A Historical Year at the NASTC Conference

Where were you on 11.11.11? Mary Nicholas was at the NASTC Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. This year’s slogan was “It’s All About the Driver.”

And, for the first time in NASTC history, a female driver was selected as Driver of the Year. This honor was awarded to Sarah Barnes of Williams Express, Inc. in Hickory Flats, MS.  And, since Williams Express is one of our trusted carriers, we couldn’t be more proud!  This photo features (left to right) Driver of the Year Sarah Barnes, Billy Barnes, Darlene Otts, and Bobby Otts.  Darlene and Bobby are the owners of Williams Express.

Along with Sarah, ten other drivers received this honor.  They are:

  1. Jerry L. Eldred- Tri State Commodities
  2. Brian R. Rowley- Lesmeister Transportation
  3. Mark Branson- Dayton Containerized Freight
  4. Randy L. Pring- Custom Pine Straw
  5. Jerry Smith- Cowen Truck Lines
  6. Tom Caggiano- JT Motorsports
  7. Robert Kahl- Waletich Corporation
  8. Donald M. Britt- KD On-Time
  9. Duane D. Hall Jr.- Melborg Brothers
  10. Terry Crouch- Jade Tank Lines

Congratulations to all of the Driver of the Year recipients!  (Driver of the Year recipients were treated to a trip to the Grand Ole Opry where they were entertained by the musical talents of Charlie Pride and Little Jimmy Dickens.)

Thursday afternoon classes were offered on STT Training, MYSTC Software, Drug Collector Certification and NASTC-TA/Petro Over the Road Maintenance Solutions.  Thursday night, participants attended the Broker/Carrier Trust Forum Dinner. David Owens and Henry Seaton spoke on the topic of Re-regulation of the Industry.

Friday brought a large selection of seminars ranging from The People Side of Trucking by Dan Baker to CSA- A Work in Progress by Rick Gobbell and Henry Seaton.  The Friday afternoon Vendor Showcase allowed brokers, carriers and vendors to interact and discuss ways to help one another, whether it was Sprint offering a discount to NASTC members or Iowa 80 Truckstop talking with carriers about the programs they offer. This showcase allowed Mary to meet new contacts and connect with old friends we have worked with for years. And that is what NASTC is all about–working together to make our industry stronger.

Saturday morning, the General Session meeting was held. The speakers were David Owen- President of NASTC, Thomas O’Brien- CEO of Travel Centers of America, Ellen Voie- CEO of Women in Trucking, John McElligott- Medical Director and Jack Van Steenburg- CSO and Assistant Administrator for the FMCSA.

Matchmaker was delighted to be a part of yet another successful NASTC conference.