Lytx honors 2021 drivers and coaches of the year

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Donald McNair
Donald McNair of the Fairfax County government was honored as 2021 Driver of the Year in the government category. Driver of the year awards went to clients in five additional categories — services, transit, for-hire trucking, private trucking, and waste and construction. (Courtesy: Lytx)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Lytx announced the recipients of its 2021 Driver of the Year and Coach of the Year awards April 8. The awards honor professional drivers and coaches who utilize the Lytx Driver Safety Program. Lytx provides safety services and video telematics, productivity and analytics solutions for fleets of all sizes across various industries.

The 2021 honorees were chosen based on having a passion for their jobs and a steadfast dedication to safety. Each individual recognized has gone above and beyond to keep their roads and communities safe, according to Del Lisk, vice president of safety services at Lytx.

“Over the past year, we have witnessed drivers and coaches cope with one of the most difficult challenges they’ve ever faced,” he said. “We’re excited to honor these heroes of the road for their remarkable work and sacrifices to keep our country moving forward.”

Lytx recognized winners of the Driver of the Year and Coach of the Year awards from a pool of clients across six categories — government, services and utilities, transit and motor coach, for-hire trucking, private trucking, and waste and construction.

Lytx’s drivers of the year include:

Government

First Place: Donald McNair of the Fairfax County government always puts the needs and safety of those he serves first, and has been doing so throughout his 20-year driving career. During his five years with Fairfax County, McNair has never received a seat belt or cell phone policy violation. McNair has not had a coachable event since 2017. Along with his dedication to Fairfax County, he spends his free time volunteering at the Fairfax Deer Management program. As an assistant group leader, McNair supervises 15 to 20 participants each year and manages safety and compliance standards across their respective programs.

Second Place: Heinz Hansen of the city of Atlanta’s Department of Aviation.

Third Place: Chris Hickman of the city of Ocala, Florida.

Services and Utilities

First Place: Fritz Nordmann of the Murphy-Hoffman Co. remains motivated every day to create a safe workplace and to be as vigilant on the road as he can be. Taking an active role in his community, Nordmann is passionate about addressing food insecurity for children and families in his area, volunteering at his daughter’s school and a local food bank, Tri-Lakes Cares. Having driven for Murphy-Hoffman for the past eight years, Nordmann has received many awards, including the company’s Safe Driver Award, on five separate occasions. With a strong work ethic and commitment to safety, Nordmann has worked for the past three years without a single coachable event, moving violation or preventable collision.

Second Place: Robert Wagner of National Grid.

Third Place: Ryan Sidoff of Vitalant.

Transit and Motor Coach

First Place: William Smith of Greyhound Lines Inc. has been a constant presence in Houston passengers’ lives, ensuring they arrive safely at their destinations for the past 32 years. With over 45 years of experience as a professional driver, Smith has received numerous accolades, including the 2019 Faces of Excellence Driving Award for Greyhound’s Southern Region. Safety and customer service go hand in hand for Smith as he meets the road’s many challenges each day. In the 2.5 million miles Smith has driven for Greyhound, he has never had a preventable collision.

Second Place: Godwin McNeal of Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

Third Place: Victor Michel of First Transit.

Private Trucking

First Place: John Dansby of Honda Transportation and Ryder has driven more than 3 million miles throughout his 31-year driving career and remains just as committed to safety as he was on his first day. Always adhering to all safety and compliance policies, Dansby is routinely the go-to individual for recertifying and training his fellow drivers. Named Ryder’s Driver of the Month on four separate occasions, Dansby consistently maintains a high level of safety and has built strong relationships with all of his shippers as well. During his free time, Dansby is involved in community service through his church and the local Humane Society.

Second Place: Chase Cronan of Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc.

Third Place: Victor McQuillen of Performance Food Group.

For-hire Trucking

First Place Winner: Jan Quarnberg of Barney Trucking Inc. takes great pride in his work as a professional truck driver for over 45 years. Receiving numerous awards throughout his career, including the Lytx and DriveCam Good Driving Award and the Glen Barney Hall of Fame award, both in 2017, Quarnberg lives life by the principle, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Inspired by his father to always do the job right the first time, Quarnberg has never been involved in an accident or had any driving violations during his 45-year career.

Second Place: Jeff Christian of TransWood Inc.

Third Place: Phillip Clifton of Transport America.

Waste and Construction

First Place: Lino Bueno of Waste Connections loves his job, and it shows. Bueno has been with Waste Connections for 12 years, and he has 39 years of overall driving experience. As a tried-and-true professional with a passion for driving, Bueno takes great pride in serving his customers while always maintaining a high level of safety behind the wheel. Motivated by his colleagues and family to stay safe, and because of his tireless hard work and dedication to the job, Bueno has not had a single coachable event for the past three years.

Second Place: Kelly Lazaron of Waste Management of Londonderry, New Hampshire.

Third Place: Ronnie Johnson of GFL Environmental and Waste Industries.

Coach of the Year

Lytx also recognized Buner “Herschel” Evans of Yellow Corp. (formerly YRC) as the overall 2021 Coach of the Year as well as in the for-hire trucking category. Having maintained a flawless driving record with over 3 million accident-free miles and numerous awards and accolades to his name — including the 2018 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance International Driver Excellence Award — Evans is described as an ideal representation of safety for YRC. A true ambassador for the industry, Evans is always doing his part to make the industry safer and, as such, was selected as an American Trucking Associations Road Team Captain. He is also an active member of the Holland’s Safety Committee and Review and Editing Board, YRC Accident Review Board and Mid-Atlantic Professional Truck Drivers Association.

In addition to his work at Yellow, Evans has participated in many truck-driving championships throughout his career. He is an active member of his community. He volunteers for Convoy of Care, and is the creator of the Safety Drive for a Cure event, which benefits the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Other first-place 2021 Coach of the Year winners, within their respective categories, include:

  • Government:Takisha Williams of North Miami, Florida.
  • Services and Utilities:Kyler Van Gulden of National Grid.
  • Transit and Motor Coach:Ronald Bremer of MV Transportation.
  • Private Trucking:Mike Russell of Bimbo Bakeries.
  • Waste and Construction:Justin Heddy of Waste Connections-Pacific Disposal.

“We are delighted to celebrate these professionals for the extraordinary work they have done over the past year and throughout their careers, including an unwavering commitment to safety across the board,” Lisk said. “While Lytx remains devoted to helping our clients meet and surpass their safety goals, coaches and drivers like this year’s winners are essential to making our safety program a success.”

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