Wine Tasting, networking, tailgating, Dale Carnegie Sales Training, and the annual awards banquet were among the highlights at Bennett International Group’s 36th Annual Symposium held Feb. 4 through 7 at the Chậteau Élan Winery and Resort. More than 400 Bennett agents and employees participated in the three-day event.
Marcia Taylor, chief executive officer, said in her remarks during general session that 2016 will be a year of change and growth.
“…I’m excited about 2016 as we begin to see some of the new projects we started last year grow and mature,” she said.
Those projects include a 524,000 square foot warehouse in Grovetown, Georgia, Bennett On-Site Services, a new crane and rigging venture started early 2015, up and running, a new program for the company’s DriveAway division that is reducing claims and adding to the bottom line, and several other projects and personnel changes.
David Pittman, chief operations officer and chief financial officer at Bennett was the host for an exclusive Bennett Today News Network presentation that included a roundtable discussion, and the leaders of each division took part in that discussion.
Author and speaker, Dan Clark, was the keynote speaker for the event. In his message during general session, Clark talked about the significance of the company’s culture.
“One of the things that hits me so hard with your Bennett culture, your culture of excellence, is how driven you are by family, by core values, by your commitment to God,” he said.
He reminded the audience that to be disciplined, healthy, and significant, we need to associate with those who are disciplined, healthy and significant, and in an effort to be better today than we were yesterday, he encouraged those in the audience to do more – to stretch and change proactively. And as agents and employees go back home to their daily lives after symposium, he encouraged the crowd to keep the stretch alive.
Among the awards presented Saturday evening at the Awards Banquet, Taylor announced the 2015 winner of the prestigious and top award, the J. D. Garrison Commemorative Award. This year it went to all the employees of Bennett’s DriveAway division. This year marks the first year the honor has been awarded to an entire division.
“Each year when I start to think about the J.D. Garrison award and who should receive it – some years it’s very easy, and others, with so many names that come to mind, it’s a lot harder,” she said. “But this year, as I read what the award stands for, it became clear to me that this year this award is bigger than one individual.”
Other awards included the 2015 Driver of the Year awards. Winners were Jeff Duke, owner operator for Bennett’s DriveAway Division, Bruce Hook, owner operator for Bennett Truck Transport, Jerry Mahaffey, owner operator for Bennett Motor Express General Freight, Theodore Horvath, for Bennett Motor Express Heavy Haul, and John Mogielski for Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging.
The 36th Annual Symposium concluded on Sunday with a worship service and a round of polar bear golf.