A record 55 nominations were received this year for the Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie award, contest producer Randall-Reilly announced this week. Randall-Reilly is also the publisher of Overdrive.
The contest is designed to increase pride and professionalism among new drivers in the industry and to promote truck driving as a career.
Any CDL holder who graduated from a PTDI-certified or NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school and was employed by a trucking company for less than a year was eligible to be nominated for the award.
Trucking’s Top Rookie is a partnership between Randall-Reilly, Truckload Carriers Association, Shell ROTELLA, Commercial Vehicle Training Association, Rand McNally, Pilot Flying J, American Trucking Associations, Progressive Insurance, COBRA Electronics, Red Eye Radio Network, and the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools.
An expert panel of judges, which includes representatives from motor carriers, training schools (both public and private), suppliers and trade associations, are reviewing the nominations. Ten finalists will be chosen, and they’ll be recognized at a ceremony Friday, Aug. 22 at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.
More than $25,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded, and Eric Harley of the Red Eye Radio Network will interview the winner immediately following the ceremony.
The Trucking’s Top Rookie winner will receive:
- $10,000 cash
- A custom plaque from Award Company of America, a division of Randall-Reilly
- A GPS unit from Rand McNally
- RoadPro Getting Started Living On-The-Go Package
- A dash camera from Cobra Electronics
- $1,000 cash and 100,000 MyRewards points from Pilot Flying J
- American Trucking Associations “Trucking Moves America Forward”package
The other nine finalists will each receive $1,000 in cash and a similar prize package.
The following entry-level drivers were nominated to be the 2014 Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie:
- Phillip Alley, Epes Transport System, Inc.
- Joshua Andrews, Stevens Transport
- Freelin Berry, Transport America
- Dion Blair, TMC Transportation
- Ashley Bowers, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
- Joe Boyle, Veriha Trucking
- Elisee Carnelli, Hogan Transports, Inc.
- Kevin Carpenter, C.R. England
- Jonathan Chastang, Dart Transit
- William Childers, Cargo Transporters, Inc.
- Jason Dulier, Hogan Transports, Inc.
- Rommel Duran, TMC Transportation
- Derek Fischer, H.O. Wolding
- Kyle Friauf, Transport America
- Matthew Frisbee, Stevens Transport
- Clarence Gillespie, Hogan Transports, Inc.
- Lyle Grant, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
- Paul Hedge, Werner Enterprises
- Brandon Hooten, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
- Othello James, Werner Enterprises
- Steven Jameson, Dart Transit
- Alex Jusino, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
- Amanda Kidd, Cargo Transporters, Inc.
- Byron Kilgore, Transport America
- Sean Klarer, TMC Transportation
- Michael Kline, Roehl Transport
- Dominick Krajewski, TMC Transportation
- Jason Kiser, Stevens Transport
- William Mills, Britton Transport
- Daniel Mota, C.R. England
- Richard Mullen, D&D Sexton Inc.
- Julie Matulle, H.O. Wolding
- Jeffrey Nace, Stevens Transport
- Joel Nelson, Dart Transit
- Carlos Nordquist, Werner Enterprises
- Cheryl “Charlie” Naujokas, C.R. England
- Reg Polante, H.O. Wolding
- Karl Sall, Dart Transit
- Adam Sanford, Core Carrier Corporation
- Sandy Schultz, C.R. England
- Chad Sears, Maverick Transportation, LLC.
- Byron Simpson, Epes Transport System, Inc.
- Fred Smith, Roehl Transport
- Ryan Sparks, Boyd Bros. Transportation Inc.
- Cartha Speed, Transport America
- John Spofford, Premier Crude, LLC
- Jordan Steffens, Norseman Express Trucking Inc.
- Robert Strong, Roehl Transport
- William Steinmetz, C.R. England
- Michael Towler, Roehl Transport
- Nico Turner, C.R. England
- Joseph Watson, C.R. England
- Robert White, Werner Enterprises
- Joel Wieland, Britton Transport
- Roger Wright, Transport America