LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Trucking Association (ATA) has announced its most prestigious annual awards.
On Wednesday, May 17, at the ATA’s yearly conference, the following awards were given: the 2022 Driver of the Year award went to Ken Geer; the 2022 Safety Professional of the Year award went to Brett Graves; and the 2022 Maintenance Professional of the Year award went to Samuel Satterfield, according to a news release.
Each year, the ATA recognizes one driver for their strong and noteworthy professional qualifications, experience and performance; one safety professional for their qualifications, safety program and safety achievements; and a maintenance professional for their contributions to their company’s maintenance program, certifications and credentials.
Driver of the Year
Geer has been a professional truck driver for Walmart Transportation since 2020. In his 34-year career, he has driven more than 4 million accident-free miles, according to the news release.
Dedicated to safety in his professional and personal life, the former firefighter volunteers to run fireworks displays at Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion and local football games. He’s also a committed fundraiser for the Gravette Lion Band Boosters.
Walmart Transportation Manager Waylon Wishon nominated Geer for his dedication to being a positive ambassador for the industry.
“Ken does everything he can to make his part of the world better by volunteering his time, talent and effort,” Wishon said. noting that Geer is not just a driver at work, but he takes those skills to an event that’s important to his family when he transports equipment to Special Olympics events for their oldest daughter, who participates in the track and field competition.
Safety Professional of the Year
Graves, the safety director for Maverick Transportation, has been an active advocate of safety for years, according to the ATA.
He has held leadership positions with the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance, taught North American Transportation Management Institute courses, served as a professional safety source for the Arkansas Department of Labor, chaired ATA’s Safety Management Council and Truck Driving Championship Committee and volunteers as a liaison for the Arkansas Highway Police Challenge.
“Brett’s company and so many state and national organizations have benefited from his professional commitment to safety,” said ATA President Shannon Newton. “Brett is a source of safety information and wisdom. He cares for and holds a high standard for Maverick drivers, but he’s also been an eager supporter of drivers from any company who aim for excellence and professionalism at annual safety competitions.”
Maintenance Professional of the Year
Satterfield, the maintenance director for Lew Thompson & Son Trucking, started at the company in 2016 as a technician. He quickly advanced to shop supervisor before taking on responsibility for the fleet of 250 trucks and 500 trailers, the ATA noted. He runs a maintenance program that ranks the company in the top 9% of industry peers in the nation.
When the company’s home office shop was destroyed in a fire in 2021, Satterfield demonstrated his leadership.
Lew Thompson & Son Safety Director Russ Curbo said, “The loss of a maintenance facility had the potential to place an extraordinary hardship on the entire company. With Samuel’s oversight and knowledge, he ensured that our fleet of trucks remained in top mechanical condition, kept the morale of the technicians up and streamlined the process from day one until we were settled into our new facility.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.