The Women In Trucking Association announced last week Mary “Candy” Bass, a professional driver at Transport Designs, Inc., as the winner of the fourth annual Driver of the Year award sponsored by Walmart.
Bass was among three finalists for the award. The other finalists include Ally Cooper, a professional driver, for Penske Logistics and Ann McFarland, a company driver, for Leonard’s Express.
The announcement was made during the Salute to Women Behind the Wheel event, hosted by WIT at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. The event honors female commercial drivers for their efforts and successes in the trucking industry.
Bass has been a long-haul professional driver for 50 years, accumulating 6 million accident-free miles. In 2016, she was awarded the TA Petro Citizen Driver award. Recipients of this award exhibit citizenship, safety, community involvement, and leadership. A Nashville, Tennessee 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, president and CEO, WIT.
Bass is a lifetime member of WIT and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. 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.
Members of the judging panel were Erin Bergman, director, of talent acquisition, at Walmart, Tim Ridley, talk radio show host, and Ellen Voie, founder, WIT.