William Woody Callan
William Woody Callan, called “Mr. Woody” by many, founded Central Freight Lines, Inc. in 1925. At that time, the railroads did not provide for delivery beyond their depots, leaving customers to devise their own method for receiving their goods. Beginning with a solid tire Model-T truck, he started what became the largest intrastate, regular-route common carrier, employing over 4,500 people and serving 1,200 Texas cities and towns.
He worked tirelessly to improve the freight industry, working with the Texas legislature to develop regulations to protect the public from abusive rates and improve industry safety standards. Central Freight’s Dallas terminal housed the first under-the-floor towveyor system and, at one time, was the largest privately owned freight terminal in the world. During World War II, Mr. Callan served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Transportation Corps, organizing the storage and movement of supplies and equipment throughout the United States.
Mr. Callan served as past chairman of the Common Carrier Conference of American Trucking Associations and past chairman of the Common Carrier Association of Texas. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Southwestern Motor Freight Bureau, Inc.
Jon Lindsay (New Mexico State ’59) has been a strong political leader and advocate for transportation for over 30 years. For 20 years, Mr. Lindsay served as Harris County Judge, CEO of the third largest county in the nation, before being elected to the Texas Senate in 1996, where he served until 2006.
As County Judge, Mr. Lindsay initiated many innovative infrastructure projects. His leadership made the Harris County Toll Road Authority a reality. A contentious debate over the need for this road system took place, but with Judge Lindsay as the primary advocate, the toll authority was approved in 1983 with 70 percent of the voters authorizing $900 million in taxed-backed bonds. Twenty-seven years later, the toll network is an essential part of daily life in Harris County, with about 550 miles of toll lanes in operation. This toll authority established the model that would subsequently be followed in other parts of Texas.
As a State Senator, Jon led the initiative to create freight rail districts with eminent domain authority and the ability to issue bonds. He is currently President of the North Houston Association.
Drayton McLane, Jr.
Drayton McLane, Jr. (Baylor ’58, Michigan State ’59) joined the family grocery business in an entry-level position unloading trucks in 1959. In 1978 he became President and CEO of the McLane Company. During his tenure, he propelled the McLane Company into a $19 billion company, achieving an average growth rate of 30 percent per year.
Using cutting edge technology, McLane’s companies became national leaders in transportation logistics and distribution, particularly in the grocery industry. When Wal-Mart leadership decided to develop super stores and sell groceries, they convinced McLane to handle the logistics and distribution. In 1990, McLane merged with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In the following 10-year period, Wal-Mart grew to become the largest grocery retailer in the world. In 1994, Drayton resigned his positions as Chairman of the McLane Company and Vice Chairman of Wal-Mart to focus on being Chairman of the McLane Group, a family-owned company that consists of several entities, including the Houston Astros baseball team.
For over 50 years Drayton has been involved in logistics. Because of his background, in 2008, the Texas Transportation Commission asked Mr. McLane to serve on the 2030 Committee, a blue-ribbon panel established to help identify transportation funding needs in Texas.