PLOVER, Wis. — The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) on April 14 announced three finalists for the organization’s 2021 Driver of the Year award. This second annual award recognizes outstanding female professional drivers who lead the industry in safety standards while actively enhancing the public image of the trucking industry.
“The Women In Trucking’s Driver of the Year award recognizes and helps empower women who are making an impact across the industry,” said Ryan McDaniel, vice president of Walmart Transportation and a Women In Trucking board member. “Walmart is pleased to sponsor this award as part of our work with Women In Trucking to help advance women within transportation. Congratulations to the finalists.”
This year’s finalists include Carmen Anderson, Ingrid Brown and Nikki Weaver.
Anderson, who is a company driver for America’s Service Line LLC, has accrued 2.5 million safe driving miles.
In 2015, she won the South Dakota Truck Driving championship and went on to compete in the national competition in St Louis. Two years late, she was selected for the Wisconsin Road Team. In August 2019, she was named the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association (WMCA) Driver of the Month; she was also named the WMCA 2019 Driver of the Year — the first woman to be named the sole recipient of the award. That same year, she was appointed to the WIT Image Team.
Anderson is a lifetime member of WIT and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). She also serves on the organizing committee for the South Dakota Special Olympics. Anderson was named one of WIT’s Top Women to Watch in Transportation for 2021. She has also been trained to recognize and prevent human trafficking through her involvement with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT).
Brown, the independent owner-operator of Rolling B LLC, has been a professional driver for more than 40 years and has accumulated over 4 million accident-free miles. She is also a company driver for Fleenor Brothers Enterprises Inc.
Brown was named to the WIT Image Team in 2015. As a mentor and educator, she was chosen as a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Voice of Safety for the “Our Roads, Our Safety” campaign. She also participated in the FMCSA’s 2020 Trucking Safety Summit, a public meeting with the goal of improving safe operations of commercial motor vehicles. Also in 2015, Brown was selected for the National Association of Small Trucking Companies’ (NASTC) America’s Road Team in 2015, and was ultimately named the NASTC Woman Driver of the Year.
In 2018, Brown was a TA/Petro Citizen Driver Honoree; the Oklahoma City Petro was renamed in her honor in June 2018. Most recently, Brown was named to the St. Christopher’s Fund driver council.
She continues to be an advocate for driver awareness and safety through her involvement within the industry and can be seen in numerous magazines, TV news specials and speaking panels.
Weaver has been a company driver with FedEx Freight for 12 years and has driven more than 2 million accident-free miles during her 19 years as a professional driver.
She has served as an America’s Road Team Captain since 2019. She was most recently a finalist for FedEx Freight’s Luella Bates Award, and she is a two-time winner of the prestigious Bravo Zulu Award. Weaver speaks to community colleges about the trucking industry as well as the Pennsylvania State Police Academy’s new commercial officer cadets. She is an advocate for Truckers Against Trafficking and has attended their leadership conference and is also involved with outreach programs in her community.
The judging panel for WIT’s 2021 Driver of the Year competition includes Tricia Tullis, general transportation manager for Walmart Transportation; Jeana Hysell, senior safety consultant for J.J. Keller & Associates Inc.; Tim Ridley, talk radio host; and Ellen Voie, president and CEO of WIT.
“Given the difficulties of this past year, it is especially important to recognize these outstanding and essential professionals who keep our country moving,” Voie said. “These women have proven safety records and are truly making a difference in the industry and in their communities.”
The winner will be announced April 27 and will receive a plaque and a commemorative ring.