MIAMI & DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (“Southern Glazer’s”)—the largest North American wine and spirits distribution company—is honoring its national team of more than 3,000 professional truck drivers during Truck Driver Appreciation Week. The annual recognition event, created by the American Trucking Associations and taking place this week, celebrates the nation’s millions of professional drivers and the vital roles they play in the U.S. economy and consumers’ lives.
From breakfasts and barbecues, to gift cards and giveaways, celebrations are taking place every day this week across the company’s 44 U.S. markets to recognize and thank drivers for their safety and service. Every driver is also receiving a new 2017 Southern Glazer’s Truck Driver Appreciation polo shirt and hat.
“Our drivers are the backbone of our organization and the face of the company to our 360,000 customers,” said Bobby Burg, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer for Southern Glazer’s. “Their commitment to safety and service is critical to the success of our business and we are proud of what they do every day. This week, we ask that all of our employees, suppliers, customers and business partners join us in thanking our amazing professional truck drivers.”
Southern Glazer’s represents approximately 1,500 wine, spirits, beer and beverage suppliers and includes over 5,000 of the most recognized brands in the world. Its driver workforce makes approximately 6.5 million deliveries each year.
Duane Kaitoku, a driver with Southern Glazer’s in Hawaii, is just one example of a Southern Glazer’s professional that exemplifies safety and understands the importance of ongoing training. Working for the company since 2004, Duane regularly participates in local truck driving competitions and most recently won first place in the national 2016 IFDA Truck Driving Championship in the straight truck class category.
“The competitions have helped push me to understand and drive better,” said Duane. “The competition tests your understanding of rules and situations through the written exam, and puts your skills to the test through the pre-trip and driving course.”
Wine and spirits wholesalers, like Southern Glazer’s, employ more than 16,500 professional truck drivers. These professional men and women deliver 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the U.S. to neighborhood restaurants, bars and stores, in a manner that is safe and efficient. Ben Cojacoru, a Southern Glazer’s driver based in St. Louis, Missouri, was selected to be featured in a new Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America video honoring the industry’s truck driving population. Ben is regularly complimented by customers and how much they appreciate working with him. After eight years working for the company he comments, “I enjoy working for a family business and helping other family-owned businesses that are my customers.”
Southern Glazer’s reinforces its safety culture through programs that recognize drivers for consistent safety performance. This year, the company formally expanded its Elite Safe Driver Recognition Program across every state in its national network. To qualify, drivers must have 20 consecutive quarters, or five years, of safe driving without a preventable collision. Once a driver reaches this milestone, he/she receives a gold ring set with an onyx stone. A .10pt diamond is added to the ring for every four consecutive quarters of safe driving until the ring is fit with 12 diamonds. As the driver continues his/her safe driving record, the center stone is replaced with a .25pt diamond and then is eligible for monetary bonus awards.
To view available open driver positions, visit www.southernglazers.com/careers.
About Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is North America’s largest wine and spirits distributor, and the preeminent data insights company for alcoholic beverages. The company has operations in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Canada, and the Caribbean, and employs more than 20,000 team members. Southern Glazer’s urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve, and enjoy its products responsibly. For more information, visit www.southernglazers.com. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sgwinespirits and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SouthernGlazers.