of Shane’s strongest passions. His started with training employees at the family business, developing a strong sense for the need for more training to help people in the towing industry establish their careers. His training career was launched in 1995 when he became a field trainer at the age 24. Since then, he has held varied training positions within towing companies, manufacturing organizations, and is an active training consultant. Today, his off time is spent with his family in his hometown of Troy, Michigan. He is a prolific reader, and when he can he rides motorcycle or gets in some target sports. “I live a life of service, for my family first, and the towing industry. There’s not too much space between the two,” he says.


Chip Thompson


Pat Derbak is an employee benefits consultant at D.I.G. Benefits, where he partners with medium-and small-size companies to develop human resource strategies that improve engagement, retention, attraction, and transparency in cost. His primary focus is on the towing industry. Pat Derbak was an HR manager for 8 years at O’Hare Towing Service, and in 2020 founded his own insurance brokerage. Pat works hand-in-hand with other human resource managers to implement technology to lessen the administrative burden on their teams. Pat helps to strategize with managers to educate them on the offerings that differentiate their products and which help to attract and retain employees. He educates employees on policies and improve education of offerings. Pat focuses on small- and medium-size companies, bringing them high-level product selections to help them compete with larger organizations for talent. Pat is a 2014 graduate of Valparaiso University, and a 2016 MBA graduate of Harding University. Find out more about D.I.G. Benefits at DIGbenefits.com.


Chip Thompson


William Giorgis, second-generation owner of Mike’s Wrecker Service in Saginaw, Michigan, is considered one of the towing and recovery industry’s most vocal and well-spoken advocates. As president of the Michigan Towing Association for xx years, he helped build strong ties in Lansing, appearing before legislators and negotiating with lobbyists on pertinent issues. Bill also led the national charge as president of TRAA. During his term, TRAA gained great credibility within the DC community. While leading TRAA, he conceptualized and worked to create the Law Enforcement Vehicle Identification Guide still in use today. His commitment to improving safety within the industry has led to many speaking engagements within and outside of the industry as a safety proponent. Bill is a certified rescue diver and assists local emergency agencies retrieve vehicles and bodies from the icy waterways around Saginaw. In addition, Bill devotes many hours to improving the Saginaw communities and was recently recognized by the Saginaw County Prosecutors office for his assistance with crime victims. His accomplishments led to him being the youngest member ever inducted into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2002.


Chip Thompson


Bert King, founder of King Consulting Group, provides planning and consulting services primarily for towing, trucking and repair companies throughout the U.S. Bert holds an MBA, and was a corporate banker prior to purchasing his first towing company, growing it to an 80-truck, four-location operation. He is uniquely qualified as an expert in towing and business management, growth and finance, and uses those skills to improve companies’ profitability, planning and business values utilizing both group settings and individual coaching arrangements.



Chip Thompson


Attorney Michael McGovern has specialized in representing tow truck companies throughout the U.S. for more than 35 years. He grew up in a towing family, driving a tow truck on nights and weekends while attending high school, college and law school. McGovern is the author of the popular Legaleze column in Tow Times magazine and is the former general counsel for the Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA). He is the only attorney ever inducted into the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame. Besides towing matters, he practices in the fields of criminal defense and general civil litigation.



Chip Thompson


George C. Metos enjoys transacting deals in all types of businesses, including the technology and industrial sectors. He has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Utah. After college, he founded and managed a software development company whose video game products generated over $1B in retail sales. He also transacts mergers involving towing companies and automobile recyclers on a national basis.





Brad McIntosh is an award-winning disrupter of the roadside assistance industry known for his proprietary systems, partnerships, and innovative ideas. Brad has multi-faceted experience in the towing industry, including towing business startups, technology startups and acquisitions/exits. He also has finance and technology backgrounds, as well as industry experience as a business owner and board member.

Towing Management Group LLC
Towing Management Properties LLC
These are holding companies that handle the acquisition of towing companies and properties. Brad is currently operating multiple towing companies, body shops and properties in Ohio. He coordinates and operates remote large-scale towing and recovery projects for natural disaster responses across the U.S.

Tow Business Podcast
This is the first and longest-running podcast dedicated to helping towing company owners run and improve their towing businesses. Currently in its third year of syndication, the Tow Business Podcast has amassed nearly 100,000 listeners.

Towing Solutions & Consulting LLC
Towing Solutions offers results-driven solutions to a towing company’s problems. TSC offers seminars and one-on-one consulting.

2018 Tow Times Rising Star Award

Thomas More College, Crestview, KY, with a major in business management and finance

Board Member
Ohio Towing & Recovery Legislative Committee

Chip Thompson


Jeff Packard has over 40 years of expertise in the insurance industry, with an emphasis in the marketing and sales of alternative risk transfer products coupled with an expertise in the underwriting arena. Currently, he is an assistant vice president for the Captive Division of the PMA Insurance Group, a multi-lines property and casualty carrier with a specialty in workers’ compensation.

