The Log Book: Schneider Names First Ride of Pride Driver

The logbook is a weekly digest of human interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: Schneider’s driver becomes the first woman to receive a Ride of Pride veteran truck, FedEx celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Purple Eagle program, and WIT releases the latest Diversity Index report.

Schneider names its first rider Ride of Pride

Transportation and logistics company Schneider has named company driver Patrice Cook its 2022 Ride of Pride driver.

The award was presented in 2001 when a shift manager and Freightliner veteran proposed that the truck manufacturer work with its trucking company customers to honor industry veteran military drivers with custom-packaged trucks. which represent the time spent by the drivers in the army.

Winners not only receive the custom cab, but they also get to represent the trucking company at the annual Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom and the annual event for Wreaths Across America in Washington.

Since the Ride of Pride program began, Schneider has received more wrapped trucks from Freightliner than any other national carrier: 15.

How is this year’s award different from Schneider’s last 14 trucks? Cook became the first female driver to receive the honor from the carrier.

Patrice Cook, Schneider rider and Ride of Pride winner. (Photo: Schneider National)

“Being selected is so special because it keeps me in touch with the military even though I’m out of uniform,” Cook said. “I look forward to competing in events, being able to talk to other veterans, and living what it really means to be a Ride of Pride rider.”

She spent most of her time in the military as a transport engine operator, driving vehicles including flatbeds, heavy equipment transport systems, Humvees and tanks.

Cook completed two tours in Bosnia and one in Iraq, and after her release from active duty, she continued to work with the military community, helping soldiers through their deployment process.

Cook then used a military waiver and, along with a friend, became a team pilot for Schneider in 2012.

“Driving is something I’ve loved to do since the first time I got my hands on a steering wheel,” she said. “I felt like Schneider was the right fit for me from the start because of their consistent efforts to go above and beyond their military program, security and training.”

Cook said she was never afraid to be part of a male-dominated industry and was excited to feature a female driver at future Ride of Pride events.

“My whole life I’ve done male-dominated things — from joining the military driving trucks to now being the first woman to drive a Ride of Pride truck at Schneider,” Cook said. “I like to see how people react to the truck but also their reaction when they see me, a woman, in the driver’s seat.”

2022 Freightliner “Ride of Pride” Trucks (Video:
The world of PoppaG – YouTube)

FedEx Celebrates 10 Years of Partnership with St. Jude with Championship Golf

During the 2022 FedExCup Qualifiers at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee, the global shipping company also celebrated 10 years of its Purple Eagle program, which honors a pediatric cancer patient by naming a St. Jude- FedEx Cessna Caravan after the child. It flies over the golf event and continues to serve FedEx after the event.

“The idea for this program came from attending the former FedEx-St. Jude Classic tournaments and seeing the trucks and delivery vehicles we had and continue to display there,” said Bill. West Jr., Vice President of Supplemental Air Operations at FedEx Express “I thought this would be a special way to display one of our refueling planes and create a great program with the research hospital to St. Jude children to raise awareness of the lifesaving work they do. The only named tanker planes in our fleet are those that are part of the Purple Eagle program. These planes are special and help us spread awareness of the incredible work that St. Jude does. Jude as he celebrates his 60th birthday.

This year, the plane is named after St. Jude patient Riley, who at the age of 18 months was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

At the event, Riley was joined by nine former Purple Eagle winners and her grandmother Kim, a FedEx employee of 33 years.

St. Jude patient Riley named 2022 FedEx “Purple Eagle” winner (Video: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – YouTube)

“For nearly four decades, FedEx management, employees and golf fans have supported St. Jude’s rescue mission through the tournament now known as the FedEx St. Jude Championship,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr. President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. “We couldn’t be more grateful for their continued support, which is critical to advancing St. Jude’s six-year, $12.9 billion strategic plan to reach more than 400,000 children with cancer worldwide.

Women in Trucking Releases 2022 Gender Diversity Index

Industry group Women in Trucking recently released its annual Gender Diversity Data Index, measuring the roles women play in transportation.

Data collection for the index began in 2016, helping transportation leaders benchmark their diversity initiatives against their industry peers.

This year, from January to April, more than 180 shared their company profiles, submitting information on various roles, including security professionals, human resources, technicians, operations, talent management, sales and marketing.

“More and more women are becoming security directors and we are encouraged by these numbers,” said Ellen Voie, president and CEO of WIT. “We look forward to seeing this percentage continue to increase in the years to come.”

Key Findings from the WIT Index 2022
Role % owned by women
C-suite frameworks 33.8%
company management 39.6%
The administration’s advice 31%
HR/talent management 74.9%
Technician 3.7%
Professional driver 13.7%
(Data: WIT 2022 index)

Watch Now: Engaging Women in Trucking with Director Andrea Adeyanju

Do you have a transportation-related human interest story to share?

If so, please contact me at [email protected]

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About Eleanor Blackburn

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