With an Olympic champion theme pervading the festivities, Bennett leaders and employees, agents, owner operators, contractors and drivers gathered September 16 at the headquarters in McDonough to celebrate National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. See highlights from the event in a slideshow at the end of this article.
Bennett went all out, hosting Olympic Gold Medalist Shannon Miller, who opened the awards and recognition ceremony with an inspiring speech and signed copies of her book. The event even attracted media coverage. View the article on MDJ Online.
Bennett also organized a gymnastics performance by the talented children’s group Extreme Gymnastics, to support the “champion” theme. Shannon Miller’s presentation was offered as part of Bennett’s Women in the Driver’s Seat Program that annually honors women drivers with Women Driver of Excellence Awards.
As the awards ceremony in McDonough began, attendees watched a video of Miller’s performance during the 1996 Olympics, for which she became the first American gymnast to capture the Gold Medal for the Balance Beam. Bennett CEO Marcia Taylor introduced Shannon, describing the world-class athlete as a “true champion,” and explaining that she invited Shannon to the celebration because she believes all of Bennett’s women drivers are true champions.
In her presentation, Shannon shared her prescription for how to develop what she refers to as a “Gold Medal Mindset – an attitude of winning every day.” She talked about the sacrifices she made, the hard work that it took to become a champion and her commitment to maintaining a positive attitude no matter how difficult the circumstances.
After Shannon’s presentation, Ms. Taylor opened the Woman Driver of Excellence Awards and Million Mile Recognition presentation, noting similarities between the committed, hard-working mindset of Bennett’s women drivers to Shannon Miller. “There are similarities with our women, their dedication, hard work and wanting to the best that they can be,” she said. Also recognized were Bennett’s “Million Milers” and “Two Million Milers”.
Bennett Celebrates Drivers Nationwide
Bennett’s headquarters and many other nationwide locations organized events throughout the week that included breakfast and lunch, games, giveaways and raffles. Several locations included a health fair that offered blood pressure screenings and flu shots. In McDonough, Bennett announced its new wellness program for drivers to be provided by Rolling Strong, a company that already partners with TA/Petro to provide wellness services to drivers when they frequent TA/Petro locations.
Bennett festivities started in Middlebury, IN, and Forest City, IA on September 15, and concluded September 21 in Pendleton, OR. Other locations that celebrated included Rancho Dominguez, CA, Chattanooga, TN, Houston, TX, Phoenix, AZ, and Carbon Cliff, IL. Ace Doran held celebrations in Cincinnati, OH, and Cleveland, OH.
At the McDonough celebration, attendees were served breakfast and lunch, visited the booths of numerous vendors offering promotions and deals in such areas as chiropractic and holistic remedies, tires, running shoes and gym memberships. Bennett sponsored a Safety Challenge, in which both drivers and employees evaluated a tractor and trailer to identify 20 items that may or may not need to be repaired, to be entered into a drawing for gift cards.
Bennett Motor Express and Bennett Truck Transport each raised more than $10,000 for Bennett’s Driver Relief Fund administered by Bennett’s Driver Advisory Board to help drivers in need. A putting green, corn hole challenge and raffles were conducted during the event. Bennett employees also gave donations.
The Bennett family can’t express enough how much we value our truck drivers. We are always looking for ways that we can help our drivers be successful. They are the true champions of this company!