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The Nation

CFI Employees raise $41,000 in 26th annual Truckloads of Treasures holiday campaign

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Cfi employees raise $41,000 in 26th annual truckloads of treasures holiday campaign
CFI employees at the local Joplin, Missouri, Walmart with their shopping lists as they start the annual "shopping spree" to purchase gifts for needy kids and seniors. More than 100 CFI employees participated. (Courtesy: CFI)

JOPLIN, Mo. — Employees of CFI, an operating company of TFI International Inc., a North American provider of transportation and logistics services, supported 15 charitable organizations serving thousands of individuals in eight cities across the U.S., Mexico and Canada during CFI’s annual holiday giving campaign.

A longstanding tradition established in 1993 and unique to CFI’s family-friendly culture, Truckloads of Treasures starts in August with a seven-week raffle ticket fundraiser. CFI hosts activities throughout the year including book fairs to raise funds. Festivities accelerate in the fall with crowd favorites including “crock pot chaos,” a chili cook off, a silent auction and an ugly sweater contest.

The event culminates in shopping sprees across North America to benefit children and elderly in need during the holidays, typically during the first week of December. Over the 26 years of the program’s existence, CFI employees have donated over $880,000 with annual goals of raising $40,000. CFI has some 3,000 employees and independent contractors.

“This is one of the most inspiring events of the year for our company, our employees and the communities in which we live and work,” said CFI President Greg Orr. “Our employees embrace giving back, engaging with our communities to help those underserved and less fortunate. I’m extremely proud of our employees, and I appreciate the spirit, joy and commitment they bring to this campaign every year to help meaningful charities in Joplin and across North America.”

The campaign supported nine charities in CFI’s headquarters of Joplin. Early in December, some 200 CFI employees participated in the annual “Shopping Spree” at the Joplin Wal-Mart. Employees purchased over $21,000 in gifts and needed supplies, based on lists of items submitted by some 300 local underserved children and seniors identified by the Salvation Army.

At the Shopping Spree, the company also presented checks to local Joplin charities.

“All funds from Truckloads of Treasures are donated by CFI employees and Independent Contractors, reflecting strong support across our CFI family. Our terminals across North America select local charities to reach the communities in which they live and work,” Orr said. Those local charities include The Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, Area Agency on Aging, Camp Quality, Children’s Haven, The Ronald McDonald House, Pro Musica and Art Feeds. Other charities benefiting from Truckloads of Treasures include Bethany House, CASA of Crittenden, Cáritas de Monterrey A.B.P., Asociación Programa Lazos IAP and Southlake General Hospital Foundation, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.

“With the parameters of supporting children and elderly in need, we find our terminals have long-standing partnerships with charities that have come to depend on our support,” Orr said.

Donations were raised through a company-wide raffle with prizes including gift cards for retailers such as Target, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Sam’s Club, Bass Pro Shops and Academy Sports and Outdoors, as well as other prizes. All prizes were purchased and donated by CFI’s executive management team. The raffle also included two special drawings awarding one- and two-weeks paid time off. Additional funds were raised through bake sales, a chili cook-off, book fairs and separate auctions of locally-donated prizes.

In addition, employees partnered with service organizations throughout the U.S., Mexico and Canada to provide holiday gifts and food for underserved children and senior citizens.

Throughout the year CFI places an emphasis on charities with ties to military veterans, first responders, the transportation industry, empowering women and education.

Orr said the company’s support goes beyond monetary donations and includes volunteering and support for events.

Some examples include a monthly dinner CFI sponsors at the Ronald McDonald house.

Another annual favorite is a Wreaths Ride to support Wreaths Across America.  Company employees who are avid motorcycle enthusiasts also support charitable causes by joining convoys that ride with CFI’s specially-wrapped theme trucks.

The trucks with their customized graphic “wraps” honor military troops, professional women truck drivers and first responders.

