Director of Safety Jim Kochenderfer discusses Brake Safety Week.
Werner Enterprises hosted a weeklong Driver Appreciation Spring Celebration March 20-26 at its global headquarters and locations nationwide, honoring the commitment and service of all professional drivers who deliver freight safely and efficiently.
“This event is really about something we try to do year-round and that’s to show our professional drivers appreciation for the crucial role these individuals play in supplying goods to our nation,” said President and COO Derek Leathers.
In addition to providing meals and appreciation gifts at all of Werner’s terminals, members of the executive team and associates from Werner’s global headquarters lead discussions about the future of the transportation industry and held question and answer sessions. Of Werner’s 11,750 total associates, more than 9,500 are professional drivers.
Werner Enterprises was recently designated a Best for Vets Employer by the Military Times for the second consecutive year. The publication’s annual list recognizes 75 companies for exemplary hiring efforts and employment benefits for military veterans and spouses.
Werner’s survey-based ranking included several performance areas identified by the Military Times:
· Number of military veteran associates
· Number of 2015 military veteran hires
· Percentage of recruiting budget for military veterans
· Military veteran spouse policies
Since 2011, Werner has hired more than 7,550 military veterans and has pledged to hire 2,000 military veterans in 2016. Since May 2013, Werner has hired more than 400 military veteran spouses.
“We take great pride in our military veteran associates and we will continue to invest in their success here at Werner,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Derek Leathers. “We hope their numbers grow as we continue to expand our methods to support their transition.”
Angelo Gibson, AVP of Operations, presented Joseph Colburn Jr., Marvin Fielder, Charles Jennings, Ronald Stevenson and John Williams with awards for their accomplishment. Their professionalism and dedication have delivered more than 115 combined years of safe service.
It’s that commitment to safety that helped him earn the 2 million accident-free miles award at the First Quarter Associate Recognition Ceremony on March 2.
“It’s important to look at the big picture,” Colburn said. “Check your mirrors, observe your surroundings and leave plenty of space between other vehicles.”
A Werner driver for 22 years, Colburn is a resident of Port Crane, New York. He enjoys building homes, furniture and woodworking.
With ongoing teamwork and feedback, Road Team captains increase the quality of freight management and enhance on-time service levels.
On Aug. 1, 2015, Werner professional driver Clifford Bosecker was driving on I‐74 in Indiana when a pickup sped past him and struck another car from behind. The car rolled three times and landed in the ditch, and the pickup left the scene. Clifford instructed his student to call 911 while he stopped to assist the family.
One of the passengers, the daughter, was attempting to climb out of the vehicle, but Clifford helped her lie down to avoid further injury. He assessed the scene for smoke and gas leaks before tending to the two remaining passengers, a father and mother.
One was conscious and strapped in his seat belt upside down, so Clifford carefully removed him and laid him down. The other was conscious outside of the vehicle, so he encouraged her to lie down as well.
Clifford utilized both his first aid training from the Marines and a small medical kit from his truck to provide care until the paramedics arrived. He then provided a clear description of the pickup to local police, who were able to apprehend the suspects a few miles down the road.
For his heroic actions on that day, Bosecker, a Werner driver since 2010, was honored with a Humanitarian Award at the Dec. 8 Fourth Quarter Associate Recognition Ceremony.
“I am humbled by the honor and was just doing what was right,” Bosecker said.
His career is a mix of both experience and perspective, as he spent several years working in Werner’s Safety Department in addition to his time behind the wheel.
“Plan your drive, and drive your plan,” he said. “Don’t let anyone get you in a hurry.”
Blaisdell has been with the company since 1998 and has trained 61 students.
“One million miles was a goal,” he said. “And then, I started working toward 2. It’s a privilege.”
An eight-year Navy veteran and father of two sons, Blaisdell resides in Omaha, Nebraska, and enjoys watching old John Wayne movies.
Werner Enterprises, along with more than 40 other organizations, participated in a ceremony Dec. 11 at the Pentagon. At the statement-of-support event, employers affirmed their support of Guard and Reserve employees and pledged to advocate for them as they pursue their careers and fulfill their military obligations.
Representing Werner at the ceremony was Rick Buchholz, associate director of Field and Government Recruiting.