The Log Book is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: Theresa DeSantis takes home a second SuperRigs Best of Show award, Schneider donates to LGBTQIA+ non-profit organization and Swift honors POW/MIA veterans with a newly wrapped Kenworth.
SuperRigs winner takes Best of Show prize for second time
Shell Rotella SuperRigs celebrated its 40th anniversary in Branson, Missouri, during a three-day event earlier this month. The show included a truck light contest, fireworks and truck parade through Branson Landing. Since 1983, SuperRigs has exhibited over 2,000 trucks, handing out cash and prizes to its beauty contest winners.
This year’s Best of Show winner was Theresa DeSantis of Apache Junction, Arizona, who showcased her 1985 Peterbilt 359 decorated in a “Wizard of Oz” design titled “The Witches Inn.” The decor also won her the Steve Sturgess Best Theme award.
DeSantis earned $10,000 for being selected Best of Show, an honor she also claimed in 2019.
Virtually selected online for the first time this year, the People’s Choice Award went to Daniel and Phyllis Snow of Harrison, Arkansas, showcasing their 1996 Freightliner Classic XL.
Schneider donates $25,000 to Stonewall Columbus
As a tribute to the LGBTQIA+ involved with the Stonewall Riots in New York on June 28, 1969 — the event Pride Month honors — Schneider National announced a $25,000 donation from its diversity, equality and inclusion grants to the nonprofit organization Stonewall Columbus.
Stonewall Columbus works to increase “visibility and acceptance” of the LGBTQIA+ community in the Columbus, Ohio, region. Its programs focus on areas that include identity enrichment, personal health and wellness and economic empowerment.
As part of that donation, Schneider also plans to sponsor the local Pride parade with Stonewall Columbus for a second year.
“We have to lead by example as an organization,” said Tom Andrejcak, director of operations at Schneider, in a local news report about the company’s continued support of the LGBTQIA+ community in Ohio. “One of our core values is respect — respect for all. It’s not just respect for all but or respect for all except. It’s respect for all.”
Forbes recently recognized Schneider, naming it a Best Employer for Diversity for the second consecutive year. The award was based on employees ranking the company for metrics such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation equality of its workers.
“You cannot just curate diversity by accident,” Andrejcak said. “You have to have action plans in place. Our organization is just feverishly working towards better diversity in the workforce. That requires a lot of work and a lot of action.”
Swift unveils Kenworth honoring POW/MIA veterans
Phoenix-based Swift Transportation this month revealed its newly wrapped Kenworth T680 Next Gen honoring the nation’s prisoners of war and those missing in action. This is the company’s sixth truck honoring veterans.
“Honoring veterans is such a critical part of our culture,” said Swift president Adam Miller at the unveiling ceremony at the company’s headquarters. “We owe so much to the servicemen and women who put their lives at risk when defending our freedoms. … I just have so much gratitude to those who are willing to do that for our country.”
Miller also said the wrapped truck will be driven by Swift driver and veteran David McCloskey. During the Vietnam War, McCloskey’s uncle was MIA for several weeks.
Swift also invited Rear Adm. Darius Banaji, the deputy director of operations at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to speak at the event. The agency employs more than 600 military and civilian personnel to continue searching for the over 83,000 Americans missing from previous conflicts.
“We recognize Swift and other companies that are such strong advocates of our service members, our veterans and their families and also the effort it takes to recover those unaccounted for Americans,” Banaji said.
The full unveiling ceremony is available to watch here.