This year, following the devastating tornadoes in the Midwest, CFI also made a special contribution to first responder organizations, providing a $100,000 grant which was used by local agencies in four states to meet specific needs for firefighting and rescue equipment.

Orr said holidays offer another opportunity to support communities, with CFI employees participating in food donation drives. The trucking industry also has a unique opportunity to donate in-kind services with the gift of transportation.

Since 2015, CFI has been a national sponsor of Holy Joe’s Café, which supplies donated coffee to our troops in over 70 countries. The company donates between $50,000 and $100,000 a year of in-kind transportation, moving coffee supplies to military bases in the continental U.S., which are then shipped to soldiers overseas to give them a small taste of home.

“As a responsible employer, it is important to demonstrate you’re a good citizen of the community,” Orr said. “We recognize that those cities and towns in which CFI employees live and work need support, often for critical services that only charities can provide. We have a culture that embraces giving back to those who may be less fortunate, and we take pride in supporting important charitable endeavors. We believe we have the best employees and Independent Contractors in the industry, a quality which is reinforced every year when we have the opportunity to give back.”

 

 

 

 

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The Nation

Minnesota Trucking Association names Scott Post as 2019 driver of the year

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Minnesota trucking association names 2019 driver of the year
Scott Post, a contract truck driver for FedEx Ground, has been selected as the Minnesota Driver of the Year by the Minnesota Trucking Association. Post has been driving a truck for 41 years and has more than 2.5 million safe miles. (Courtesy: Minnesota Trucking Association)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Minnesota Trucking Association named Maplewood, Minnesota resident, Scott Post, a professional truck driver contracted for FedEx Ground in St. Paul, Minnesota, as the 2019 Minnesota Driver of the.

“This award is a great way to honor the best in our industry. Driving safe is no easy task, especially when you take into consideration his daily driving conditions like congestion, driver distractions and Minnesota winters. Having 2.5 million safe driving miles is an outstanding accomplishment,” said John Hausladen, MTA president. “We’re proud to award Scott for this achievement.”

Post is employed by Spartan Logistics in Newport, Minnesota which is a contracted service provider for FedEx Ground. FedEx Ground provides 1-5-day delivery of small packages to all 50 states, plus Canada. Scott has been driving a truck for 41 years and has driven more than 2.5 million safe miles.

“Scott Post is one of the safest, most attentive, detail-oriented drivers I’ve ever had,” said Randy Kurek, Owner of Spartan Logistics. “He’s always ready to learn and at the same time, is a sponge for industry knowledge. He lives and breathes trucking.”  In addition to being an outstanding professional truck driver, Post is involved with many community organizations, including Operation Lifesaver, the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics and the Minnesota Trucking Association’s Trucks for Toys program.

Throughout 2019, drivers are nominated by their companies and one driver is chosen each month to be the Driver of the Month. The drivers who are chosen meet a high standard of requirements including an outstanding driving and work record; contribution to industry and highway safety; and involvement in the community.

In January, MTA hosts the Driver of the Year Banquet and one of the twelve nominees is selected as Driver of the Year by a panel of judges including Matthew Marin, division administrator for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Deb Ledvina, director of commercial vehicle operations at MnDOT; and Captain Jon Olsen, Minnesota State Patrol.

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The Nation

Transportation Secretary calls on industry to ‘Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking’

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trucks on highway
The Department of Transportation wants to train the transportation workforce, including professional truck drivers, on the issue of human trafficking. The DOT anticipates over 1 million employees across all modes of transportation will be trained because of this program. (iStock.com/WendellandCarolyn)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has announced a series of efforts to combat human trafficking in the transportation sector. Secretary Chao was joined by leaders from Congress, state governments and the transportation industry responding to this call to action.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to working with our public and private partners to fight human trafficking on America’s transportation system,” Chao said.

