Rick Clasby, UTA, 7/14/2017 – During the past couple of weeks, the Utah Trucking Association has found opportunities to be helpful in different ways than usual. Sadly, the association lost a long-time member, supporter, Board of Director and friend. Greg Lunkwitz died unexpectedly at his home on June 11, 2017. He was a terrific ally and could always be counted on to assist with whatever activities or causes the association was engaged. He was a huge supporter of the association’s annual Road Rally, and annual convention where he was a lively participant in the live and not so silent auctions. Following Greg’s death, and after having discussions with his wife Michelle and family, several members of the association’s leadership team determined it appropriate to aid in several different ways. This group immediately went to work.
First, Greg had instructed Michelle that rather than a traditional funeral service he would prefer that his family, friends and colleagues have an opportunity to celebrate his life in a fun atmosphere. The association was honored to offer its building for a Celebration of Life event. Hundreds enjoyed this event and had a great time recalling their personal relationship with Greg.
In addition to the Celebration of Life, association leaders offered to assist Greg’s company in maintaining the day-to-day operations of Lunkwitz Transportation. Greg’s team of drivers, dispatcher and office staff has been terrific through this process and their customers indicate they see no difference in service. Unfortunately, challenges arose with Chase Bank and the financial services being offered to Lunkwitz Transportation. There was a relatively small loan for some equipment through Chase Bank. There was also an operating account for Lunkwitz Transportation. In the days following Greg’s passing, Chase swiped, in nearly its entirety, the operating account to satisfy the equipment loan. This action jeopardized the ability to make payroll and an impending fuel and other drafts scheduled. Chase made this maneuver despite a Will and organizational structure being in place and no delinquency in loan payments.
UTA officers voiced disappoint in the manner Chase Bank chose to handle this case, especially considering Lunkwitz was a long-time customer with a very strong balance sheet. The UTA officers hope is that other members consider their banking relationships and ask: what happens when the key person in your organization is suddenly taken? Chase Bank seized money from the operating account without warning or any investigation. Would your bank act in a similar manner? Association officers rallied with the Lunkwitz Transportation team to help mitigate problems caused by Chase Bank’s irresponsible actions. Lunkwitz Transportation is operating fine and continues to work through the challenges of losing Greg. All who knew Greg will miss him greatly. We were happy to have been able to help by using our strength in numbers as an association.