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New Hampton Resident Steven Recker Named Truckload Carriers Association's 2009 Owner Operator of the Year
As his Grand Prize, Recker wins a prize package valued at $25,000Las Vegas, Nevada:
Steven J. Recker of New Hampton, Iowa, an owner operator leased to Warren Transport, Inc., of Waterloo, Iowa, has been named the TCA Owner Operator of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). The announcement was made March 2 during TCA's Annual Convention at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 23rd annual TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest, sponsored by TCA and Overdrive magazine, honors the top owner operators in the United States and Canada, based on the drivers' excellent safety records, unblemished work histories, and community and industry involvement.
Recker has been affiliated with Warren Transport, Inc., since 1985 and has driven more than 2.8 million accident-free truckload miles. Prior to winning the grand prize this year, he had placed as a top ten finalist in the contest four times.
In 2006, he was selected as the Iowa Motor Truck Association's (IMTA) Driver of the Year. He also served a year on the IMTA Road Team, an elite group of professional truck drivers who represent the trucking industry at community events, helping to educate the general public about the role of trucks in delivering North America's freight. In 2007, Recker participated in the Iowa Commercial Enforcement's Ride Along Program, and he also became a member of Highway Watch, a national safety and security program that utilizes truck drivers' skills and "road smarts" to help protect the nation's critical infrastructure and the transportation of goods, services, and people.
For 24 consecutive years, Recker has received Warren Transport's "Protector Award" for having no cargo claims. He has also received Warren Transport's Safe Driving Award, and has been selected as the company's Driver of the Month twice and as Runner-Up for Driver of the Year in 2006. Two of his customers, John Deere and E.P.C. Corporation, have recognized him with service commendations. Warren Transport's president and CEO, Robert Molinaro, said: "It takes a very special individual to stay the course in this profession. The balance of being a bread winner and a successful family man is achieved through individual character. ... Steve's work ethic, 'Let's do it and do it right,' is a trait of Steve's, whose large frame of over 6'3" is matched by the size and goodness of his heart."
When not on the road, Recker contributes money to and attends functions for the Boy Scouts, Camp Courageous of Iowa (a respite care and recreational facility for individuals with disabilities), and the Special Olympics. He has also volunteered hundreds of hours to help those in need, such as hurricane and flood victims. A few years ago, when many Iowans were adversely impacted by a serious electricity outage, Recker was one of the first to volunteer to drive water and other necessities to the victims.
As the TCA Owner Operator of the Year, Recker will receive a prize package consisting of cash, gift cards, products, and services worth $25,000. In addition, his employer flew him to Las Vegas and paid for his expenses while attending TCA's convention, where he was awarded a plaque in front of hundreds of the industry's top leaders.
The overall goal of the TCA Owner Operator of the Year contest is to recognize and pay tribute to outstanding owner operators who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation's goods.
To be eligible for the contest, applicants had to meet certain minimum criteria, including having driven one million consecutive, accident-free miles and being leased to a TCA-member trucking company. After passing the initial phase of the competition, driver applicants were then asked to submit a final application form, from which the top three winners were selected. Final application forms required operating information, verification of work history and safety record, equipment specifications, a business plan, a 300-word essay explaining why the entrant should be a candidate for the grand prize, and a 300-word essay explaining how the entrant is a good "Trucking Citizen."
It is always a privilege to operate this contest and get to meet and recognize the most outstanding drivers throughout the U.S. and Canada," said Chris Burruss, TCA's president. "In Mr. Recker's case, he has done it all - driven millions of safe miles, represented the trucking industry in an outstanding manner, and given back to his community, both within trucking and in the local arena. There can be no doubt he has truly earned the title, 'TCA Owner Operator of the Year.