CRST Proudly Supports United Way in Our Communities

United Way $321,052 CRST Donation 2018

CRST is proud to announce the results of our 2018 United Way giving campaign.  Campaign events were held in CRST locations across the country, from Ontario, California to Louisville, Kentucky and everywhere in between!  Our generous employees contributed $204,391, and when combined with our corporate give of $178,608, CRST has contributed a grand total of $321,052 to help our communities.   Thank you to all of our employees…together we are changing our communities for the better in lasting ways.

CRST Expedited Inc. Honors 17 Drivers for Safely Driving 1 Million-Plus Miles

1997-crst-internationalFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Brooke Willey
Vice President – Human Resources
(319) 390-2856
bwilley@crst.com

Gilbert Weekley, a 32-year veteran CRST driver, achieves 4 million miles of accident-free driving

 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – CRST Expedited Inc., the largest operating company of CRST International Inc., recently recognized an additional 17 drivers for completing at least 1 million accident-free miles.

 

“I am proud to recognize these 17 men and women for their safety excellence,” said Cameron Holzer, president of CRST Expedited. “Senior leadership enjoyed the opportunity to meet with these million-milers, recognize their contributions and gain their direct insight on best practices in our safety-first culture.”

Gilbert Weekley of Paden City, West Virginia, has lived CRST’s safety-first mantra for the past 32 years and has reached a significant career milestone — driving more than 4 million miles without an accident. Weekley learned the professional driving trade from CRST, which has become one of the largest driver-training organizations in the truck transportation industry. He later became a driver trainer, instilling the same cautious attitude and by-the-book safety procedures in close to 150 student drivers over nearly a decade.

“I loved helping people get started in truck driving,” said Weekley. “I always tell drivers to remember their comfort zone, keep your guard up and always stay one step ahead. And don’t forget to use a lot of common sense. If you can handle driving a truck, you can handle just about anything.”

CRST Expedited has the largest number of team truck drivers in the industry, and some million-milers feel team driving helps them to be safer.

“The dynamic is the team, not an individual,” said William Butler of Cordele, Georgia. “You know, treat the truck as a team effort. It’s just safer. My co-driver and I, we mesh well enough that we can do anything together, on or off duty. We’re family.”

In addition to meshing, it’s also important to have a co-driver who is flexible and willing to learn.

“It’s a forever-learning process,” said Matthew Hampton of Norwalk, Iowa. “I don’t care if you’ve got 4 million miles, a million miles, or whether you’ve got 20 miles. Everybody learns from everybody.”

Hampton also mentioned the added benefit of team driving is “you’re going to make more money” when two people are driving the truck all the time, versus having it sit somewhere for 10 hours, because “the miles stack up.”

“There are more than 3.5 million professional truck drivers logging nearly 725 billion miles in the U.S. each year,” said Holzer. “Driving 1 million miles without an accident is a significant accomplishment. These men and women are the driving force behind CRST’s growth and success.”

CRST Expedited Inc. Honors 17 Drivers for Safely Driving 1 Million-Plus MilesCRST International President and CEO Hugh Ekberg, COO Mike Gannon and their leadership team joined Holzer and 300 CRST Expedited team members at a reception for the million-mile honorees and their families at Theater Cedar Rapids (TCR) last month. Following the reception, John Smith, CRST owner and board chairman, joined the senior leadership team in presenting the award ceremony, which was followed by a private showing of “My Fair Lady.”

 

CRST honorees who attended the award ceremony with senior leadership, pictured from left to right. Back row: COO Mike Gannon, Jermaine Moore, William Butler, Robert Jones, James Richardson, Reginald Walker, Jeff Ford, Rodrick Breedlove and Matthew Hampton. Front row: President and CEO Hugh Ekberg, Walter Plessen, Dottie Eberhart, Michael McCoy and John Bruno.

