Events

Top 10 Finalists Named for 2018 Transition Trucking: Driving For Excellence Award

The "Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence" award campaign, first launched in the spring of 2016, is part of an overall effort to inspire the hiring of more veterans, national guard members, and reservists into the trucking industry. As the main part of the initiative, deserving veteran drivers who have made a successful transition from military service to the trucking industry were nominated by their carriers for the chance to win a fully-loaded Kenworth T680 truck to accelerate their newfound careers.

Since nominations closed on June 30th for this year’s hopefuls, the exceptional pool of candidates has been narrowed to the elite Top 10.

The Top 10 finalists include (listed in alphabetical order of first name):

Brian “Kelley” Ward

Veriha Trucking (trained at Veriha Driving Academy)

US Navy, E4, Hull Technician (HT3)

Brian "Kelley" Ward is a father, husband, and U.S. Navy Veteran. To know him is to also know that an American Flag is displayed somewhere nearby but that being father to his daughter Hannah is what brings him the most pride. He joined the Navy in 1994 and was stationed aboard the USS Rushmore LSD-47. In 1999, he moved to the Midwest to start a life in Kenosha, WI with his soon-to-be wife Curren whom he also met while aboard the Rushmore. Today, he is employed by Veriha Trucking based out of Marinette, WI.

Christopher Young

Stevens Transport (trained at Central Texas College/Ft. Hood)

US Army (Active Duty and current Reservist), E5, Petroleum Supply Specialist

Christopher W. Young was born at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL and raised in the beautiful Puget Sound region of Washington state. In February 2002, after doing a little world traveling, Christopher enlisted in the United States Army where he attended basic training at Fort Jackson, SC and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee, VA. Christopher is proud to have served his country and continues to do so as an Army Reservist.

Jeremiah King

PAM Transport (trained at Del Mar College)

US Navy, E6, Hospital Corpsman

After graduating high school in 1998, Jeremiah enlisted in the US Navy, spending 20 years serving in many different capacities in the medical field. His first duty station was in Puerto Rico where he was selected as the Radiation Technician of the year. Following that, Jeremiah was transferred to the USS Eisenhower then the USS Enterprise. After his time at sea, he was transferred to the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB). While assigned to the NMCB, Jeremiah was deployed twice, once to Kuwait and then to Iraq. He was then transferred to the USS Kentucky and was the sole medical provider and advisor to the submarine commander. Jeremiah spent his final years as an instructor training others in pre-hospital trauma and combat casualty care. After retiring, he and his wife and three children settled down in San Antonio, TX.

Mordaunt "Platt" Brabner

TMC Transportation (trained at Roadmaster Drivers School)

US Marines and Navy, O5, Advanced Electronic Technician

Mordaunt “Platt” Brabner enlisted in the United States Marine Corps graduating Boot Camp with honors. Assigned as an Air Traffic Control Navigational Aids Technician. Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with Bachelor Degrees in Professional Aeronautics and Electronic Engineering. Commissioned as a Naval Flight Officer flying in EA-6B carrier aircraft. Honorably retired from the US Navy. University of Nebraska, EMBA. Pursuing a career as a professional flatbed truck driver with TMC Transportation. Always looking for another opportunity to excel.

Phillip "Tom" Vargo

Roehl Transport (trained at Roehl Transport, Get Your CDL Program)

US Navy, E5, Operations Specialist

Service to our nation and helping others are in Tom's blood. He served in the U.S. Navy as an Operations Specialist, Petty Officer Second Class. After that, Tom served as a corrections officer and a police officer as he raised his two sons. Tom is proud to continue his service to our nation as a safe, Class-A professional driver. In that role, he is also proud to train inexperienced drivers, helping them, their families and our industry. In addition, Tom volunteers with groups helping law enforcement and veterans, in particular talking and listening one-on-one with veterans to help prevent suicide.

