LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Ester Nemeth, a long-time professional truck driver for Bison Transport was named the winner of the Company Driver of the Year Award at the 81st annual Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) convention.
The award is given to one company driver each year who is safe, enhances the public image of the trucking industry, and makes influential contributions to his/her communities. There is also an award for the Owner Operator of the Year, who exemplifies these same attributes. The winners of the awards represent the most professional drivers in the industry.
Ester Nemeth (second in from left)
Nemeth is the first female to be nominated for the award since 2005. She has been a driver for more than 30 years, almost 20 of which have been with Winnipeg’s Bison Transport.
Throughout her career, Nemeth has accumulated more than 3.75 million accident-free miles. She was also the first female driver to hit 1 million accident-free miles at Bison.
“Wow, I’m just amazed,” she said upon accepting the award. “Thank you, this is such an honor…to be recognized among all these professional drivers is unbelievable. What’s more amazing is to be the first woman nominee since 2005. I’d like to thank the TCA for giving us such an unforgettable evening…and I’d like to thank the sponsors, and everyone in my Bison family. And it truly is a family. So to my fleet managers, dispatchers, and support staff, thank you. I would not be here tonight if it wasn’t for the encouragement I receive from them. My commitment to safety and my love of driving is what brought me here tonight.”
Runners up for the Company Driver of the Year included Donald Lewis of Wilson Logistics and David McGowan of WEL Companies.
The winner of the Owner Operator of the Year was Danny Jewell of Warren Transport.
Jewell is 73 years old and has been driving trucks professionally for 51 years. He’s been with the same trucking company, Warren Transport based in Iowa, since he started his career in 1968. In his time as a driver, Jewell has accrued more than 6 million accident-free miles.
“First of all, I want to thank my wife, we’ve been together for 56 years,” he said. “I also want to thank the TCA…what they do for the trucking industry is really great…I’m really thankful for all the hospitality I’ve had this week. Thank you very much.”
Runners up for the Owner Operator of the Year award included Robert Roth of Ontario’s Erb Transport, and Kevin Kocmich of Diamond Transportation System.
The grand prize winners took home a US$25,000 check as part of the award.