American Trucking Association Yearly Award Winners

By Eric G. Braun, Senior Writer, US Road Warriors

The American Trucking Association has recognized outstanding trucking leaders at the Safety, Security and Human Resources National Conference and Exhibition in Oklahoma City. Frank Calvert, A Professional Driver with AAA Cooper, was honored as the industry’s National Truck Driver of the Year.

Also honored was Lisa Gonnerman of Ruan Transportation as the winner of the 2016 National Safety Director Award.

“Awards like these are the trucking industry’s acknowledgement of worthwhile effort applied to the area that matters most to our industry – safety,” said American Trucking Associations President & CEO Chris Spear. “Safety defines our value system, so whether you’re a million-mile accident-free driver or an executive that dedicates resources to safety investments, we want you to know that you’re making a difference on the highways.”

Calvert, who was awarded the 2016 National Driver of the Year trophy on stage in Las Vegas at ATA’s Management Conference and Exhibition earlier this month, is in the middle of his 60th year as a professional truck driver. He was also named the Alabama Driver of the Year in April.

Lisa Gonnerman was honored as National Safety Director by establishing strong safety cultures throughout her career in trucking, Lisa has made a significant impact on highway safety and undoubtedly saved lives,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “The trucking industry is fortunate to have committed safety leaders, like Lisa, and ATA is proud to recognize individuals who make safety their top priority.”

Under Gonnerman’s supervision, Ruan Transportation’s safety culture was reinvigorated, in part because of Gonnerman’s creation of a safety training program titled MegaSafe7. According to Ruan’s leadership team, Gonnerman’s development of the program empowered Ruan employees to take ownership of their safe driving behaviors and spread safety messages throughout the company.

Gonnerman is an active leader not only in her company, but in initiatives throughout the trucking industry, including ATA’s Safety Management Council committees and Iowa Motor Truck Association committees. She currently serves as chairman of the ATA Safety Management Council’s Regulations Committee.

Hired by Des Moines, Iowa-based Ruan Transportation in 2010 as safety director, Gonnerman has since been elevated to the role of vice president of safety and is celebrating more than 24 years in the trucking industry. She is the driving force behind continued significant investment in safety technology and was the lead advocate to install electronic logging devices across the entire Ruan fleet.

The ATA President’s Award was given to three companies who exhibited safety excellence in their daily operations:


·         Gorski Bulk Transport, Detroit, Mich., for fleets under 25 million miles;

·         TCW Inc., Nashville, Tenn., for fleets between 25 million and 100 million miles and;

·         Old Dominion Freight Line, Thomasville, N.C., for fleets with more than 100 million miles.

Security, an increasingly critical topic in the trucking industry, was also featured in several of the awards given out in Oklahoma City. ABF Freight System Inc. was presented the Excellence in Security award and Old Dominion Freight Line and Roehl Transport Inc. were honored with the Excellence in Claims and Loss Prevention Award in the less-than-truckload and truckload divisions, respectively.

We at US Road Warriors congratulate all the winners for bringing pride and success to our industry.

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