Private Carriers Honor Fleet Executives, Companies for Excellence

National Private Truck Council has honored five individuals and companies for excellence in fleet management and operations with its annual Leadership Awards.

The annual awards were sponsored by Heavy Duty Trucking magazine and presented during NPTC’s annual conference and exhibition, which concluded yesterday in Cincinnati. HDT’s senior editor, Tom Berg, assisted NPTC’s president and CEO, Gary Petty, with the presentations. The awards and recipients are:

Private Fleet Executive of the Year – Gary Palmer, senior director, transportation, for True Value Co., Chicago. He is responsible for all vendor inbound shipments, store deliveries and True Value’s large truck fleet. Palmer is an NPTC board member and for the last two years has led the group’s conference planning committee. He is also a member of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Carrier Advisory Committee on Compliance, Safety and Accountability.

Private Fleet Safety Professional of the Year – Carol Heinowski, fleet manager, Meijer Logistics, Lansing, MI. In 2008 she joined Meijer Stores’ transportation subsidiary after 20 years as a safety investigator for FMCSA. At Meijer she ensures compliance with safety regulations by the fleet’s 150 tractors and 225 drivers.

Private Fleet Member of the Year – Mari Roberts, CTP, director of transportation network optimization for Frito-Lay, Plano, TX. Roberts and her team manage planning for Frito-Lay’s 28 traffic centers. She began working for the company 12 years ago at its Casa Grande, Ariz., plant after graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in supply chain management

Membership Development Award – Erle Bergstrom, CTP, transportation/fleet manager, Orscheim Farm & Home LLC, Moberly, MO. He earned the Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) designation in 2010, is a member of NPTC’s conference planning committee and is a frequent speaker at the group’s events, and has appeared at NPTC/J.J. Keller webcasts.

Allied Member of the Year – Paccar Leasing Co., Bellevue, WA. The company’s president, Neil Vonnahme, accepted the award. PacLease sponsors 10 new fleet members of NPTC every year, sponsors an annual on-site safety committee meeting, and with its Kenworth and Peterbilt sister companies, was one of the largest exhibitors at this year’s expo during the NPTC conference.

NPTC/C.H. Robinson Worldwide Excellence in Backhauling – Sealy Inc., Trinity, NC, represented by Terry Smith, corporate director of logistics. The mattress manufacturer’s transport arm delivers many of its own products and uses C.H. Robinson’s brokerage services to position its 250 power units and their trailers near raw materials suppliers around the country; there they are loaded for hauling to Sealy production facilities. The operation saves millions of dollars annually, the award narrative says.

(By Tom Berg)