Many truckers were recognized for their efforts throughout the industry at American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition this weekend.
ATA’s Driver of the Year Award was given to John Christner Trucking’s Larry Miles, who has been working for 57 years as a professional driver covering more than 7 million accident-free miles since he began his career hauling telephone poles in 1961. Now, he travels an average of 140,000 miles per year for his work.
“Larry is more than deserving of this recognition,” said award presenter and FedEx Freight driver, Dion Saiz. “He has dedicated his life to driving safely. He is a hardworking professional who is willing to share his experiences with his fellow drivers.”
Additionally, the members of LEAD ATA were presented at the conference. LEAD ATA is a training program offering professional training and education for trucking professionals looking to boost skills regarding further industry insight and problem solving.
“I hope you share the same excitement and enthusiasm I have for the future of this great industry and the LEAD ATA program for fostering the next generation of leaders who will take us to new heights,” said DriverReach founder and CEO, Jeremy Reymer, at the conference. “The trucking industry is at an inflection point. I recognize firsthand the importance of innovation and progress.”
The Management Conference and Exhibition also saw the 2021 Cathy Evans Highway to Victory award presented to Robert Low, Prime Inc.‘s president and founder. This particular award was created to recognize members working to advance the industry’s legislative agenda, and is named for former ATA vice president of legislative affairs, Cathy Evans.
“This year, I couldn’t be more proud than to be associated with an industry like the trucking industry,” said Low. ”Our folks have stepped up and we’ve delivered the goods and food and pharmaceuticals to the public.”
Low has made major efforts in leading the industry in aspects like accident litigation, as well as in congressional leader relationships to boost independent contract situations and federal preemption efforts.
“I feel like we’ve made real progress with getting recognition for the contribution of the trucking industry,” Low continued. “And in particular, our drivers–they have done great work.”
The Mike Russell Trucking Image Award was won by Carbon Express, the Indiana Motor Truck Association, and FedEx Freight trucker Wayne Crowder. This award was established to recognize individuals, companies, and groups who work to create a positive public image of the industry.
“The trucking industry is the backbone of our economy and lays a critical role in not only maintaining but also supporting overall economic growth,” said Great West Casualty Co. executive vice president, Steve Ponder. “Many, however, take for granted the importance of our great industry and the dedicated unsung heroes who work tirelessly with professionalism to ensure that we have the essential items that guarantee our prosperity.”
UPS was also given an award at the event–the 2021 Truckers Against Trafficking Champion Award created to celebrate work being done in the industry to fight against human trafficking.
“Over my almost 38 years at UPS, I’ve been involved with many boards,” said UPS’ president of corporate transportation, Lou Rivieccio. “Never to discount the great work that goes on with other boards and agencies, but Truckers Against Trafficking really hit a nerve for me, as I’ve been blessed to [raise] three wonderful daughters. Although adults now, don’t think for one minute I haven’t played the possibility in my mind that no one is immune from the terror that comes with trafficking.”
Finally, two truckers were celebrated for their efforts in helping communities heavily impacted by natural disasters.
COO of Frisard Cos., Cully Frisard, and retired driver and Convoy of Hope volunteer, Gene Woolsey, were recognized as Trucking’s Frontline Heroes for 2021.
“This year, Transport Topics honors two exceptional individuals who use their industry experience to help thousands of individuals impacted by some of this year’s devastating storms,” said Transport Topics publisher, Sue Hensley.
Hensley also noted that the two truckers worked to help a variety of families, communities, and individuals struggling to recover from recent natural disasters.
“As everyone in this audience knows,” she said at the event, “trucking is an industry full of heroes…full of individuals willing to put others and the common good ahead of their own interest.”