Among the initiatives announced by Secretary Chao is a renewed focus on the “Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking” pledge to train the transportation workforce and raise public awareness on the issue of human trafficking across all modes of transportation.  Secretary Chao is challenging the transportation industry to commit to “100 Pledges in 100 Days.” The Department anticipates over 1 million employees across all modes of transportation will be trained because of this initiative.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, affecting millions of adults and children in the United States and worldwide. Victims are of every age, race, gender, background, citizenship, and immigration status. Some are trafficked within their own communities on various forms of transportation, while others are transported to new locations.

To amplify counter-trafficking efforts, Secretary Chao established an annual $50,000 award to incentivize individuals and entities, including non-governmental organizations, transportation industry associations, research institutions, and state and local government organizations, to think creatively in developing innovative solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry. The Department will review applications and determine the individual or entity that will most effectively utilize these funds to combat human trafficking.

Secretary Chao also announced $5.4 million in grant selections through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative. Twenty-four organizations across the country will each receive funding for projects to help prevent human trafficking and other crimes on public transportation. A list of the selected projects is available online.

To support the Department’s counter-trafficking efforts, the DOT Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking completed a report in July 2019 that recommends actions the Department can take to help combat human trafficking and best practices for states and local transportation stakeholders.

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The Nation

Former NASCAR driver and Talladega’s iconic trucker John Ray dies at 82

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Former nascar driver and talladega superspeedway’s iconic trucker john ray dies at 82
John Ray whose diesel big rig sporting the giant American flag became iconic during the track’s national anthem performances, has died. (Courtesy: Talladega Superspeedway)

TALLADEGA, Ala. —John Ray, whose big rig sporting a giant American flag became iconic during Talladega Superspeedway’s national anthem performances, has died, according to a news release. The former NASCAR driver was 82 years old.

Since 2001, Ray had driven his gold, brown and chrome Peterbilt with a large American flag down the Talladega frontstretch prior to the start of races.

“National anthems at Talladega Superspeedway are the most iconic, and it’s because of our great friend John Ray,” said Speedway President Brian Crichton. “What he brought to our fans can’t be duplicated. He was an incredible, passionate man who supported the track and all of motorsports with everything he had. His spirit will live here forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ray family.”

For more than 40 years, Ray was a member of the White Flag Club, a dedicated service group of local businessmen from surrounding communities that assist during race weekends.

In 2001, after the 9/11 terror attacks and the tragic passing of his longtime friend Dale Earnhardt Sr., Ray, along with then Talladega Superspeedway Track Chairman Grant Lynch, looked to boost the morale of a country, and a fan base that had gone through tough times.

“I had a crazy idea to run my rig out on the track with an American flag attached to the back,” said Ray, who lived down the street from the track in Eastaboga, three years ago. “It started off as a tribute to the country and to Dale.

“I never thought it would become the heart-felt moment that it has over the past some-odd years, but I’m glad it has become a tradition that means so much to the fans and the Talladega family. It represents such a sense of pride that we all share together as a nation and as a community. It is my honor and privilege to do it,” added Ray, who eventually gave up the driving duties of his big rig and handed them off to his late friend Roger Haynes, and last year to his son Johnny.

That wasn’t Ray’s first time at the 2.66-mile track. Ray, who owned “John Ray Trucking Company” since the early 70s, actually set the world speed record for a semi-truck and trailer around the mammoth track at 92.083 mph in 1975 — in a powerful Kenworth.

“We were testing brakes for a company out at the track,” Ray said. “One thing led to another — and there I was truck, trailer, and all — making my way around the track, trying to set a speed record. It was something else.”

Ray drove in the NASCAR Cup Series from 1974-1976. He competed in eight races, four at Talladega (where his best career finish was 22nd in 1974), but an accident at Daytona in 1976 ended his driving career. He continued as a car owner and essentially gave one of the sport’s greatest legends one of his first opportunities: 10-time Talladega winner Earnhardt. It would be Earnhardt’s third career start.

To read the full release, visit Talladega Superspeedway’s website.

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