SAN DIEGO — American Trucking Associations has presented the Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards to one motor carrier, one state trucking association, one fleet executive and one professional truck driver. The awards honor trucking’s champions of image, professionalism and safety, and recognize individuals and groups that use innovative approaches to improve the image of the trucking industry and were presented at the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition Monday.
The Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards are named in honor of the late Mike Russell, a trucking industry supporter and former ATA vice president of public affairs.
“Over my past year as chairman of ATA, I’ve seen from coast to coast the types of positive impacts we’re having on improving the image of trucking,” said ATA Chairman Barry Pottle, president of Pottle’s Transportation “Whether we’re introducing local lawmakers to some of Maine’s professional truck drivers or hosting high school students at MCE here in San Diego, our industry does a lot of great work to showcase who we are and how important we are to the general public.”
This year’s winners of the Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards are:
- Covenant Transport for developing the Tomorrow’s Truckers program and providing the tools to ATA to offer the program industry-wide. Covenant also supports ATA’s image programs including the newly-launched Workforce Heroes program, and many of the industry’s disaster relief efforts.
- Minnesota Trucking Association for being one of the leading trucking image supporters at the state level, specifically by creating a three-pronged public relations campaign focusing on the need to develop reliable information, provide access to subject matter experts, and engage in working sessions with safety partners. Through this campaign the Minnesota Trucking Association developed a close relationship with the state DOT and the Governor’s office to pass major highway safety legislation, including the Hands Free Cell Phone Law and the Truck Platooning Law.
- Fleet executive Kevin Burch of Jet Express Inc. for developing some of the industry’s high-profile image efforts, including Trucking Moves America Forward trailer wraps and Safety Sammy, as well as “pinning” President Donald Trump, Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, countless public officials and members of the public with I Love Trucks pins. Burch makes trucking image a part of his everyday life.
- America’s Road Team Captain and YRC Freight professional truck driver Steve Fields for being the epitome of an American truck driver in his actions, professionalism and words. Fields is a mentor to many drivers in the trucking industry and serves as an ambassador to the motoring public. He is passionate about his career in trucking, so passionate that he famously “pinned” a hesitant Brad Paisley at the 2017 MCE in Orlando.
“The image of trucking improves each year due to the efforts of these champions,” said ATA Executive Vice President, Industry Affairs and Senior Adviser Elisabeth Barna. “Today’s honorees have made a substantial impact on our industry’s public perception through their words and deeds. As an industry, we appreciate their efforts and encourage others to use their work as a model for improving our industry’s image going forward.”
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.