Seventh annual Salute to Women Behind the Wheel honors nearly 200 female professional drivers

Seventh annual Salute to Women Behind the Wheel honors nearly 200 female professional drivers

April 11, 2016

The Women In Trucking (WIT) Association’s annual “Salute to Women Behind the Wheel” recently honored female professional drivers at its seventh annual celebration at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Nearly 200 women were honored for their years of service in the trucking industry.

Photo by Paul Hartley, AddMedia

Janine Stange opened the program by singing the Star Spangled Banner. She is known as the National Anthem Girl. J.B. Hunt sponsored her appearance.

Kari Rihm, President and CEO of Rihm Kenworth and 2015 Influential Woman in Trucking recipient addressed the audience of nearly 400 attendees. Rihm Kenworth, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is the only truck dealership in the nation owned one hundred percent by a woman. “You are all pioneers paving the way for women across the country and across the world to participate and succeed in a man’s world,” she said. “You are pioneers in a modern sense, and pioneers in anything always face obstacles while at the same time blaze trails for others to follow.”

WIT’s President and CEO Ellen Voie welcomed the group comprised of female professional drivers, their families, sponsors and members of the association. Voie reviewed the recent accomplishments of the nonprofit organization, including the Girl Scout Transportation Patch, ride-alongs with regulators and elected officials, a minority carrier exchange, the WIT app, WIT index, truck stop rating directory, and the group’s work on truck cab design and ergonomics. Other recognition programs include the Distinguished Woman in Logistics, the Influential Woman in Trucking, and the recently expanded WIT Image Team.

The 190 registered attendees, along with 200 guests, enjoyed chocolate and butterscotch fountains and a huge truck-shaped cake. The female drivers won door prizes including a $1,000 gift card, a $500 gift card, and five $100 gift cards. The Women In Trucking Scholarship Foundation gave away numerous prizes as well. The event included the annual group photo of the women in their WIT red t-shirts and ended with the distribution of goodie bags filled with items from the event sponsors.

Drivers with 40 or more years driving: Bonnie Berscheid, Goldie Seymour, Mary ‘Candy’ Bass, Heather Hogeland, and Marcy Johnson

Landstar System, Inc. won the carrier participation award for having twenty of their business capacity operators present at the event.

Brad James performed for the second year.

A second Salute to Women Behind the Wheel will be held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 16 at 2:00 pm in Aviation B during the Truckworld ( Stop at WIT’s booth 5642 for information.

Next year’s Salute to event will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, March 25, 2017. For information about the event visit

Sponsors of the event include:
GOLD: Walmart & XPO Logistics
SILVER: Bennett International Group, Holland, Inc., J.B. Hunt Transport, Total Transportation of Mississippi
BRONZE: Great American Insurance Group, Landstar, Pilot Plus, R&R Trucking, Inc., Ryder System, TA/Petro
COPPER: Acuity, Averitt Express, Heniff Transportation Systems, Prime, Inc., Republic Services, Trimac
NICKEL: Brenny Transportation, Dart Transit Company, E.A. Dion, Rand McNally,TrucBrush, Werner Enterprises