“Top Rookie” Announcement To Be Made During Great American Trucking Show in August

Article by: Melinda Eddleman

Randall-Reilly, a marketing and consulting services company for the trucking and construction and equipment industries, has announced 10 finalists for their 2014 Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie competition. The program is designed to increase pride and professionalism among new drivers and promote truck driving as a career choice during a severe driver shortage.

This year, 55 individuals from all over the country were nominated for the award, including Del Mar College Transportation Training Services graduate John Spofford, who is now among those 10 finalists. An expert panel of judges that included representatives from public and private training schools, suppliers and trade associations made the selection. 

Spofford completed the College’s program less than a year ago, according to Transportation Training Services Director John Rojas, noting that Spofford has successfully started his own business – Premier Crude, LLC – and hauls crude oil in the South Texas Eagle Fold Shale. 

“In my opinion, John has a great chance at receiving this award because he has grown his company to a seven truck fleet in a short period of time,” says Rojas. “He’s even in the process of purchasing additional trucks to meet his customers’ demand.”

Randall-Reilly will announce the 2014 Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie during a ceremony on Aug. 22 as part of the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. That individual will receive a $10,000 check; a custom plaque from Award Company of America, a division of Randall-Reilly; a RoadPro Getting Started Living On-The- Go Package; $1,000 cash and 100,000 MyRewards points from Pilot Flying J; a GPS unit and Motor Carrier Road Atlas from Rand McNally; a dash camera from Cobra Electronics and an American Trucking Associations “Trucking Moves America Forward” gift pack. Eric Harley of the Red Eye Radio Network also will interview the winner.

Overall, more than $25,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded with the nine other finalists receiving $1,000 each and a variety of other prizes. 

The other nine finalists include

• Dion Blair, who went to All State Career School before signing on with TMC Transportation,

• Elisee Carnelli, a Hogan Transports, Inc. driver who attended MTC Truck Driver Training,

• Steven Jameson, a graduate of Interstate Truck Driving School who is leased to Dart Transit,

• Amanda Kidd, who trained at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute and drives for Cargo 


• Jason Kiser, a driver for Stevens Transport who came through Stevens Driving Academy,

• Michael Kline, who attended Roehl Driver Training Center and is employed by Roehl Transport,

• Williams Mills, who went to Universal Technical Institute before going to work for Britton Transport,

• Julie Matulle, who trained at Fox Valley Technical College and now drives for H.O. Wolding, and

• Carlos Nordquist, a Roadmaster Drivers School graduate employed by Werner Enterprises.

The Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie competition is a partnership between Randall-Reilly, Truckload Carriers Association, Commercial Vehicle Training Association, Rand McNally, Shell ROTELLA, Pilot Flying J, Progressive Commercial Insurance, National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, American Trucking Associations and the Red Eye Radio Network. 

“Mr. Spofford is one of three finalists who trained at a NAPFTDS school,” adds Brad Bentley. “That is a record, and I hope a sign of things to come.”

NAPFTDS, or the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, is an organization that promotes public education for the transportation industry. Through membership, educators can network with other schools across the country to provide the highest quality, most cost-effective and most up-to-date training available.

To learn more about Del Mar College Transportation Training Services, visit www.delmar.edu/trucking/ or call 361-698-2707. 

PICTURED: Del Mar College's Transportation Training Services takes training "on the road" with state-of-the-art simulators that provide students with a variety of driving scenarios to expand their experiences and knowledge.

(This release was developed using an original release produced by Randall-Reilly Business Media & Information. Questions regarding the Mike O’Connell Memorial Trucking’s Top Rookie competition can be directed to Brad Bentley, Editorial Director of Media Recruiting, at bbentley@randallreilly.com.) 

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