Mary Bass- Women In Trucking Assoc. 2023 Driver of the Year

Mary Bass: Women In Trucking Assoc. 2023 Driver of the Year

The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) proudly announced Mary “Candy” Bass, a professional driver at Transport Designs, Inc., as the recipient of the fourth annual Driver of the Year award, sponsored by Walmart. Bass emerged victorious among three finalists, including Ally Cooper from Penske Logistics and Ann McFarland from Leonard’s Express. With an impressive career spanning 50 years and a remarkable record of 6 million accident-free miles, Bass is a true trailblazer in the trucking industry. This article delves into the outstanding achievements and contributions of Mary “Candy” Bass, highlighting her dedication to safety, mentorship, and community involvement.

A Lifetime of Accomplishments

Mary “Candy” Bass has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the trucking profession. Her 50-year tenure as a long-haul professional driver is a testament to her unwavering commitment and passion for the industry. Throughout her career, Bass has consistently prioritized safety on the road, accumulating an impressive 6 million accident-free miles. Her exceptional driving skills and dedication to safety were recognized in 2016 when she was awarded the TA Petro Citizen Driver award, which honors individuals who demonstrate exemplary citizenship, safety practices, community involvement, and leadership.

Bass’s influence extends beyond her outstanding driving record. She serves as a mentor and role model for women at all stages of their careers in the trucking industry. Her desire to guide and inspire others is a testament to her selflessness and dedication. As a lifetime member of the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) and the Owner/Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Bass actively supports and encourages women in the industry. Her involvement in numerous charitable organizations, including St. Christopher Foundation, Hats for Heroes, Special Olympics, Trucker Buddy, and Charities for Troops, exemplifies her commitment to giving back to the community.

Recognition and Accolades

In addition to winning the prestigious Driver of the Year award in 2023, Mary “Candy” Bass has received recognition from various industry publications and organizations. Redefining the Road, WIT’s official magazine, named her a Top Woman to Watch in Transportation. This honor highlights her influence and impact within the trucking industry and underscores her position as a role model for aspiring female drivers. Furthermore, a Nashville, Tennessee TA truck stop proudly bears the name Candy Bass Travel Center, a well-deserved tribute to her contributions to the profession.

The Salute to Women Behind the Wheel Event

The announcement of Mary “Candy” Bass as the Driver of the Year took place during the Salute to Women Behind the Wheel event, hosted by the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) at the Mid America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Kentucky. This event serves as a platform to honor female commercial drivers for their remarkable efforts and achievements in the trucking industry. By recognizing and celebrating their successes, the event aims to promote inclusivity and diversity within the trucking community.

Sponsorship and Industry Support

Sponsored by Walmart, the annual Driver of the Year award signifies the company’s commitment to supporting the achievements of female professional drivers who exemplify high safety standards and actively enhance the public image of the trucking industry. Walmart’s Director of Talent Acquisition, Erin Bergman, emphasizes the importance of celebrating accomplished women behind the wheel, such as Mary “Candy” Bass. Through this sponsorship, Walmart reinforces its dedication to creating an inclusive and diverse work culture that values individual identities, experiences, and perspectives.

The Judging Panel

The judging panel responsible for selecting the Driver of the Year included Erin Bergman, Director of Talent Acquisition at Walmart, Tim Ridley, talk radio show host, and Ellen Voie, the founder of WIT. These industry experts and advocates for diversity and inclusion played a crucial role in recognizing the exceptional qualities exhibited by Mary “Candy” Bass.

Mary “Candy” Bass’s recognition as the Women In Trucking Association’s 2023 Driver of the Year is a testament to her outstanding contributions, exemplary safety record, and commitment to mentoring and supporting other women in the trucking industry. With 50 years of experience and an impressive 6 million accident-free miles under her belt, Bass has become an icon and role model for both aspiring and seasoned drivers. Her dedication to safety, community involvement, and leadership sets an inspiring example for future generations, fostering a more inclusive and diverse trucking industry. Through the support of sponsors like Walmart and organizations like WIT, the accomplishments of exceptional women like Mary “Candy” Bass continue to be celebrated, fostering an environment of recognition and empowerment within the trucking community.

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