 

COMPLETE LIST OF MILLION MILE ACCIDENT-FREE DRIVERS

 

  • Nathan Beilke, Oak Creek, WI, joined CRST in 2008, 1 million miles
  • Rodrick Breedlove, Birmingham, AL, joined CRST in 2007, 1 million miles
  • John Bruno, Orlando, FL, joined CRST in 2006, 1 million miles
  • William Butler, Cordele, GA, joined CRST in 2009, 1 million miles
  • Dottie Eberhart, Kansas City, KS, joined CRST in 2008, 1 million miles
  • Matthew Hampton, Norwalk, IA, joined CRST in 2006, 1 million miles
  • Heather Hill, Canton, MI, joined CRST in 2008, 1 million miles
  • Robert Jones, Fort Payne, AL, joined CRST in 2005, 1 million miles
  • Michael McCoy, Sacramento, CA, joined CRST in 2010, 1 million miles
  • James Richardson, Houston, TX, joined CRST in 2003, 1 million miles
  • Saul Cuzco, Chicago, IL, joined CRST in 1999, 2 million miles
  • Jeff Ford, Long Beach, CA, joined CRST in 1995, 2 million miles
  • Jermaine Moore, Baltimore, MD, joined CRST in 1995, 2 million miles
  • Walter Plessen, Running Springs, CA, joined CRST in 2000, 2 million miles
  • Luciano Ramos, Reseda, CA, joined CRST in 1997, 2 million miles
  • Reginald Walker, Haleyville, AL, joined CRST in 2000, 2 million miles
  • Gilbert Weekley, Paden City, WV, joined CRST in 1986, 4 million miles

 

About CRST International Inc.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa–based CRST International Inc. is one of the largest privately held transportation and logistics companies in the United States. Through its eight operating companies, CRST provides a broad array of transportation solutions, including expedited, flatbed, dedicated services, brokerage, transportation management, white-glove moving services for high-value products, and drayage and warehouse services. CRST’s operating companies are made up of CRST Expedited Inc., CRST Malone Inc., CRST Dedicated Services Inc., CRST Logistics Inc., CRST Specialized Transportation Inc., BESL Transfer Company, Pegasus Transportation and Gardner Trucking Inc.  For more information, visit www.crst.com or call (800) 736-CRST (2778).

A Special Message from Hugh Ekberg

A Special Message From Hugh Ekberg

It’s an honor to lead CRST International as the new President and CEO. I am thrilled with this new role and I’m excited about the opportunity our company has to grow and flourish, with all of you, our partners. Whether you are an employee, customer, agent, driving teammate, supplier or support player, you are an instrumental part in making our company successful…both today and into the future.

Over the past two years as COO/Group President, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with our operating companies, understanding what is most important to the business needs for both customers and employees. My passion is ensuring that we unleash the full capability of our organization to ensure every driver, every day, is successful in delivering every load to our customer’s satisfaction. If our drivers are successful, we are ALL successful.

When deciding to join the CRST organization what stood out most to me was the opportunity to continue to grow our business, by capitalizing on the full potential of our eight operating companies. As one of the largest privately held transportation and logistics companies in the United States, our broad array of transportation solutions, including expedited, flatbed, dedicated, brokerage, transportation management, white-glove moving services for high-value products, final mile, drayage and warehouse services, can provide a solution to virtually every transportation need.

CRST is an outstanding company with a tremendous future and a talented, passionate team. I am excited to build upon that team as we continue to develop the organization and make it the premier provider for our customer’s transportation needs. I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead this company in the future.

If you have any questions about CRST and our plans, please feel free to contact me directly at any time. I can be reached at hekberg@crst.com or 319-731-5609.

Sincerely,
Hugh Ekberg
Hugh Ekberg
President & CEO
CRST International, Inc.

CRST Woman Driver Charts and Controls Her Destiny

As the first CRST female truck driver to reach 2 million miles without an accident, Sherri J. Lewis will be the first to tell you to always make safety your priority and to never drive out of your comfort zone.

“Every day is not sunny and this is not a ‘9 to 5,’” said Sherri. “There will be challenges every day. You need to be careful, stay focused and increase your following distance.”

Sherri said she did not achieve this safety milestone and career success alone. She credits her safe driving record to CRST operations team, the good Lord above and her co-driver, Ervin Johnson. Ervin is approaching 3 million miles of accident-free driving.

Company Drivers to Owner-Operators

“It’s been a blessing to spend time with Ervin, driving for CRST the last 23 years,” said Sherri.

After two years as CRST company team drivers, Sherri and Ervin were considering changing their employment arrangement. While being shut down in a Colorado snow storm, another team-driving couple shared the benefits of being owner-operators.

