OOIDA member named first woman Wisconsin Driver of the Year

March 13, 2020

Chuck Robinson

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OOIDA member Carmen Anderson, 2019 Wisconsin Driver of the Year
OOIDA member Carmen Anderson, the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association’s 2019 Driver of the Year. (Photo courtesy Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association)

OOIDA member Carmen Anderson has been named Driver of the Year for 2019 by the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association, Madison.

Anderson was one of a dozen Driver of the Month honorees nominated for the Wisconsin Driver of the Year honor. She was the August Driver of the Month. She accepted the Driver of the Year honors during a ceremony at the WMCA annual Safety Awards Banquet on March 7 at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart, Lake, Wis.

She is the first woman driver to be named the sole recipient of the Wisconsin Driver of the Year award. WMCA staff determined that Anderson was the first woman Driver of the Year among all state associations.

For the honor, she received a commemorative jacket, belt buckle, personalized Wisconsin license plate and a special proclamation from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers.

She drives for America’s Service Line, Green Bay, Wis., which is the private fleet for beef supplier American Foods Group. Her home base is in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Anderson has been behind the wheel professionally for more than 21 years. She has logged more than 2 million accident-free miles and spends many hours promoting safety on the roads. She has been with America’s Service Lines for three years.

“They let me do all my volunteer stuff and work around my schedule,” she said. “They are great.”

She has been a member of the WMCA Wisconsin Road Team for three years. The team promotes safety and tries to improve the image of the trucking industry in the state. She also is an organizer of the South Dakota Special Olympics Convoy.

She also is involved in the Special Olympics Wisconsin Truck Convoy and active in promoting Truckers Against Trafficking, which works to quell human trafficking across the country.

She said she was one of three drivers named finalists in the first Driver of the Year award competition for Women in Trucking, a nonprofit organization focused on women in the trucking industry. The announcement was to be made at the now-canceled 2020 Mid-America Trucking Show, she said.

Anderson has been involved with the Trucker Buddy program, which is dedicated to helping educate and mentor schoolchildren via a pen pal relationship between professional truck drivers. She helped teach deaf and special needs students.

Anderson said she started trucking in the 1980s. She took a break to raise her son, and came back to over-the-road truck driving in the early 2000s. Her son and daughter-in-law were able to attend the Driver of the Year award ceremony. She has two canine driving buddies, Rodney and Otis. They are Chinese crested dogs with hairless torsos.

They have earned a little notoriety of their own, she said.

“Rodney is very famous because he has won the Ugly Dog Contest (at the Mid-America Trucking Show) for three years running,” she said.

Otis, one of Carmen Anderson's canine co-pilots
Otis is a Chinese hairless dog who has won the Ugly Dog Contest at the Mid-America Trucking Show three years running. (Photo courtesy Carmen Anderson)

 

Meet Rodney, another canine co-pilot of Carmen Anderson.
Otis also rides with Carmen Anderson. (Photo courtesy Carmen Anderson)

 

Chuck Robinson

Chuck Robinson formerly was senior copy editor for a weekly trade publication serving the fresh produce industry. He has served trade publications, horticultural journals and community newspapers for 25 years.