Our 2023 Drivers of the Year

by | Jan 2, 2024 | Company News, Driver News

Our 2023 “…of the year” award winners for Crete Carrier and Shaffer Trucking were honored at our annual Christmas Party on December 8. Here’s a bit about each of these drivers and their careers with Crete and Shaffer.

Lawrence Fraites

Crete Carrier Driver of the Year

Warehouse work led to a career as an over-the-road driver for Lawrence Fraites. He drove for a couple of companies before working at a Target distribution center where he got to know several Crete drivers. They encouraged him to apply, and now, 32 years later, Lawrence is the Crete Carrier Driver of the Year. This year he received his 28-year safe driving award, and he’s driven more than 3 million miles. He says he was “amazed” when he learned of the award and says “You don’t think about that when you’re working. You just work, just keep doing your job well.”

Mike Manatt

Shaffer Trucking Driver of the Year

Mike served 10 years with the U.S. Navy before starting his driving career with Shaffer Trucking in 2001. Mike was recognized for his military and driving careers when he received a Patriot Fleet truck in 2020. He earned a 12-year safe driving award this year and has never received a DOT violation in his career. Mike says his favorite part of driving for Shaffer Trucking is continuing to serve our country by hauling commodities that are essential to everyday life.

Jason and Christina Walker

Crete Carrier Team Drivers of the Year

Company driving awards are nothing new to this dynamic duo. Jason earned the Crete Carrier Rookie of the Year Award in 2019. Christina decided to join Jason, and Crete, in 2020. The couple was motivated to team up by their goals of financial security in retirement. They point to Crete Carrier’s profit sharing and 401k programs as advantages that set Crete apart from other companies. Christina and Jason appreciate the support that’s available to drivers, include their ongoing relationships with their trainers who remain mentors.

Joel Prieto and Damita (Claribel) Holguin-Terrill

Shaffer Trucking Team Drivers of the Year

Joel and Claribel have been team driving with Shaffer since 2016. Joel came to Shaffer first, a few months before Claribel joined him. She had worked in the construction industry for several years, and serves on the tribal council of the North Chumash Tribe. Joel recently received his 5-year safety award. They plan to stay with Shaffer until they retire and appreciate the 401k and profit-sharing programs that will help them reach their retirement goals. They appreciate the support they receive from the team at the Cheyenne terminal and everyone in the Shaffer family.

Marc Fahey

Crete Carrier Owner Operator of the Year

Marc says he’s always loved trucks. He was a mechanic in the Army and volunteered to drive. It was natural to transition to trucking when he completed his service in 1989. Marc came to Crete in 1992, though he left for a time before returning. Marc became an owner operator about 15 years ago and likes the independence it brings. Marc has achieved his ATA 2 million Safe Miles Award, and his 15 Years Safe Driving Award with Crete Carrier. He also serves as a reliable mentor to other drivers.

Javier Rodriguez Nevarez

Shaffer Trucking Rookie of the Year

Javier says he’s always wanted to drive tractor trailers but didn’t start his driving career until recently. He joined Shaffer Trucking in September 2022, and says he was blessed with the opportunity because he had never heard anything bad about Crete or Shaffer. Javier says his short-term goal is to become a better driver and his long-term goal is to drive for this company until he retires.

Larry Starling

Crete Carrier Trainer of the Year

Larry joined Crete Carrier in 2011 and became a trainer in 2012. His driving career followed 23 years of service in the U.S. Army. He received a Patriot Fleet truck in 2019. He is a very personable trainer who does an excellent job preparing his trainees for solo driving. Larry reached 3 million career miles in 2023 and also received his 12-Year Safe Driving Award with Crete Carrier.

Cheyenne, Wyoming Distribution Center Drivers of the Year

Thomas Bender

Crete Carrier

Cheyenne, Wyoming terminal Drivers of the Year

Eric Weaver

Crete Carrier

Kenneth Rothman

Shaffer Trucking

Columbus, Ohio terminal Drivers of the Year

Dawt Tum

Crete Carrier

Joe Snyder

Shaffer Trucking

Deland, Florida terminal Drivers of the Year

Timothy Hall

Crete Carrier

Taylor Abbott

Shaffer Trucking

Indianapolis, Indiana terminal Drivers of the Year

Roy Greenfield

Crete Carrier

Clay Gibson

Shaffer Trucking

Kansas City, Missouri terminal Drivers of the Year

Monty Todd

Crete Carrier

Erik Nelson

Shaffer Trucking

Lenoir City, Tennessee terminal Drivers of the Year

Brian Bostic

Crete Carrier

Lyndol Redwine

Shaffer Trucking

Lincoln, Nebraska terminal Drivers of the Year

Andrei Valiev

Crete Carrier

Brandon Conover

Shaffer Trucking

Mankato, Minnesota Distribution Center Drivers of the Year

Keith Welch

Crete Carrier

Marietta, Georgia terminal Drivers of the Year

John Colasuonno

Crete Carrier

William Ives

Shaffer Trucking

Charles Schlabach

Crete CarrierSoutheast Regional

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania terminal Drivers of the Year

Randall Alt

Crete Carrier

Thomas Moses

Shaffer Trucking

North Platte, Nebraska Distribution Center Drivers of the Year

Antoinette Mkude

Crete Carrier

North Salt Lake, Utah terminal Drivers of the Year

Randy Bailey

Crete Carrier

Heston Rounkles

Shaffer Trucking

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma Distribution Center Drivers of the Year

Gary Genzel

Crete Carrier

Phoenix, Arizona terminal Drivers of the Year

Paul Ashley

Crete Carrier

John Marsden

Shaffer Trucking

Statesville, North Carolina terminal Drivers of the Year

James Topliss

Crete Carrier

Charles Ayers

Shaffer Trucking

West Memphis, Arkansas terminal Drivers of the Year

Douglas Hanlon

Crete Carrier

John Freitas

Shaffer Trucking

Wilmer, Texas terminal Drivers of the Year

Travis Mitchell

Crete Carrier

Sadao Stratton

Shaffer Trucking