Quinton Ward

Werner Enterprises (trained at US Truck Driving School)

US Army, E5, Bradley Fighting Vehicle System Trainer, Quartermaster and Chemical Equipment Repairer, and BCC Battalion Career Counselor

Born at Fort Polk Louisiana to a military family, the military has been in Quinton Ward's blood from birth. After graduating high school, Quinton enlisted in the Army, completing Basic and AIT at Fort Knox, Kentucky. During his military career, he worked as a Mechanic, Instructor and Career Counselor and was medically retired in 2010. After six years of undergoing medical treatment, with his service dog Kirra by my side, he began to seek a new career. Utilizing the VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Quinton graduated with a CDL-A in Fountain, Colorado and joined Werner Enterprises.

Ricardo Sumrall

Melton Truck Lines (trained at Advanced Technology Institute)

US Navy, E6, Culinary Specialist, Submarine Qualified CS1

Ricardo Sumrall is from Norfolk, Virginia and served in the U.S. Navy for over 20 years. Ricardo’s service began as a Culinary Specialist then continued to First Class Petty Officer, Submarine Qualified, and CS1 (SS) ranking. After earning his Class-A CDL license from Advanced Technology Institute, Ricardo joined the Melton Truck Lines family in August of 2017. When deciding on a career after the military, Ricardo found trucking to be highly suitable to the values and skills he acquired during his tenure in the Navy.

Summar Hanks

US Xpress (trained at Diesel Driving Academy)

US Air Force and Air National Guard, E6, Information Management Specialist

Born and raised in Crowley, LA, Staff Sergeant Summar N. Hanks began her military career on July 2008 as an active duty member of the United States Air Force where she served as an Information Management Specialist. On November 2016, Summar switched to the Louisiana Air National Guard to start her trucking career. Preparation for the career change included five months of school at Diesel Driving Academy in Baton Rouge, and she started her trucking journey in May 2017. Summar is about to graduate with a degree in business management from Trident University. She holds an Associates degree in Applied Science, Information Management. Her assignments since 2008 have taken her from Kuwait to Seoul and throughout the continental United States.

Tilford Sereal

TMC Transportation (trained at Coastal Truck Driving School)

US Navy, E6, Culinary Specialist First Class, Galley and Wardroom Supervisor, and Military Police

Tilford Sereal resides in Carencro, LA and is a 20-year Navy Veteran. He joined the TMC team in September 2017 as a professional truck driver. Due to his dedication and work ethic, Tilford also recently became a driver trainer where he takes pride in producing safe, educated drivers for America's highways. In his free time, Tilford's hobbies include carpentry and handyman services. He also enjoys restoring his home and classic vehicles.

Toby Hunt 

Prime, Inc. (trained at Tampa Truck Driving School) 

US  and Army, Petty Officer 2nd Class (Navy) and E5 Sergeant (Army), Damage Controlman DC2 (Navy) and 88M (Army)

Toby Hunt is a 13-year Navy and Army Veteran who has enjoyed serving his country honorably and feels privileged to have served with the best men and women of our Armed Forces. Toby served as a Damage Controlman DC2, being honorably discharged at the rank of Petty Officer Second Class. He also served in the U.S. Army at the Rank of Sergeant as an 88M (truck driver). Toby earned his Class-A CDL through the Tampa Truck Driving School and started driving for Prime in January 2018.

“Each of these candidates is an incredible ambassador to display what military talent brings to the trucking industry,” said FASTPORT President Brad Bentley. “They represent a wide variety of military branches and occupations, showing once again that a professional driving career is open and beneficial to all service members, regardless of what their specific job was in the military. Culling the list of nominees to the Top 10 was a difficult task, one not taken lightly. These finalists are outstanding and truly show the best of the best.”

