Company driver honored with ATA image award

Ralph Garcia receives his Mike Russell Award at ATA gathering in Philadelphia

A company driver with more than 3.5 million accident-free miles to his credit was among those honored  by a national organization for their efforts to present a positive image of the trucking industry.

Ralph Garcia, ABF Freight System Inc., was a recipient of a Mike Russell Trucking Image award over the weekend at the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) conference in Philadelphia. Garcia was recognized, according to the ATA, “… for representing the industry through his role as an America’s Road Team Captain, competing at an elite level in state and national truck driving competitions, and his commitment to safety resulting in over 3.5 million accident-free miles.”

This year’s other winners included:

  • Con-way Inc. for their involvement in the community, on social media and their aggressive media outreach that changes the way people think about trucking;
  • FASTPORT for arranging trucking specific career fairs at military bases, working with business leaders to promote trucking, making it easier for companies to recruit, and for honoring truck drivers with their excellent “Imagine” video;
  • The Tennessee Trucking Association Foundation for their organization’s publishing of the children’s book “Papa Doug Hauls Strawberries & Smiles” and inspiring kids to dream about becoming a truck driver;
  • The late Russell Gerdin, Heartland Express Inc., for his involvement and service to his community and for generating positive awareness about trucking by demonstrating professionalism throughout his illustrious career and;

“Every person working in the trucking industry has the responsibility to advocate on its behalf and demonstrate the safety-first mentality of the trucking industry to the public” said ATA Second Vice Chairman Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express Inc., Dayton, Ohio. “The awards we presented today celebrate a company, organization or individual who over the past year has gone above and beyond to establish positive awareness of the trucking industry.”

The Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards are named in honor of the late Mike Russell, a trucking industry supporter and former ATA vice president of public affairs, and are sponsored by HireRight.

“Those of us in trucking are aware of the vital role that it plays in the daily life of every person. Some individuals and organizations go above and beyond to broaden and strengthen that awareness among the millions of people who benefit from the trucking industry every day,” said Steven Spencer, managing director of transportation and healthcare, HireRight. “HireRight is honored to sponsor this year’s Mike Russell Image Awards and acknowledge the outstanding leadership that this group has exhibited in their efforts to promote a positive image of the trucking industry to policymakers, the media, and the general public.”