10 finalists named for Trucking’s Top Rookie Award

Updated Jul 29, 2015
Last year’s Top Rookie Julie Matulle of H.O. Wolding, Inc.

Truckers News today announced the finalists in its 2015 Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie contest. The program is designed to increase pride and professionalism among new drivers and to promote truck driving as a career choice during a severe driver shortage.

A panel of judges, comprised of representatives from training schools (both public and private), suppliers and trade associations, chose these 10 top finalists:

  • Chantelle Bomberry, who drives for Contrans Flatbed Group (KRTS Transportation Specialists, Inc., Caledonia, Ontario, Canada);
  • Jeremy Degarmo, who is employed by TMC Transportation (JTL Truck Driver Training, Omaha Neb.);
  • John Deering, who works for Werner Enterprises (Delaware Technical Community College, Dover, Del.);
  • Paul Golden, a driver for H.O. Wolding, Inc. (National Tractor Trailer School, Liverpool, NY);
  • Diego Guerrero, who drives for Stevens Transport (Lone Star College Transportation Institute, Houston, Texas);
  • David Ham of Con-way Truckload (Truck Driver Institute, Forsyth, Ga.);
  • Tito McRae, who works for Maverick Transportation (Sampson Community College, Clinton NC),
  • Mackenzie Parks, a driver for Melton Truck Lines (Continental Truck Driver Training, Dallas, Texas);
  • William Schmidt, a driver for Dartco (Heavy Metal Truck Training, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.)
  • Frederick Weatherspoon of Dartco, Inc. (Daly’s Truck Driving School, Buford, Ga.)

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The winner of the Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie will be chosen from these finalists.

The finalists will be presented with over $25,000 in cash and prizes during a ceremony Friday, Aug. 28 during the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.

The winner receives:

  • a check for $10,000;
  • an interview with Eric Harley of the Red Eye Radio Network;
  • a custom plaque from Award Company of America;
  • a RoadPro Getting Started Living On-The-Go Package;
  • $1,000 cash and 100,000 MyRewards points from Pilot Flying J;
  • a GPS unit and Motor Carrier Road Atlas from Rand McNally;
  • a dash camera from Cobra Electronics;
  • an American Trucking Asso­ciations “Trucking Moves America Forward” gift pack­.

The remaining nine finalists will each be awarded $1,000 in cash and a variety of other prizes.

The Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie contest is a partnership between Randall-Reilly, publisher of Truckers News; Truckload Carriers Association, Commercial Vehicle Training Association, Rand McNally, Shell ROTELLA, Pilot Flying J, Progressive Commercial Insurance, National Association of Publicly Funded Driving Schools, American Trucking Associations and the Red Eye Radio Network.

Other contestants and their driving schools include: Stephen Csernik (Truck Driver Institute, Sellersburg, Ind.); Christopher Thompson (Truck Driving Institute); Suzanne Sailor (Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wisc.); Welsey Osborne (National Tractor Trailer School, Liverpool, NY); Efren Perez (Roadmasters TDS, Orlando, Fla.) Scot Johnson (Roadmaster, Fontana, Fla.) and Tiffany Deering (Delaware Technical Community College, Dover, Del.)

The Great American Trucking Show is Aug. 27-29 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Click here for your free registration.