MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R), a leader in commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions, recognized the tradition of driver excellence by presenting its 43rd Annual Driver of the Year Award to three professionals who, combined, have 128 years and nearly 12 million miles of safe, professional driving experience.
The Driver of the Year Award – one of the Company’s longest running and most prestigious recognition programs – honors drivers who have demonstrated exemplary safety performance, customer service, and citizenship throughout their careers. Honorees are selected after a rigorous review process by a committee that includes Ryder customers, executives, safety experts, and professional drivers. The top awards this year were presented to a driver employed by one of Ryder’s Fleet Management Solutions (FMS) customers, and two drivers employed by Ryder – one for Supply Chain Solutions (SCS), and another for Ryder Dedicated Transportation Solutions (DTS). Recipients are inducted into the Ryder “Driver Hall of Fame” and presented with a cash prize and a specially designed ring and watch.
Mike Mitchell is the Driver of the Year winner for Ryder SCS. Ryder SCS drivers are responsible for delivering customer product in a timely and efficient manner. Mr. Mitchell is a driver for Ryder’s Ford account, based in Melvindale, Mich. He has driven 2 million preventable- collision-free miles during his 25 years with Ryder and a total of 3.3 million miles over the course of his impressive 35-year professional driving career. Mr. Mitchell also gives back to his community by volunteering as an assistant high school and little league baseball coach and by mentoring children through a local golf program.
Tom Brunke is the Driver of the Year winner for Ryder DTS. Ryder DTS drivers are responsible for operating specialized equipment, managing unique product handling, running complex routes, and meeting rigorous service level requirements. The drivers have a special responsibility when they represent Ryder customers, as they often wear uniforms with Ryder customer logos and drive vehicles emblazoned with customer brands. Mr. Brunke drives for Do it Best Corp., an international home improvement co-op with a distribution center in Sikeston, Mo. He has been with Ryder for 17 years, and has driven over 4.5 million miles during his 48-year professional driving career. His strong commitment to safety and professionalism has helped him earn numerous safety awards and accolades. In addition to being an outstanding driver, Mr. Brunke also volunteers at his local church, where he is currently a church elder and has served as a Sunday school teacher and superintendent. He helps his community by assisting the elderly, mowing yards, and dressing up as Santa Claus to visit veterans’ homes, nursing homes and various other local groups. Mr. Brunke is also a Vietnam veteran, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Sam Stevens is the Driver of the Year winner for Ryder FMS. Mr. Stevens drives for the E.J. Pope & Son, Inc. dba Pope Transport Co. account based in Mount Olive, NC. He has been employed by E.J. Pope & Son for 25 years, and has driven 4 million collision-free miles over his 45-year professional driving career. This is an incredible accomplishment considering he hauls petroleum to locations that have extensive loading requirements. Mr. Stevens is a driver trainer for E.J. Pope & Son and one of their most accomplished drivers. He also finds time to volunteer as a firefighter, teach Sunday school, sing in his church’s choir, and participate in various other community activities. Mr. Stevens is a military veteran who proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“Professional drivers are the backbone of our business and essential to the flow of commerce across the continent,” said Robert Sanchez, Ryder Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Without our drivers, we, as consumers, would not have such easy access to the typical items we use on a regular basis. Ryder continues to host its Driver of the Year awards year after year because of outstanding drivers like Mike, Tom, and Sam, whose commitment to safety and customer service is unwavering and who are a true testament to what it means to be a leader.”
Ryder is a FORTUNE 500® commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions company. Ryder’s stock (NYSE:R) is a component of the Dow Jones Transportation Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Ryder has been named among FORTUNE’s World’s Most Admired Companies, and has been recognized for its industry-leading practices in third-party logistics, environmentally-friendly fleet and supply chain solutions, and world-class safety and security programs. The Company is a proud member of the American Red Cross Disaster Responder Program, supporting national and local disaster preparedness and response efforts. For more information, visit www.ryder.com, and follow us on our Online Newsroom, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: Certain statements and information included in this news release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Federal Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on our current plans and expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Accordingly, these forward-looking statements should be evaluated with consideration given to the many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements including those risks set forth in our periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. New risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for management to predict all such risk factors or to assess the impact of such risks on our business. Accordingly, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.