Since 1990, Jeff has worked in the alternative market area, including serving as senior regional vice president for Mutual Risk Management, a Bermuda-based company that specializes in providing for Fortune 500 companies, captives and rent-a-captive solutions for their Insurance needs. He continues to teach, presenting underwriting and finance classes for insurance professionals. He teaches at the Fox Business School of Temple University, Philadelphia Pa., and does public speaking engagements throughout the Insurance Industry.

PMA provides coverage in captive arrangements for workers’ compensation, general liability and commercial auto liability lines of insurance. The captive unit is part of PMA Risk Management Services (RMS), the business segment that addresses the risk management needs of larger accounts with specialized insurance needs. RMS works collaboratively with clients to help balance loss costs with increased risk assumption to improve their asset protection and financial stability.

The PMA Insurance Group is known for service excellence and high levels of customer satisfaction. In addition to workers’ compensation, PMA offers commercial automobile, commercial multi-peril, general liability and umbrella insurance. PMA Management Corp., an affiliate of the PMA Insurance Group, offers fee-based third-party administrative services.



Chip Thompson


Mike Porter started with the Speed’s Towing organization in 1985, and for the past 10 years he has served as CEO of Speed’s Enterprises. In addition to his career at Speed’s, he is sole proprietor of three companies: PB Leasing, Tri-County Towing and CoolManConor Sales training.

Over the past 35 years, he has attended college, managed a lien company, helped start the city of Portland Tow Desk, managed Speed’s dispatch and become the only non-college grad ever to become a stockbroker with Prudential Securities.

Mike is a Dale Carnegie graduate and avid reader, having read over 10,000 books on leadership, sales, marketing and self-help. He has been a guest speaker at events nationwide, addressing leadership, body language, sales techniques, and business profitability. Mike leads a weekly mastermind class for business owners.

In 2019 Mike and his business partner bought Newhouse Towing, which has been in business for over 50 years. In October 2021 he published his first book, “Open the Door to the Truth.” In November 2019 Mike started a coaching business that helps keep owners accountable to themselves.

Mike is past president of the Oregon Tow Truck Association, and a current board member of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum.


Chip Thompson


Nicholas Porto is from Kansas City, Missouri. Upon graduating from law school in 2004, Porto went to work for a local litigation firm and was promptly assigned a file involving a tow company that was being prosecuted for overcharging violations. By the conclusion of the case (which was successfully resolved), Porto had become well versed with laws and regulations specific to the tow industry and been introduced to attorney Michael P. McGovern. Porto then wrote an article about this case for Tow Times magazine and the rest, as they say, is history.

In 2011, he founded The Porto Law Firm, which primarily focuses on legal issues specific to the towing industry. Porto currently represents nearly every towing company within shouting distance of Kansas City and has represented towing companies throughout the United States.

In 2013, Porto obtained a landmark recovery for the family of a young tow operator who was tragically killed while in the line of duty. Since this time, Porto has been a frequent advocate for enhanced Move Over Laws for tow operators and other emergency workers on the roadway. He is also a frequent contributor to Tow Times and a speaker at tow shows throughout the United States.


Chip Thompson


Tom Tedford has over 30 years of towing industry experience, beginning his career at Caron Towing and Caron Transport, Hartford, CT. He chaired a CEO advisory committee to reduce costs and restructure United Road Services’ towing division, and served as United Road Services’ East Region operations manager, overseeing cost reductions, among other things. Tom was senior vice president of operations at United Road Towing until 2022, when he joined Guardian Fleet Services as COO.

Tom has held executive positions in state and national towing organizations, and currently is treasurer of the International Towing Museum. Tom also is a board member of the museum’s Survivor Fund and Wall of the Fallen committees. 



Chip Thompson


Todd Welch co-founded Charter Partners along with his father and brother. Charter Partners provides innovative strategies to businesses leaders who want to control costs and coverage by owning their insurance company, requiring collaboration between people who normally compete.

Charter Partners has helped dozens of industry groups and hundreds of businesses form alliances. Todd also collaborated with U.S. Naval Submarine Forces Admiral John Grossenbacher and ALCOA CEO Paul O’Neil to launch ZERO, a revolutionary software platform designed to engage each worker in their own safety.

Todd co-wrote with Robert Lynch the book, Trust, How to Put “IT” Back in Business, telling the stories and sharing the strategies that lead to the creation of collaborative organizations. Lynch is a leading expert in creating alliances. Todd also collaborated with his son Kevin Welch to create the leadership documentary, “Trusting Todd.” Interviews, ranging from street protesters to presidential candidates and from business leaders to shamans, addressed the journey to trust oneself.

Todd created the WINGS program through which thousands of high school and college students have learned how to be more entrepreneurial. WINGS turns the classroom upside-down so students take responsibility for their own learning and teachers facilitate the sharing of just-in-time knowledge.

Todd enjoys time with his family and friends, especially when it involves being outdoors or a new adventure. He is also an experienced helicopter pilot and boater. He loves the vibrant arts community, weather, beach and quality restaurants of St. Petersburg, FL., which he calls home.


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