Women in Trucking

Supporting Women In Trucking: Scholarship Opportunity

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The Women In Trucking Foundation announced today a scholarship opportunity, which is awarded in four categories: Leadership, Safety Professional, Technical Skill, and Professional Driver.  Applicants can submit a request for funding online at www.WomenInTruckingFoundation.org from July 1 – July 31, 2015. Scholarship winners will be announced in August and funds will be sent to the educational facility on behalf of the grant recipient.

As a member of the Women In Trucking Association, TrucBrush Corporation continues to support the organization.  Vice President, Debora Katz, also serves on the Women In Trucking Foundation Board.

“Financial aid for education isn’t always easy to find. Our scholarships may make a difference in the recipient’s taking or not taking WIT_Foundation_logothat course, purchasing the necessary equipment/supplies, or getting that certificate or degree,” said Foundation chair Jan Hamblin of J.J. Keller.  “We want to “Forward the future” by awarding scholarships to eligible individuals.”

The foundation supports the Mission of Women In Trucking Association to encourage careers in trucking and the scholarship grants will assist members in this way. Donations are still being solicited to continue to offer educational funding in the future.

Women In Trucking was established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking, including TrucBrush Corporation, and the generosity of Gold Level Partners: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Great Dane Trailers, Freightliner, Walmart, G E Capital Transportation Finance, J B Hunt, Ryder, and U.S. Express. For more information, visit www.WomenInTrucking.org or call 888-464-9482.

Saluting Professional Women Truck Drivers: Reflections on this year’s WIT event at the Mid-America Truck Show

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The Salute to Women event is the brainchild of Ellen Voie, President/CEO of the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) and her long time colleague Char Pingel, WIT Special Events & Publications. Six years ago, the dynamic duo decided there ought to be an event that honors and celebrates the dedication and passion of professional women truck drivers in our country. Since TrucBrush Corporation was one of the sponsors this year, I was fortunate enough to share the day with 201 CDL drivers, their co-workers, friends and family members.

As part of the event, WIT’s Foundation worked to raise money for the scholarship fund to help women advance their careers in trucking. This was my first year volunteering for the WIT Foundation and I found myself wrapped in red Staples donation tickets, trying to count and tear them off fast enough to accommodate the generosity of 400 plus attendees. We raised over $2,500 dollars in what seemed like minutes. That’s the thing I’ve noticed most about people who work in the trucking industry—they support each other—not only financially but with their time and knowledge.

Pre Show Volunteers

Pre Show WIT Volunteers

Yes this is an actual cake at the WIT Salute to Professional Women Drivers

Yes this is an actual cake at the WIT Salute to Professional Women Drivers

Over the year’s I’ve attended many industry type award celebrations, but nothing prepared me for the energy of the Salute to Women in Trucking. What participants didn’t see was the approximately 50 volunteers who assembled prior to the event to prepare attendee ‘goodie bags’ chock full of donations from sponsors and the WIT. Smiling and moving with exceptional speed, the volunteers worked in unison. Nor did we witness the long hours and dedication of the WIT staff to make this event a reality.

What we did see was a sea of red shirted WIT Salute to Women drivers and some 400 attendees, both women and men, who waited in anticipation for Ellen, an industry leader with her own high octane enthusiasm for the trucking industry, to step to the podium and kick start the day. The event was streamed live so those who could not attend in person could experience it from home.

Ellen Voie WIT President/CEO kick starts the day

Ellen Voie WIT President/CEO kick starts the day

Ellen_Voie_Recognizes_Professional_Drivers

Ellen Voie recognizes professional women drivers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ellen called to the stage Marcia Taylor, President of Bennett International Group and the 2014 Influential Woman in Trucking.  Marcia addressed the audience with praise and advice, “I knew that as a women I would have to work to gain respect in the industry, by being both strong and the best I could be. You are to be congratulated for the job you do, the challenges you face as a women driver, and the important role you play in our business and the economy of our nation,” Taylor added.

Marcia Taylor of Bennett International Group

Marcia Taylor of Bennett International Group

I was moved by Taylor’s speech; how she found herself running the family’s trucking company after the early and unexpected death of her husband.  Her admiration for her own drivers who she identified in the room was palatable.  Tears where shed, including my own, as she spoke honestly about the challenges she, her family and the many women in the trucking industry face on a daily basis.

Salute to Professional Women Truck Drivers

Salute to Professional Women Truck Drivers

As the day’s speakers and award ceremonies continued, cheering from the audience became commonplace. Companies, such as Walmart and Ryder, brought their finest female drivers to be recognized for their outstanding safety records. Then Ellen did the unexpected. She asked women who had been driving a truck for 6 months or less to stand and a handful did. Then she directed the other drivers “to look for them out there and help them.” Ellen asked those with over 6 months and up to 5 years to stand…then 5 to 10, 10 to 20 and so on. She then asked the female drivers in each experience category to sit down until three women were left standing. They represented the women with over 40 years of driving experience. These women were brought to the stage to say a few words and be honored. It was a spontaneous moment and one veteran driver ended with the thought that we need to support each other, regardless of gender, “because when you get into the seat of a truck, the truck’s steering wheel doesn’t know whose hands are on it, and it doesn’t care.” Nor should we.  For the 3.5 million professional men and women truck drivers in the United States, TrucBrush Corporation salutes you!

Debora Katz is Vice President of TrucBrush Corporation.  For more info on TrucBrush visit http://trucbrush.com/about/about-the-team/ and to learn more about the Women in Trucking scholarship please visit https://www.womenintruckingfoundation.org/scholarship/