LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mary “Candy” Bass, a truck driver at Transport Designs Inc., has been named the Women in Trucking (WIT) Association’s fourth annual Driver of the Year.
Bass was among three finalists for the award, according to a news release.
The announcement was made during the Salute to Women Behind the Wheel ceremony, hosted recently by WIT at the Mid America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. The event honors female commercial drivers for their efforts and successes in the trucking industry.
The other finalists include Ally Cooper, a driver for Penske Logistics, and Ann McFarland, a company driver for Leonard’s Express.
Bass has been a long-haul professional driver for 50 years, accumulating 6 million accident-free miles, according to WIT.
In 2016, she was awarded the TA Petro Citizen Driver Award. Recipients of this award exhibit citizenship, safety, community involvement, and leadership. A Nashville TA truck stop is named the Candy Bass Travel Center in honor of her. In 2023, she was named a Top Woman to Watch in Transportation by Redefining the Road, WIT’s official magazine.
“Candy Bass has given extensively to the trucking profession, not only during her time on the road and commitment to safe driving, but through mentorship and her desire to be a guiding star for women at all stages of their careers,” said Jennifer Hedrick, WIT president and CEO.
Bass is a lifetime member of WIT and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). She is involved in numerous charities, including St. Christopher Foundation, Hats for Heroes, Special Olympics, Trucker Buddy and Charities for troops.
At 78, she is still driving long haul across the United States while encouraging and mentoring other women in the trucking industry.
Sponsored by Walmart, the annual Driver of the Year Award was established to promote the achievements of female professional drivers who lead the industry in safety standards while actively enhancing the public image of the trucking industry.
“Our North Star is to create a culture where our associates feel like they belong. That means getting to know them for their own unique identities, styles, experiences, abilities and perspectives to support them best,” Erin Bergman, director of talent acquisition at Walmart, said. “That’s why Walmart is proud to sponsor the Women In Trucking Driver Of The Year Award since it was created. It’s important to celebrate the industry’s top women behind the wheel like Mary ‘Candy’ Bass, who has had an incredible 50-year career and is paving the way to show future generations what they can accomplish when they work hard at what they love.”
Members of the judging panel were Erin Bergman, director, talent acquisition, Walmart, Tim Ridley, talk radio show host, and WIT founder Ellen Voie.
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.