The Top 10 Finalists will be recognized at the George W. Bush Library and Museum during a reception where they will be honored for their contributions to the military and civilian sectors by trucking and transportation leaders as well as government and association representatives. On that night, the Final 3 will be revealed and will enter into a popular vote to help determine who will be the ultimate recipient of the Kenworth T680 truck donated by Kenworth, a PACCAR company.  

In addition to the Driver Recognition Dinner and Announcement, FASTPORT will also host an Apprenticeship Accelerator meeting at the George W. Bush Library and Museum to help companies and organizations begin DOL-approved Registered Apprenticeship programs. Multiple drivers in the Top 10 of Transition Trucking (as well as the award program’s first winner Troy Davidson and last year’s second runner-up Daniel Shonebarger) started their careers as apprentices. Leading companies helped them bridge their skills gaps with this program, and FASTPORT is ready to help other companies attract and retain this kind of incredible talent with similar training models.

To register to attend these events, please visit https://www.fastport.com/dallas-events. To learn more about the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award, please visit transitiontrucking.org.


About Kenworth Truck Company

Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.

About Hiring Our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with a vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Hiring Our Heroes has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. In March 2012, Hiring Our Heroes and Capital One launched Hiring 500,000 Heroes, a national campaign to engage the business community in committing to hire half a million veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014. This milestone was achieved in June 2015 when 500,000 veteran and military spouse hires were confirmed.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy.

About FASTPORT

FASTPORT, Inc. is an employment software development company that builds products to help Veterans, members of the Guard and Reserve, transitioning service members and military spouses find meaningful employment. Using its proprietary technology, FASTPORT is committed to matching job seekers to employers actively hiring from the military community.

FASTPORT, Inc. is a Department of Labor Industry Intermediary to increase apprenticeship programs for civilian and Veteran talent and has a commercial co-venture with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Program to develop the preeminent employment marketplace to connect employers and military candidates. For more information, visit fastport.com.

Empowering Change with Employment: A Collaboration

It’s a patchwork. There’s no one organization that’s going to suit the needs of all veterans.
— Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts, Medal of Honor Recipient
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Collaboration was the word of the day at the Hiring Our Heroes “Empowering Change with Employment”—for good reason. A glance around the Northeastern Ballroom where the conference was held, anyone could see the variety of organizations that joined together in the mission to help veterans each holds a piece to the puzzle to solve veteran unemployment and underemployment.

David Gualin, Director of Military and Veterans Affairs from Comcast NBCUniversal, kicked off the meeting with the overarching notion that this organizational teamwork is about “moving beyond hiring, it’s also supporting beyond just a hiring number. We need to move to something more, more dedication, more understanding of what the military community brings to our companies and how we can better engage them.”

Organizations are answering that call. The day was filled with information on how Veterans offer incredible assets and potential to civilian employers, regardless of their service branch and military occupation. There was also a special emphasis on the benefits of (and need to) hire and support military spouses as they find their way into a new civilian society. Those in the military community offer invaluable technical and non-technical skills such as leadership, rapid decision-making, emphasis on safety, teamwork and dependability. These skills, along with many others, create an incredible potential employee in any industry.

Left: Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts, Medal of Honor recipient, Right: Secretary Francisco Ureña

Left: Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts, Medal of Honor recipient, Right: Secretary Francisco Ureña

Massachusetts Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Francisco Ureña echoed the idea of moving beyond the standard level of care for veterans since we can do even better for these incredible candidates. Secretary Ureña had enlisted in the Marines the day after he graduated from high school.

After leaving the Marines, he had a variety of volunteer positions that led him to civil service and to his ultimate position where he now leads MA VA where he has seen the collaborative effort to support veterans first hand: “There are so many practices happening here in the Commonwealth and specifically here in Boston with the focus of what we can do for our Veterans…In Massachusetts, we are leaders of helping our veterans, and that practice has gone back to the French and Indian War. We date back to those roots and continue to set a standard as a platform of support. That sense of network…[allows organizations] to make connections that will enable you to help veterans.”

