Woman in the running for driver of the year honors, $25,000

Ester NemethEster Nemeth

Six professional drivers — including a woman with more than 2 million safe miles to her credit — earlier this week were named finalists in two contests to recognize the best truckers on the road.

Three were named finalists in the Company Driver of the Year contest presented by the Truckload Carriers Association and Truckers News and three more are finalists for the Owner-Operator of the Year Award presented by TCA and Overdrive.

Don LewisDon Lewis

Both awards are sponsored by Love’s Travel Centers and Cummins, Inc. The winners each receive $25,000 and the runners up get $2,500 each.

Finalists for Company Driver of the Year are:

  • Don Lewis, is from Republic, Missouri, and drives for Wilson Logistics, of Springfield, Missouri
  • David McGowanDavid McGowan

    David McGowan, is from Marinette, Wisconsin, and drives for WEL Companies, Inc., of De Pere, Wisconsin

  • Ester Nemeth, is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and drives for Bison Transport, also of Winnipeg
  • Finalists for Owner-Operator of the Year are:

    • Danny JewellDanny Jewell

      Danny Jewell, is from Nebraska City, Nebraska, and is leased to Warren Transport, Inc. of Waterloo, Iowa

    • Kevin Kocmich, is from Litchfield, Minnesota, and is leased to Diamond Transportation System, Inc. of Racine, Wisconsin
    • Robert Roth, is from Coldwater, Ontario, Canada, and is leased to Erb International of New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada
    Kevin KocmichKevin Kocmich

    Nemeth was recently honored by Bison Transport for reaching 2 million safe miles. Sh is the first woman in the company to reach that amount.

    The finalists and grand prize winners are selected based on their ability to operate safely on public highways, their efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and their positive contributions to the communities in which they live.

    Robert RothRobert Roth

    “Each one of our finalists is exceptional,” said TCA Chairman and Searcy Specialized President Dan Doran. “Regardless of who may take home the grand prize award in March, each driver has made significant contributions to the industry and should be applauded for their efforts as they’re setting the finest example possible.”

    “We are happy to partner with TCA and our great sponsors to highlight and reward the best professional truck drivers in the truckload industry,” said Randall-Reilly National Account Executive Lawrence “Chip” Magner. “I look forward to meeting each of these finalists and congratulating them as we reveal the top drivers of the year.”

    Randall-Reilly is the parent company of Truckers News and Overdrive.

    Grand prize winners will be announced at TCA’s 81st Annual Convention at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort on Tuesday, March 11 during the Annual Awards Banquet. For more information on the Driver of the Year Contests, please visit www.truckload.org/DOY.