“We liked the idea of being in charge and I like to challenge myself,” said Sherri. “Under the leadership of Dave Rusch and our CRST friends in Cedar Rapids, we’ve been owner-operators for 21 years. I appreciate that I can call CRST when I need help or advice. And, I’ve received both from the top. I’m thankful for Dave Rusch. He’s been there for me when I needed him, and I’ve learned a lot from him and his team. I hope to shake his hand again before he retires.”

Words of Wisdom for Women

Other words of wisdom Sherri holds close to heart are those of the woman who inspired her most, her mother, Annie M. Lewis. Annie raised nine children while working full time as an RN and went back to college to earn another degree in sociology at age 57. She passed away in 1991.
“My mom had a strong belief in God and had tremendous love for her family,” reflected Sherri. “She was a beautiful person inside and out. She never gave up and faced her daily challenges straight on. Mom had great work ethic and taught us how to save. Dad had great work ethic and taught us how to fix things ourselves to save. He just turned 85 and is building his own home. When I go home to Baltimore, he teaches me how to pour concrete and lay cinder blocks.”
When asked about her own words of wisdom for women, Sherri offered many of her own and few of her mom’s.
“Always believe in God and yourself, as there will be struggles,” said Sherri. “Never give up on your dreams. Inspire others. Learn to listen. Be respectful. Control your own destiny.”
On behalf of CRST, please join us in thanking Sherri and Ervin for their years of service and Sherri for being a CRST Woman of Inspiration.

CRST Woman Driver Inspires with Can-Do Attitude

Linda Zimmerman; CRST woman truck driver; women in trucking; female truckersWhen Linda Zimmerman, a CRST Expedited team driver from Sturgeon, Mo., is not out on the road, you may find her wrenching on a 1949 Dodge Coronet that she is restoring with her team driver and husband of 30 years, Paul.

“Both Paul and my dad were mechanics, but I learned it was perfectly OK for women to work on cars from my Aunt Carol,” says Linda. “She worked on cars, built an addition on her house herself, but also made the best brownies. She taught me balance; you can be a lady, but you can just as skillfully do a man’s job. I fix my hair, put on makeup and a skirt—and drive a truck over 125,000 miles each year.”

According to Linda, trucking should no longer be considered a man’s job. “Before World War II, almost every job was considered a man’s job, right? Women came in and proved they could do the job—and now many of those jobs are female dominated. My advice to young women considering truck driving is: ‘gender does not define the type of work you can do.’ One day women will rule the world.”

Linda has a Rosie the Riveter “we can do it” attitude and little tolerance for those who don’t give something challenging a try.  And this inspiring approach to life has been life-changing for her son.

Tony was born premature and had 13 surgeries by the time he was two months old—and well over 100 surgeries now at age 32. Tony is blind, has cerebral palsy and several other disabilities, but has worked his way out of a wheelchair, has a job and receives some in-residence care at the home he shares with his roommate.

“Paul and I let him know at a young age that he would have chores and responsibilities and that we believed he could do anything he put his mind to,” says Linda. “He never let his disabilities slow him down—horses, boogie boarding and surfing—he was fearless, never complained and was always happy. He’s shown me to see the beauty in everything.”

Seeing the beauty of America and Americans is one of the reasons Linda loves her job. Her favorite stretch of road is I-84 along the Columbia River Gorge and her favorite activity is planning activities for the husband and wife team’s 10- to 34-hour downtimes while out on the road.

“We’ve swam with dolphins, climbed mountains and went on bear tracking and ghost hunting expeditions,” Linda reflects.

She also feels these downtimes are good times for her and Paul to reconnect. “I’ve always been a night owl and Paul’s a rooster. This works great for our driving shifts but allows us only to coincide with the rising and setting of the sun.”

Linda and Paul drove off into the sunset heading for Dallas to pick up their sixth truck in seven years. When freight is heavy, the couple puts on record-breaking miles and does so with a positive attitude. In 2012, CRST recognized Linda as Truck Driver of the Year. The couple has also won Team Drivers of the Year.

On behalf of CRST, please join us in thanking Linda and Paul for their years of service and Linda for being a CRST Woman of Inspiration.

CRST Woman Driver’s Strength and Positivity Inspires Us All

All of us in the transportation industry can find inspiration in Lana Poveda’s one-million-miles of accident-free driving.

What’s perhaps even more inspiring is Lana’s fun-loving, gentle and uplifting spirit—and her ability to always look on the bright side of life, even when facing one of life’s greatest challenges. Lana was diagnosed with breast cancer last month.

