Atlas Van Lines, one of the nation's leading moving companies, announced that Chairman and CEO John Westerberg of Nelson Westerberg, an agent of the van line, is the recipient of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to the moving industry. Sponsored by the Moving and Storage Institute, the award is given to individuals who have built a reputation for professional excellence and made significant contributions leading to overall industry growth and advancement. Westerberg was recognized during the award ceremony at the American Moving and Storage Association's (AMSA) Annual Conference and Expo.

Westerberg has played an integral role in the moving and storage industry since the beginning of his professional career in 1962. He served as director, vice president and president of the Illinois Movers & Warehousemen's Association and Illinois Tariff Bureau from 1966 through 1990.  He also served as president of the Movers' Association of Greater Chicago (MAGC) from 1983 through 1986.  Westerberg was a director of the MAGC from 1969 through 1991. On a national level, his previous leadership positions include serving as director for both the American Movers Conference and the National Moving and Storage Association, and current service as a director of AMSA. He is also currently a board member and an Executive Committee member of Atlas World Group, Inc., the parent corporation of Atlas, and a board member of its subsidiary, Atlas Van Lines (Canada) Ltd.

An integral part of Atlas Van Lines' success and growth, Westerberg assisted Atlas Van Lines in expanding operations into all 50 states, initiating the annual Forum on Moving, establishing a Consumer Advisory Council, expanded World Headquarters and furthering quality and accountability standards throughout the company.  In the early 1980s Westerberg played an integral role in Atlas' decision to not compete with its agents with interstate operating authority, a decision that had significant impact on the company.  In one of Atlas' most challenging times John took a leadership role in thwarting a hostile takeover attempt, locating a white knight for interim control of the company and eventually returning Atlas to agent ownership and control. Westerberg also played a key role in one of the largest agent conversions in the history of the moving industry.

"The Lifetime Achievement Award is one of our industry's most prestigious awards, and we couldn't be more pleased to see John's tireless dedication and substantial achievements to the industry recognized by his peers," said Glen Dunkerson, chairman and CEO of Atlas Van Lines. "For over 40 years, John's contributions to Atlas Van Lines and Nelson Westerberg have been invaluable, and we're so proud to see him be awarded such a high honor."

In business since 1904, Nelson Westerberg annually manages more than 13,000 moves. Under John Westerberg's leadership, the company transformed from a small coal and ice moving business into an $80-million annual revenue corporation - serving consumers, corporations, government and military. He also initiated a program for equipment upgrades within Nelson Westerberg, made multiple changes in the relocation business model and led the industry in the introduction of a new method for auto relocation.

"Perhaps what sets John apart the most within the industry is his active participation in all sides of the business' operations," said Ed Pionke, president and COO of Nelson Westerberg. "Extensive education and training is offered to all new-management trainees, but John truly understands that a hands-on approach is the most effective way for our business to remain successful. Our monumental revenue growth through the decades is largely a testament to John's high level of leadership practices."

To receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service, nominees must have been an active participant in the moving and storage industry within the last 24 months and must have served a minimum of 20 years in the industry. He or she must have advanced industry operations through either technological development, sales innovations, new service organizations or the development of new moving techniques, all while enhancing the overall public image of the industry through leadership and integrity.

The Moving and Storage Institute is the philanthropic arm of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and was founded to foster educational opportunities for individuals in the moving and storage industry, facilitate the development of industry education and certification programs, and to cultivate a broader understanding and appreciation of the transportation of household goods moving and warehousing. All Atlas Van Lines U.S. agents are AMSA members.

For more information on Atlas Van Lines, visit For more information on the American Moving & Storage Association, visit