Prime honored its female drivers Wednesday night at its inaugural Highway Diamonds Gala in Springfield, Missouri. Hundreds of drivers, their families and employees of the fleet celebrated the women of Prime.
Brooke Mosley, Prime training specialist and female driver liaison, said female drivers are paving the way for future generations. Women make up 10 percent of Prime’s drivers.
“It takes courage, it takes bravery,” Mosley said. “A lot of times I come across females that they lack that confidence. There’s a misconception out there that females cannot drive trucks. That’s not like that anymore. Times have changed, the equipment has changed, the facilities have changed.
“Our ladies here at Prime are sending that message out there that they can now do this. Women have been doing this for a long time but it’s just gotten better over time.”
The gala’s keynote speaker was Debbie Gardner, one of the first female police officers to have driven on patrol alone. Gardner spoke about practical self-defense techniques.
Prime driver and Navy veteran Tiffany Hanna sang the national anthem.
Three awards were distributed throughout the evening to drivers:
- Tamara Daniels won the Longevity Award
- Allison Russell won Instructor of the Year
- Tammy Campbell won Highway Diamond of the Year.
Longevity Award: Tamara Daniels
Daniels has worked at Prime for 28 years, having joined the company in 1988. She’s completed 14 leases, has a year-to-date net fuel of $0.083 cents per mile, and an average mile per gallon average of 8.94 for her past 100,000 miles. Daniels works as a trainer at Prime.
“Tammy is a fantastic asset to Prime and a true professional who takes extreme pride in the work she does,” said Barry Pahler, Daniels’ fleet manager. “Tammy is very passionate about being a professional driver.”
Instructor of the Year: Allison Russell
Russell joined Prime in 2012 and is known by her colleagues as fun, dedicated and family-oriented. She works as an instructor while being a mother of two and a wife to a husband with health issues, says her fleet manager Terri Higdon.
“When students need a little extra help, Allison takes them under her wing,” Higdon said. “This hard working mother of two makes the bacon, then takes it home and fries it up too.”
Highway Diamond of the Year: Tammy Campbell
Campbell joined Prime in 2010 and drives team with her husband, Michael Campbell. Because Campbell drives team full-time she doesn’t work as a trainer, but her fleet manager John Sample says that hasn’t stopped her from mentoring other drivers.
“If I have someone that is struggling, and my point of view is not connecting, Tammy always offers to help,” Sample said. “She currently mentors two drivers on my fleet, and at times, more.”
Campbell says she feels humbled to have been chosen for the award.
“We have so many fabulous, fabulous women, that to be honored like this really, truly leaves me about as speechless as anybody has ever seen me,” Campbell said. “It really does. It’s just so humbling.”
For women interested in joining the trucking industry, Campbell says finding a good training company is essential.
“Find a great training company that treats you like an individual and not a number, somebody who knows your first name and not just your truck number and just have courage. Because you can do this. We can all do this,” Campbell said.