“I had some unexpected home-time, so I squeezed in an appointment,” said Lana. “I’m glad I did, as my type of breast cancer is hard to detect; and it was detected early. I’m optimistic, but I am also leaning a little harder on my partner in love and life these days.”

In Lana’s case, her partner in and outside the cab is her husband, Claude. “After many years together, we’re still very much in love! It’s nice being together on the road because we work better together as a team.”

Now at their home in Palm Spring, Calif., the two are continuing to work together through Lana’s treatment plan before returning to their favorite part of their careers as drivers—traveling to see the country.

Lana recalls driving through Oregon on I-84 where there was a sight of Elk grazing through a valley as far as she and her husband could see.

“It was the greatest, most beautiful and majestic thing I have ever seen,” said Lana. “Driving is a ‘lifestyle’ job, but I love driving for CRST because I get to see the whole country and I never see the same things twice.  And, Lisa, our DM, is a big sweetheart—she makes working for CRST awesome.”

According to Lana, CRST provides great support to women working in a male-dominated industry. “When I started there weren’t a lot of women, but now there are so many,” said Lana. “And, that’s really inspiring to me, especially in my current situation. It’s great to have other women out there to talk with, share tips and offer support and encouragement.”

Through her positive interactions with women out on the road, Lana’s helping to change the landscape for women in the industry.  “At the end of the day, you don’t have to fit into a certain persona or gender to be a driver. It’s about loving to drive and being an inspiration for all that want to enter this industry.”

From all of us at CRST, we thank Lana for her years of service and for being an inspiration to us all. Your CRST family is by your fighting side, Lana and Claude!

Happiness Heals

Legend Nominee: Chanita Ward

Chanita Ward - CRSTThis Legend driver comes to us from the city of Fort Smith; well-known for its cultural history, developed by some of the most infamous outlaws in U.S. history. As Arkansas’ second-largest city, Fort Smith is a popular tourist destination spotlighting its Western heritage, while preserving the antiquity of the pioneers that brought their lands to life. The strong similarities this truck driver has in connection with her hometown is the rare purity and uniqueness in their existence.

Our featured truck driver is Chanita Ward, a lease purchase operator hauling flatbed for CRST Malone. With 12 years of experience and over a million lifetime miles to date, her professional career as a female trucker has helped pave the way for more women drivers to learn of the many opportunities available within the trucking industry.

Chanita’s bubbly personality is honest and down-right infectious. Her smile can instantly light up a room and her personal journey will tug at your heart strings as she shares with us her recent battle with cancer. It was ultimately her love of trucking, along with her strong support system of family and friends that fueled her courage to keep pushing forward; past the pain, the suffering, the unknowing of the future, that the deadly disease causes in its wake.

Raised the daughter of a truck driver, Chanita’s desire to explore the world started early in her childhood. By the age of 8, she was comfortable riding beside her father in his tow truck as he transported vehicles from one destination to the next. The second to oldest of seven children, residing in St. Louis, Missouri, Chanita describes her high school years as a typical teen. A natural athlete, she played softball and basketball, she was also on the color guard of her school’s marching band. Once she earned her driver’s license it was only a matter of time that her heart would set her on the same course to follow in her father’s footsteps.

“I remember, as soon as I got my license, I wanted to drive everything and go everywhere. My dad is retired now, but when he would take me to work with him during the summers, those were some of my happiest times… in a truck, higher above the other vehicles around us, constantly on the move -it was the best feeling.”

As a second-generation truck driver, Chanita carries on her family’s tradition with her youngest daughter, Crystal. Currently a sophomore in high school, Crystal looks forward to their summer-time getaways, just as Chanita had with her father.

Continue Reading »

CRST Women of Inspiration

Each month, we will feature a story of one of the many inspirational women we are honored to work with at CRST.  We will tell the stories of women…

  • Who motivate us through their work ethic and their leadership
  • Who provide mentorship and support for other women
  • Who make their work and communities a better place
  • Who have faced and conquered adversity

We are proud to share their stories, and hope they can inspire us all to be brave, reach farther and achieve our fullest potential!

3 Million-Milers Share Secrets to Success

This month we feature three women drivers who have driven 1 million miles without an accident. Now that’s inspiring! Watch their video and learn why Jan, Lana and Veronica enjoy being professional drivers for CRST and their secrets to success. Listen to their advice on what it takes to be a female professional driver.

