Monday, March 25, 2013

Women In Trucking draws 200 female pro drivers

OOIDA Life Member Idella Hansen and teen truck
 photographer Ciara "ShortStacks" Sleeth

Each year the Women In Trucking Association hosts an annual “Salute to Women Behind the Wheel” honoring female professional drivers for their service to industry. This year WIT Executive Director Ellen Voie welcomed nearly 200 female professional drivers to the event at MATS.

The female drivers were recognized for their years in the industry and have a group pic taken by Paul Hartley and his hard-working camera crew.

The women were honored by the years they'd spent as a professional driver. A couple of the women were featured for their more than 40 years as professional drivers. Paula Dmyterko has been trucking 40 years. Idella Hansen was noted as having the longest career with 46 years of driving. Hansen is an OOIDA life member from Camden, AR.

Other notables on hand for the event included NASCAR driver Jennifer Jo Cobb (thanks to Arrow Truck Sales) and Lisa Kelly of Kelly also appeared on the History Channel’s “Ice Road Trucker” series.

Rebecca Brewster, this year’s Influential Woman in Trucking recipient, was there for the event as was Stephanie Klang, driver for Con-way Truckload and a member of America’s Road Team.

Sandra Ambrose-Clark, president of ESJ Carrier Corp. and Without A Doubt Truck & Trailer Repair in Fairfield, OH, was the keynote speaker. Ambrose-Clark was a finalist in this year’s Influential Woman in Trucking award.

She spoke to the group about her experience running her father’s trucking company after his death and how she established a truck and trailer repair shop.

“I went to pick up some of my trucks from a repair facility, and I heard them say ‘here’s that woman who knows nothing about trucks,” she told the group. “When I left I said ‘maybe this woman who knows nothing about trucks will start a repair garage to compete with you!”

She did just that. She established her garage – Without a Doubt Truck Repair – in 2007 in Fairfield. Today she has an eight-bay garage and 16 diesel mechanics.

And Ambrose-Clark had a special message for the drivers. If you are in the Cincinnati area and need a safe place to park, food, coffee, shower and even a quiet room to get away from the world, come on by.

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