During a ceremony in Chillicothe, Ohio, Fastport announced the finalists for the eighth annual Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award. The award program is dedicated to finding America's top rookie military veteran driver.
The 2023 finalists are:
- Todd Kraus, U.S. Army, Werner Enterprises
- Brandon Meredith, U.S. Army, Slay Transport
- Ondrae Meyers, U.S. Marines, CRST
- Jessica White, U.S. Army, Stevens Transport
- LaTravis Wilcox, U.S. Marines, Prime, Inc.
A popular vote will take place online from Nov. 1 until Veteran's Day Nov. 11. The winner will be determined by a selection committee and announced on Dec. 15 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit transitiontrucking.org.
In recognition of Kenworth's 100th anniversary, this year's award is the T680 Signature Edition truck, equipped with a 76-inch sleeper and the PACCAR Powertrain featuring the PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 455 horsepower, PACCAR TX-12 automated transmission and PACCAR DX-40 tandem rear axles. The first runner-up will receive a $10,000 prize and the remaining finalists will receive $5,000 each.
All 17 semi-finalists recently traveled to Columbus and Chillicothe, Ohio, to be recognized as the trucking industry's top emerging talent. During the trip, the semi-finalists visited the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, appeared on the Dave Nemo Show with Jimmy Mac on Road Dog Trucking Radio live from the MHC RoadReady Center in Chillicothe, and received a tour of the Kenworth Chillicothe manufacturing plant.
"Each of our semi-finalists are accomplished veterans driving positive change as professional truck drivers, and this is especially true for the finalists representing their newly adopted industry. Moving past military-friendly, this veteran-ready industry is providing a key avenue to bring in a great new generation of trucking talent like these inspiring individuals," said Brad Bentley, FASTPORT President.