However, FASTPORT CEO Bill McLennan emphasized that the work doesn’t always begin with traditional employment. Because of skills gaps, many service members, veterans and spouses will need training to ensure they find the best career path. One of the most powerful ways to bridge these skills gaps are Registered Apprenticeships.

Left to right: Patrick Murphy, former Under Secretary of the Army; Marjorie Morrison, Founder and CEO of PsychArmor; Matt Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy Department of Labor - VETS; Brendan McCaffrey, Military Recruiter of Wayfair; Bill McLennan, CEO of FASTPORT

Left to right: Patrick Murphy, former Under Secretary of the Army; Marjorie Morrison, Founder and CEO of PsychArmor; Matt Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy Department of Labor - VETS; Brendan McCaffrey, Military Recruiter of Wayfair; Bill McLennan, CEO of FASTPORT

Facilitated by Former Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy, McLennan added his perspective to the panel “Good to Great: Veteran Friendly vs Veteran Ready” as the Project Director of National Apprenticeship at FASTPORT in addition to his knowledge as the company’s CEO. As one of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Industry Intermediaries to increase apprenticeship accessibility in the United States, FASTPORT developed a National Standard of Registered Apprenticeship to allow employers from across the country to set up a DOL-approved apprenticeship program. That development has helped 21 companies build and expand apprenticeship programs under McLennan’s leadership. In just over 18 months, 4,000 candidates have enrolled into these paid training programs. A nearly 100% employment rate after completing their apprenticeship training means vast opportunity for both companies and the next generation of employees.

McLennan summed up the success of both the apprenticeship National Standard and the projected success of veteran-ready organizations like those that attended today’s conference: “These results just go to show the work that can be done when a coalition of employers and entire industries can make together.”

Reflecting on the Importance of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Game

Members of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team surveying the field before the charity football game begins where they defended their undefeated record. 

Members of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team surveying the field before the charity football game begins where they defended their undefeated record. 

While Eagles fans still celebrate their victory over the Patriots in the 2018 Super Bowl, many remember another incredible football game—one that happened the night before those two famous team stepped on the field. On the eve of the Super Bowl, military heroes showed us their athletic grit and inspired all those who watched. 

On that Wednesday, FASTPORT had the opportunity to sponsor the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team as it defended its 7-year strong undefeated record against NFL alumni at Concordia University's Sea Foam Stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota. FASTPORT was honored to witness the game as well as get to know the incredible players who make up the team, including its captain and Marine Veteran BJ Ganem. 

“This game is a tremendous opportunity to show just what wounded warriors can do - that the human spirit is powerful as we explore endless possibilities in our professional and personal lives,” said Ganem, who lost a leg below the knee in Iraq in 2004. “To play against some of the NFL’s most iconic players, whom many of us grew up watching on television, is also incredible. And we appreciate the support we receive from Americans of all walks of life who come out to watch us play in support of this endeavor.”

Ganem had joined FASTPORT earlier in 2017 to help honor finalists in the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award program at the George W. Bush Library and Museum where his painted portraits done by former President Bush hung within the museum's larger collection. Ganem's continued support of the Veteran community matched well with FASTPORT's dedication to provide the military community with economic opportunity through career matching, so they committed to work together in that shared foundation. 

With the game now past and their record still undefeated, the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football team stands as a remembrance for all that these wounded warriors are truly that—warriors. We thank them for the service they performed in their military careers, how they inspire those with their charity football games, and how their partnership is directly helping their fellow Veterans. 

FASTPORT’s Gulf Coast Military Hiring Fair Receives Support from La Quinta Inns & Suites by Offering Discounted Hotel Rates for Transitioning Service Members and Veterans

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Transitioning service members and veterans traveling to FASTPORT’s Gulf Coast Military Hiring Fair on January 26, 2018 can receive discounted rates at La Quinta hotels in the Mobile, AL area. The event will take place from 11:00 am - 2:30 pm CST at the Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion, just steps away from the USS Alabama battleship and the day before the Reese’s Senior Bowl. The hiring event is co-sponsored by the Reese’s Senior Bowl, The South Alabama Veterans Council, Centurion Military Alliance and Kaplan University.