CRST International Honors Professional Driver Joseph Scherbring

CRST International Logo

CRST International Honors Professional Driver Joseph Scherbring

Scherbring, 86, Retires After 46 Years of Service and Driving 5.2 Million Accident-Free Miles for CRST

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Dec. 19, 2017) – CRST International Inc., one of the largest privately held transportation companies in the United States, hosted a retirement celebration yesterday to honor Joseph Scherbring, an 86-year-old professional truck driver and farmer from Manchester, Iowa, who has driven 5.2 million miles for CRST Expedited over 46 years—and has never had an accident or received a traffic violation.

“It’s a bittersweet day for all of us at CRST as we retire Joe’s truck I.D. number,” said Cameron Holzer, president of CRST Expedited. “Joe, our most tenured driver, has been a role model for CRST’s family of truck drivers and we are incredibly honored he chose to drive for CRST for 46 years. There’s only a handful of professional drivers in the nation who have driven more than 5 million miles without ever having one accident. We are most proud of Joe and wish him all the best in his retirement.”

More than 150 employees attended Scherbring’s retirement party at CRST Expedited, 1332 Edgewood Road, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  CRST announced it has renamed the seminar room, where the retirement party was hosted, the Joe Scherbring Room. When Scherbring celebrated his 40-year anniversary with CRST, the company also purchased him a new Chevrolet pickup truck.

When asked about his more than 46-year trucking career with CRST, Scherbring said, “Well you gotta love it…it would be boring if you didn’t enjoy it!”

 

About CRST International Inc.   

CRST International Inc. is one of the largest and most diversified transportation companies in the United States, with projected 2017 annual revenues in excess of $1.4 billion. Through its eight operating companies, CRST provides a broad array of transportation solutions, including expedited van, flatbed, dedicated services, brokerage, transportation management, high-value product white glove moving services and drayage and warehouse services.

CRST’s operating companies are made up of CRST Expedited Inc., CRST Malone Inc., CRST Dedicated Services Inc., CRST Logistics Inc., CRST Specialized Transportation Inc., BESL Transfer Company, Pegasus Transportation and Gardner Trucking Inc. It employs more than 8,000 company drivers, independent contractors and office personnel across the nation. For more information, visit https://www.crst.com or call (800) 736-CRST (2778).

Kimberly Maes Joins CRST International as President of CRST Logistics

CRST International Logo

Kimberly Maes Joins CRST International as President of CRST Logistics

 CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (November 28, 2017) – CRST International Inc., one of the largest privately held transportation companies in the United States, has named Kimberly Maes president of CRST’s Logistics Inc.  Maes’ hire is aligned with CRST’s growth strategy for its logistics operating company.

Maes brings 20 years of transportation leadership experience to CRST.  Prior to joining CRST, Maes most recently served as president of Swift Logistics LLC. She has held progressive roles in various leadership capacities, including global logistics, network planning and finance for Schneider National Inc. and Gateway Inc.

A graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor of science in business administration, Maes majored in accounting and finance. She started her career as an auditor for KPMG, gaining 10 years experience in audit accounting for various organizations and industries.

“Kimberly’s experience with multiple large customers in several industries honed her financial acumen and created a foundation for a successful transition into transportation leadership,” said CRST International COO Hugh Ekberg. “She has built successful logistics and brokerage businesses within large asset-based companies. Kimberly has the proven results and know-how to leverage business analytics to generate profitable growth. We look forward to the positive impact Kimberly’s leadership and experience will bring to our customers and our team.”

About CRST International Inc.   

CRST International Inc. is one of the largest and most diversified transportation companies in the United States, with projected 2017 annual revenues in excess of $1.4 billion. Through its eight operating companies, CRST provides a broad array of transportation solutions, including expedited van, flatbed, dedicated services, brokerage, transportation management, high-value product white glove moving services and drayage and warehouse services.

CRST’s operating companies are made up of CRST Expedited, Inc., CRST Malone, Inc., CRST Dedicated Services, Inc., CRST Logistics, Inc., CRST Specialized Transportation, Inc., BESL Transfer Company, Pegasus Transportation and Gardner Trucking, Inc. It employs more than 8,000 company drivers, independent contractors and office personnel across the nation. For more information, visit https://www.crst.com or call (800) 736-CRST (2778).