Industry Leaders













2015 Inductees:


•June 25, 1935 – September 13, 1999

•CTTA Founder and Executive Director 1969-1999
Richard Chappel tirelessly devoted 30 years to CTTA and the towing industry as a whole in promoting professional concepts to change the image of towing in California and throughout the country.  He utilized his public relations background to bring together towers in California in 1969, attempted to form the North American Towing Association in the late ‘70s, was instrumental in the original group which formed the Towing and Recovery Association of America in 1979 and assisted other states in creating their own associations.  He traveled extensively to attend local meetings and visit with towing professionals so he could be their strongest and most knowledgeable advocate.  Rich was inducted into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame in 1988 for his outstanding service and leadership.


•May 27, 1928 – April 23, 2012

•Steve Cardinale, dubbed “The Godfather of San Francisco” because he was so well liked by customers and competitors, ran Atlas Towing in the bay area through the 1970s and ‘80s.  His love affair with towing began when his tractor and bottom dump trailers had to be recovered from being stuck.  Steve was instrumental in starting the Greater Bay Area Chapter of CTTA, received CTTA’s Member of the Year in 1982 and served as Chapter President in 1987.  During that time he began a training program for towers which evolved into the current CTTA Training and Certification program.  In 1987 Steve received TRAA’s Distinguished Service Award and was inducted into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame in 1989.  In1993 Steve received the CTTA Lifetime Achievement Award and was honored with the CTTA Humanitarian Award in 2005.  Steve was a teacher and mentor to many throughout the towing industry, was well loved and is still missed.



•CTTA VP & Member of the Year 1988

•Bob began his towing career in 1967 in Fairbanks, Alaska and purchased his first tow truck in 1976 during his time as a Shell Oil dealer and service station owner.  Bob has spent most of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area with wife, Sylvia and together, they raised four daughters.  Bob has always been community minded and generously gives his time and expertise.  He has served many roles over the years for CTTA, instructor, Greater Bay Area Chapter President, State Director, Vice President and Chair for the CTTA Convention Committee.  Bob received the TRAA National Citizenship Award for distinguished humanitarian service following the Oakland earthquake devastation.  He also founded and was a substantial fundraiser for the Bay Area Citizens Against Drugs.



•CTTA President 1999-2001

•Carvel started his exemplary history of auto service in 1965 when he purchased his first service station, adding towing services in 1970.  Gay’s Automotive and Towing has been contracted with the Glendale Police Department and CHP since 1974.  A resident of Glendale and married to his high school sweetheart, Carvel gives credit for his success to his family and employees who enable him to give so generously of his time to community and professional programs.  Mr. Gay has been a member of the California Army National Guard, has twice been awarded the California Commendation Medal, and was awarded the Enlisted Excellence Ribbon, the Army Superior Unit Award as well as the National Defense Service Medal.  Carvel was presented with a commendation for outstanding response and exemplary service during the Northridge Earthquake in 1996.



•George opened a Chevron Service Station in 1968 and purchased his first tow truck in 1972.  He’s been a pillar of the Sacramento business community, active in the Western States Trucking Association, California Trucking Association and California Tow Truck Association, generously contributing his knowledge and experience to CTTA’s education program and mentoring others who have gone on to build their own successful businesses.  Mr. Little is considered a heavy duty towing authority due to his extensive experience as an operator, mechanic and business owner.  His skill in creating and improving equipment has also been of great benefit to many as he has always readily shared his ideas with the towing community.  He has successfully utilized his knowledge as a behind the scenes advocate, making a true difference in the towing industry.  Over the years, his work to establish hourly rates with CHP and other law enforcement agencies for towing and successfully pushing back 3rd party dispatch and impound from encroaching on Sacramento region towing has protected towing companies and set a standard in the industry.