A distinguished veteran with 20 years in the U.S. Army received the annual “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” award during a special ceremony hosted by the MHC Kenworth RoadReady Center in Chillicothe, Ohio.
For the fifth consecutive year, Kenworth teamed with the FASTPORT Trucking Track Mentoring Program and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes Program to find America’s top rookie military veteran, who made the successful transition from active duty to driving for a commercial fleet.
2020 Transition Trucking Award winner Ivan Hernandez of Werner Enterprises receives the keys to the Kenworth T680 from Lisa Berreth, Kenworth marketing director.
Truck driver Ivan Hernandez of Werner Enterprises received the keys to a Kenworth T680, the top award in the recognition program. The T680 features the complete PACCAR Powertrain with a PACCAR MX-13 engine, PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission, and PACCAR 40K tandem rear axles, and includes a 76-inch sleeper equipped with the Kenworth Driver’s Studio package of premium elements for a luxurious, relaxing and comfortable living environment. The Kenworth T680 was produced by the employees at the Kenworth assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Ivan Hernandez of Werner Enterprises
Hernandez enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantryman at the age of 20. Over the course of his military career, Hernandez deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan four times. In 2006, while serving in Iraq, Hernandez was wounded in action. For his heroism, Hernandez received two Bronze Star medals and a Purple Heart.
Ivan Hernandez of Werner Enterprises
“I’m truly honored to receive this award from among an outstanding group of military veterans who served our country and have excelled in their new career as professional truck drivers,” Hernandez said. “I’m excited about the opportunities that this Kenworth T680 offers for me. Thanks to Werner Enterprises, Hiring our Heroes, FASTPORT and Kenworth for their support of this important program that encourages and supports veterans making the transition into the trucking industry.”
“We appreciate the service of Ivan Hernandez to this country and we wish him continued success in his trucking career. It was an honor to present Ivan with the keys to the Kenworth T680 on behalf of Kenworth and all our employees,” said Lisa Berreth, Kenworth marketing director.
Ivan Hernandez of Werner Enterprises and Lisa Berreth, Kenworth marketing director
Featured speakers at the special recognition event were Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, American Trucking Associations (ATA) Chair; Kevin Burch, former ATA chair; Brad Bentley, FASTPORT president; Adam Rocke, Hiring Our Heroes ambassador; Gregg Softy, 2017 Transition Trucking winner and selection committee member; Joey Mendel, MHC Kenworth RoadReady general manager, and Lisa Berreth of Kenworth.
“We are pleased to recognize Ivan Hernandez for his 20 years of military service and continued service to his community. We are grateful for Kenworth’s ongoing commitment to veteran owner-operators in the industry as the T680 will greatly support Ivan’s success,” said Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes.
Runner-up Ray Miller of Stevens Transport and Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, American Trucking Associations (ATA) Chair
Under the program, runner-up Ray Miller (U.S. Army/Stevens Transport was awarded $10,000, while finalists Gail Losee (U.S. Army/Stevens Transport) and Shaun Mason (United States Marines Corps and U.S. Army/Prime Inc.) each received $5,000.
From left, are, left, Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, ATA Chair; Shaun Mason of Prime Inc.; Brad Bentley, FASTPORT president; Gail Losee of Stevens Transport; and Adam Rocke, Hiring Our Heroes ambassador. Mason and Losee each received $5,000.
The four finalists were determined by tallying scores from a selection committee. The four advanced to an online vote on the Transition Trucking website (https://www.transitiontrucking.org/), where people could view a video of each driver and vote their choice for the top military rookie driver. Hernandez received the highest overall tally.
Gregg Softy, 2017 Transition Trucking Award winner and selection committee member
“Ivan Hernandez had an accomplished military career with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. The discipline that Ivan learned during his time in the service has helped him achieve success in the trucking industry,” said Brad Bentley, FASTPORT president. “Earning his CDL from Roadmasters, then completing a Registered Apprenticeship program at Werner allowed him to learn a new skill and continue serving our nation.”
From left are Ray Miller (Stevens Transport), Sherri Garner Brumbaugh (ATA Chair); Lisa Berreth (Kenworth marketing director); Ivan Hernandez (Werner Enterprises); Shaun Mason (Prime Inc.); Brad Bentley (FASTPORT president); Gail Losee (Stevens Transport); and Adam Rocke (Hiring Our Heroes ambassador).
Other truck drivers, who achieved the prestigious Top 10 status, are: Patrick Blevins/U.S. Air Force/Melton Truck Lines, Matthew Fowler/United States Marine Corps/EPES Transportation, Marcia Luchenbill/U.S. Army/Knight Transportation, John Shepard/U.S. Army/Roehl Transport, Kyle Smith/U.S. Air Force/Averitt Express, and Wade Wanner/U.S. Navy/US Xpress.
MHC Kenworth RoadReady Center – Chillicothe, Ohio
Drivers were nominated by trucking companies that have made a hiring commitment and pledge to hire veterans on www.truckingtrack.org, members of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, and Commercial Vehicle Training Association member schools.
For further information on the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” award program, please visit www.transitiontrucking.org.
FASTPORT is a veteran employment software company with the sole mission to help all members of our nation’s military community find meaningful civilian employment. FASTPORT is also the U.S. Department of Labor’s industry intermediary for the Transportation sector. In that role, they also help connect transitioning service members, military spouses and veterans to Registered Apprenticeship opportunities. For more information, visit www.fastport.com or www.nationalapprenticeship.org.
About Hiring Our Heroes
Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) is a 501(c)3 organization under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The non-profit launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Hiring Our Heroes has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment through its comprehensive training and hiring events, fellowship programs, and online tools. HOH programs and services are available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and on military installations around the world. For more information on programming and initiatives: HiringOurHeroes.org; @HiringOurHeroes on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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