Transition Trucking finalists recognized at GATS

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 8/30/2017

The 10 finalists for Fastport’s second annual Transition Trucking award were recognized last week at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.

Fastport’s campaign, which awards a fully loaded Kenworth T680 to the winner, is part of an overall effort to inspire the hiring of more veterans, National Guard members and reservists into the trucking industry. Each of the 10 finalists are former members of the military who are now working as truck drivers.

The finalists:

  • Mary and Larry Berman; U.S. Army National Guard and Reserves, and U.S. Coast Guard and Army, now at U.S. Xpress;
  • Phillip Cooper; U.S. Navy, now at Melton Truck Lines;
  • Sean Harding; U.S. Army, now at Stevens Transport;
  • Christopher King; U.S. Air Force, now at TMC Transportation;
  • Britney Motes; U.S. Army, now at Werner Enterprises;
  • James Rogers; U.S. Army, now at Prime;
  • Wayne Roy; U.S. Marine Corps, now at U.S. Xpress;
  • Daniel Shonebarger; U.S. Navy, now at Melton Truck Lines;
  • Gregg Softy; U.S. Army, now at Stevens Transport; and
  • Robert West; U.S. Air Force, now at Werner Enterprises.

“Each of these candidates is an incredible ambassador to display what military talent brings to the trucking industry,” Brad Bentley, president of Lowell, Mass.-based Fastport, said in a news release. “We’re proud to say that all five U.S. military branches are represented in this diverse and qualified group, which is simply another proof point that the military, regardless of military occupation or branch, provides a unique and significant foundation for a professional truck driving career.”

Nominations for the annual award began in March. Those nominated must be a military veteran or a current or former member of the National Guard or Reserves; must have graduated from a certified driver training school and be a current CDL holder; must have been employed by any for-hire carrier or private fleet that has pledged to hire veterans through; and was first employed as a truck driver between Jan. 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.

The nominations were narrowed to 10 finalists in July. Each preliminary finalist will create profile videos to be posted on the Transition Trucking website from Oct. 1 through Nov. 11. The public will be able to vote for their favorite.

On Dec. 15 in Washington, D.C., the winner and the two runners-up will be announced during a ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hall of Flags. The winner will receive a 2017 Kenworth T680 with an approximate value of $155,000. The two runners-up will receive $10,000 in prize money.

The award’s inaugural winner was Troy Davidson, a U.S. Navy veteran who works with Werner.

“It’s all pretty overwhelming,” Davidson said at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March. “I’m humbled. It’s gratifying. … I never thought a big event like this could happen to me.”

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