With La Quinta’s military discount, current and former service members will save money as they seek to travel to this unique venue and event. There are several La Quinta Inns & Suites close to the Mobile area so the attending military community will have multiple lodging options that will honor the military discount, including:

La Quinta Inn – Mobile

La Quinta Inns & Suites – Tillman’s Corner  

La Quinta Inns & Suites – Satsuma / Saraland

La Quinta Inn Inns & Suites – Daphne

Inbound travelers simply need to call the hotel direct and ask for the Military Rate Discount or book online at www.lq.com using the military rate discount code (Military). The guestrooms and military rate discount at each participating location is based on availability at time of the reservation.

“La Quinta recognizes that no one understands service like the military and that’s why we want to serve them,” said Liesl Vargas, La Quinta’s Vice President of Talent Acquisition. “We are honored the military community can use our discount to explore new career path opportunities at the upcoming Gulf Coast Hiring Fair.”

“As a military friendly employer, La Quinta has a long history of supporting service members, and this is a strong statement of how it will continue to serve our nation’s heroes in the future,” said Brad Bentley, FASTPORT President. “We are thrilled out-of-town service members will be able to travel with less cost as they seek new career paths from national, regional, and local employers in Mobile, and we look forward to helping them find great jobs at companies like La Quinta that value military service and training.”

La Quinta also offers a rewards program for all active duty service members, veterans or military spouses. It's called La Quinta Returns Military Rewards and is the company’s way of saying "thank you" for your service. To join, visit: www.LQ.com/militaryrewards and for career opportunities at La Quinta, visit: www.LQ.com/careers.

FASTPORT Organizes Military Hiring Fair to Benefit Job Seekers and Employers in the Gulf Coast Region

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Military 

Hiring 

Fair 

 

 

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FASTPORT announces a military hiring event to take place at the Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion, adjacent to the USS Alabama Battleship in Mobile, Alabama. The event will occur on Friday, January 26th from 11:00am – 2:30pm in a partnership with the Reese’s Senior Bowl that will take place the following day.

Local, regional and national employers are anticipated to attend from ten different industries in the mission to hire an estimated 200 job seekers into careers. Veteran-owned, local and small businesses as well as educator booths are available at a discounted rate. Due to venue’s size and in an effort to ensure each employer can engage with each job seekers, the hiring fair will be limited to the first 30 who register at fastport.com/hiring-fair-registration.

Each purchase of an employer booth  includes a catered brunch for two representatives along with two tickets to the Senior Bowl and VIP access to both the Coca-Cola Meet the Players event and to the Piggly Wiggly Tailgate Party. Proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team.

“Employers who understand the benefits of hiring from the military talent pool have a strategic advantage over their competition because they source the best talent. Veterans are well trained with the knowledge, skills and abilities that make them highly valued assets for teams in a variety of industries,” said Brad Bentley, FASTPORT President. “We are honored to help connect these industry leaders within eyesight of the historic USS Alabama with our nation’s heroes who are poised for incredible success in the civilian workforce.”

Employers interested in registering for this unique hiring event can visit fastport.com/hiring-fair-registration.

 

About FASTPORT

FASTPORT, Inc. is an employment software development company that builds products to help Veterans, members of the Guard and Reserve, transitioning service members and military spouses find meaningful employment. Using its proprietary technology, FASTPORT is committed to matching job seekers to employers actively hiring from the military community.


FASTPORT, Inc. is a Department of Labor Industry Intermediary to increase apprenticeship programs for civilian and veteran talent and has a commercial co-venture with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Program to develop the preeminent employment marketplace to connect employers and military candidates. For more information, visit fastport.com.