Check out the recap of last year’s Driver of the Year event!
The annual Driver of the Year banquet and presentation is always a wonderful way to kick off the new year! We love celebrating our drivers, and especially honoring those who have worked hard to obtain the status of the "Black Hat" - a Driver of the Month or Dedicated Driver of the Quarter.
This year's banquet was held at the historic Union Station in Little Rock.
During the evening's festivities, we heard from Executive VP & COO Doug Richey, VP of Operations John Coppens, and Chairman & CEO Steve Williams.
There was also a surprise gift presented to VP of Operations John Coppens, on behalf of all current/former Drivers of the Year.
Here are a few pics of this year's attendees (more on our Facebook page):
Friday is always the day our Black Hats look forward to most! After a long day of meeting with the Driver Advisory Council and spending time in business unit breakout sessions, it was time for the presentation.
This year's Driver of the Year presentation was held in a new venue -- our Training Center. As all of our drivers become Mavericks through our training program, this was a special venue indeed.
The top 3 Dedicated Drivers of the Quarters are then announced:
Then the announcement of our 2018 Dedicated Driver of the Year, Randy Smith! Congratulations, Randy!
After the new DDY was announced, it was on to the OTR Driver of the Year!
Congratulations to our 2018 Driver of the Year, Scott Schwarzlose!
It takes hard work and dedication to become a Black Hat. It's an honor and a privilege to be able to celebrate all 20 of our Dedicated Drivers of the Quarter and Drivers of the Month. Congratulations to our new Drivers of the Year, we can't wait to see what 2019 holds for you and the Council!
Happy Driver Appreciation Week, everyone! Below you’ll find the food schedule for all of our locations across the US. We hope that most of our drivers can get through a terminal to partake in festivities.
Thank you so much for all that you do - we wouldn't be the company we are today without our drivers!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with our Driver of the Month program/each year’s Driver of the Year event, you can check out our recap of last year’s event.
Here at Maverick, we absolutely love our drivers. And we especially love celebrating them! Every year, we honor our 12 Drivers of the Month at our Driver of the Year Banquet in Little Rock, AR. This year we added a few new drivers to the mix - 3 of the finalists from our new Dedicated Driver of the Quarter program, as well as our Rookie of the Quarter Cleo Williams and Trainer of the Quarter Herb Withrow.
The night was filled with good music, good food, and great company. Among our speakers were VP of Operations John Coppens, Chairman and CEO Steve Williams and COO John Culp. It was a wonderful evening filled with honoring our drivers, praising their hard work and the steps it takes to become a Driver of the Month/Quarter.
The next day was full of meetings with drivers and office personnel - specifically, our quarterly Drivers' Advisory Committee meeting. Drivers also broke out into divisional meetings - it was a busy day!
But nothing brings excitement like the actual presentation event for our Driver of the Year/Dedicated Driver of the Year. The entire office comes out for this special event!
Finally, the moment we were all waiting for! Our 6 Dedicated and OTR Black Hat finalists were eager for the final announcement.
Our winners: Dedicated Driver of the Year Gary Lipscomb and OTR Driver of the Year Lou Webber!
Congratulations again to all of our drivers. You are the heartbeat of this company and we are thankful for each and every one of you!
Congratulations to Ron Kneeland III, who was presented with the 2017 Hero of the Highway Award!
The Trucking Industry Defense Association’s (TIDA) Hero of the Highway Award is awarded annually to a commercial driver who is recognized for his or her heroic behavior and extraordinary public service. In May of this year, Ron Kneeland witnessed a highway accident on I-94 WB in Parma, MI. The vehicle was on fire. Ron stopped and ran back using his fire extinguisher, and shortly after another witness stopped and helped Ron pull the injured driver from the burning vehicle.
We are so incredibly proud of Ron and his quick thinking and selflessness in such a critical situation. He is absolutely deserving of this award, and is an excellent example of altruism for the rest of his Maverick family.
Ron was invited to TIDA’s Annual Seminar and was presented with a plaque and monetary gift of $2500 in Las Vegas. He was nominated by Maverick Senior Claims Manager Carole Whitted-Ridgeway.
A link to Ron’s TIDA phone interview is located here.
Congratulations again, Ron!
It’s always a special time when Maverick family comes together to celebrate and honor our Drivers of the Month. This year was no different, as both Maverick office employees and Black Hats (along with spouses) gathered to fellowship in Little Rock at Next Level Events for our annual Driver of the Year Banquet.
Those in attendance heard speeches from VP of Operations John Coppens, Chairman & CEO Steve Williams, and President John Culp. It was a memorable time reflecting on Maverick’s humble beginnings and giving praise and special recognition to the twelve Drivers of the Month.
The next morning, while the Drivers Advisory Committee held their quarterly meeting, our Black Hats’ spouses went sightseeing in downtown Little Rock! Their stops included the Clinton Presidential Library (with its current exhibit: The Beatles!) and lunch at Forty Two.
Later in the afternoon, it was time for the Driver of the Year presentation! The Summit Conference Center was a packed house.
2015 Driver of the Year Roger Wyble
Then it was time for the Driver of the Year pronouncement! 12 outstanding and honorable Drivers of the Month were nominated, but the driver with the most votes throughout the fleet and office employees would be…
Raurii “Pineapple” Milbrandt pronounced as 2016 Driver of the Year
Emotions were definitely high as Raurii gave a heartfelt speech to the Maverick crowd.
Raurii with Driver Instructor Kurt Ebersole
Raurii with Fleet Manager Tim Seivertson
Raurii with December 2016 Driver of the Month Tommy Walters
Raurii with 2011 Driver of the Year Allen Coley
Left to right: VP of Operations John Coppens, Chairman & CEO Steve Williams, Raurii, President John Culp
Raurii with former Drivers of the Year
2016 Drivers of the Month
Congratulations Raurii! You will represent our fleet well throughout 2017 as our Driver of the Year!
This year’s Driver of the Year banquet was a very special one indeed! It was a wonderful evening honoring our 12 Drivers of the Month and their spouses in attendance.
After a meet and greet and fellowship between the Drivers of the Month and Maverick’s office employees, we heard moving speeches given by Maverick CEO Steve Williams, President John Culp, and VP of Operations John Coppens.
Our Black Hats were also recognized with a short video created to honor them and their role within the Black Hat program and at Maverick.
As a special surprise, June 2015 Driver of the Month Troy Fegley and 2014 Driver of the Year Jimmy Fitzwater presented a very special gift to Kay Hendrix (lovingly known as “Momma Kay”) at the end of the banquet. She was given a plaque and a beautiful locket in recognition of her time at Maverick. Her legacy will never be forgotten, and she was moved to tears, as were the rest of us!
On Friday, the Summit conference was packed to the brim with office employees and drivers alike for the Driver of the Year presentation!
And then it was the moment we were all waiting for! Who was going to be named our 2015 Driver of the Year?