Gary Flaherty 

Chief Insurance Officer
OpenEyes Insurance


Scott Lyden 

Hadley & Lyden Inc


Peter Matthews

Senior Vice President, Commercial Transportation
IAT Insurance Group


Doug Hathaway

President, RT Specialty National Transportation Binding | Co-President, Ryan Specialty Transportation Underwriting Managers


Chad Krueger

Sr. Vice President
Central Analysis Bureau


Brad Schneider

Director of Underwriting
Sentry Transportation


Drew Easton

Executive Vice President/Branch Leader
Amwins Transportation


Mike Mitchell

Area President
RPS Charlotte


John Liberatore

Founder & President
Primacy Risk Services


Colby Waltenburg 

Transatlantic Underwriters (TAU)


Tony Sarchet

Division Claims Manager
Lancer Insurance Company


Erin O’Leary

Shelly, Middlebrooks & O’Leary


Merrilee Robbins

Truck Insurance Producer
The Buckner Company


Tommy Ruke 


Jim Schoonover

Education Director

John Love 

CEO and Executive Director

Beth Medina 

Director of Member Relations

Marcy Ferguson 

Event Coordinator

Beverly Raiford 

Continuing Education Coordinator


The Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation (MCIEF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education to insurance professionals who serve the transportation industry.

MCIEF creates education and networking opportunities to help for-hire truckers and insurance professionals to fully understand the business – including operations, government oversight, risk management and the overall insurance needs of this unique sector. Members of MCIEF include retail and wholesale insurance entities, insurance carriers and partners with a vested interest in the trucking industry.

Humble Beginnings
While the organization was officially founded in 2013 by Tommy Ruke, the MCIEF story began many years earlier.

Tommy grew up working for his father, M.T. Ruke, who owned and operated a truck fleet that hauled pickles – earning him the nickname “The Pickle Man”. After Tommy graduated from Wake Forest University in 1964 with a degree in mathematics, he spent several years managing his parents’ other business, an International Harvester dealership.

About a decade later, Tommy started as an insurance agent in the transportation field and later earned his CIC designation. After developing the trucking curriculum for the Society of CIC, he realized his love for education and began exploring ways to pass his growing knowledge of the transportation industry on to others in the field. That is where the MCIEF story was born…

The Evolution of MCIEF
● 1978 – Tommy earned Society of CIC’s Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation.
● 1983 – Under the mentorship of Jim Harrison, Tommy created an education program for insurance professionals that work with motor carriers and then developed the Society of CIC’s (now the National Alliance for Education and Research) trucking education program – a first in the trucking insurance education field.
● 1987-2012 – Tommy started Insurance Business Consultants, Inc. and provided insurance education for state associations, wholesale agencies, insurance companies, the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) and the Society of CIC.
● 1992 – Tommy coordinated the formation and development of the AAMGA University, an education entity of the trade association, the American Association of Managing General Agents and introduced a wholesale specific curriculum. As part of the development, the Certified Managing General Agency (CMGA) and Certified Insurance Wholesaler (CIW) designations were created.
● 2013 – The Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation (MCIEF) was founded to provide trucking insurance education through an extensive curriculum of classes for all segments of the trucking insurance industry.
The Transportation Risk Specialist (TRS) designation was established as a premier trucking insurance educational achievement, the first of its kind to be recognized by the transportation insurance industry.
● 2019 – After setting an initial goal of 100 attendees at the first (2013) Annual Conference, MCIEF had over 500 attendees.
● 2020 – In response to the global pandemic, MCIEF transitioned (for the first time ever) to virtual events with great success.
● 2021 – Expanded online course offerings were developed to meet growing demand for virtual training solutions
● 2023 – MCIEF hosted their largest Western Conference to date, with a record-breaking 237 attendees.
● 2024 – The Transportation Claims Specialist (TCS) designation, developed as a best-in-class trucking claims curriculum to coordinate with current underwriting-centric offerings, goes live in May as MCIEF’s second designation program.

Looking Ahead
Today, MCIEF regularly reaches students across the United States and abroad with an average of 25 different rotating education programs. While some things have changed since the organization was founded, the original vision of the MCIEF remains the same – to create quality, educational content that will benefit all who are involved in the trucking industry.

Tommy remains an active member of the company – juggling his duties as founder with being a loving father to three, grandfather to 12 grandchildren, and an avid traveler. When asked if he has plans to retire, his response is: “I’ll retire when people stop calling me… and people are still calling!”