October 2019 | Feature Story
THANK YOU DRIVERS!
We talk a lot about the Heidelberg WHEEL and our important circle of collaboration, knowledge and teamwork. But the only group of Associates who actually HAVE wheels under them, of course, are Heidelberg and Ohio Valley drivers!
Drivers were recognized and shown our appreciation during the week of September 9-13 which coincided with the American Trucking Association’s National Driver Appreciation Week.
Our drivers show up early every morning and start out inspecting their trucks and that days load. They do not know what kind of traffic problems or unexpected situations they may find once they start their deliveries, or what time their day will end. They treat extreme and harsh weather conditions as just another challenge to their day. In the summer months, heat and humidity might blast them outside while they make multiple trips with two-wheelers to place products in freezing coolers. During the winter they battle snow, ice and cold temperatures with a smile.
There are 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the U.S., but we’re proud of the 322 drivers who deliver Heidelberg and Ohio Valley products safely and securely to retail customers on behalf of our company. They take care of some 353 delivery trucks, always with an eye for cleanliness, safe driving and showing off our products.
Our drivers cover 208 counties in Ohio and Kentucky, covering some 85,234 miles. They deliver 18,000 different products to more than 26,000 retail accounts.
As part of the September Recognition week, drivers received thank you cards and new sweatshirts. Each location held driver celebrations and displayed banners throughout the facility and our social media posts recognized drivers in each market.
Drivers with the most years logged at each Heidelberg location include:
Dayton: Ershal Schul, 41 years
Cincinnati: Steve Smith and Mike Kroell, 35 years
Columbus: David Upperman, 30 years
Toledo: John Hafner, 30 years
Lorain: Darren Hartley, 29 years
Cleveland: Lorenzo Austin, 25 years
Ohio Valley: Dave Cramer, 24 years
Kentucky: Christopher “Rob” Stanley, 20 years
Youngstown: Danny McGirr, 6 years
Here are a few memories from some of our “senior” drivers
John Hafner of Toledo recalls the night he was hosting eight family members for dinner at one of his accounts. The owner of the restaurant came to their table, shook his hand and thanked him for always taking such good care of his deliveries. “He informed me that my money was no good that night, and he paid for our entire dinner and drinks!”
David Upperman of Columbus will never forget the day a would-be robber waved what Dave thought was a toy gun. When Dave told him to go away, the robber shot him in the leg and ran. Dave was taken to the hospital and thankfully made a full recovery.
“I guess you can say I’ve been here through thick and thin, in good times and bad,” says Darren Hartley of Lorain. He remembers moving products to higher ground during flooding and moving products into new warehouses. “After nearly 30 years, I’ve had multiple surgeries. I am like the 6-million-dollar man, except none of my body parts are bionic! They are just pins, plates, screws and rods!”
Rob Stanley of Kentucky recalls a memorable day when he picked up a truck in Louisville that had been in the shop for brake repairs. On the way back to the warehouse it had a fuel leak and caught on fire. Rob still carries the picture of that truck with him.
“One of the blessings of this job is the customers!” says Lorenzo Austin of Cleveland. “They are always concerned for my well-being, making sure I have a cool drink on a hot day and something warm on a freezing day. Even years later, a customer sees me and asks how I am; they have been very kind and generous.”
If you did not get an opportunity to thank a driver, don’t wait for next year’s Driver Appreciation Week. We value their commitment to service and the demanding jobs that they accomplish EVERY week of the year!
NEW UNIFORM PROGRAM COMING IN 2020
The ROAR STORE will be the company’s source for new uniforms starting in 2020. After the initial uniform selection, drivers will have a personal “bank account” to replace or change out anything they need throughout the year. Items for pants, shorts, shirts, polo shirts, jackets and hats are approved by the Executive Committee as standard uniform choices.
DAYTON DRIVERS FEATURED IN THE APPRECIATION BANNER (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): ROD OWENS, TOM HOGG, LANCE MOONEY AND NICK MINIARD.
COLUMBUS SALES PROFESSIONALS SOUGHT OUT DRIVERS ON THEIR ROUTES TO THANK THEM DURING DRIVER APPRECIATION WEEK. HERE IS WINE/BEER SALES PROFESSIONAL PATRICK PHILIPS THANKING DRIVER CRAIG STEWART.
COLUMBUS WINE SALES PROFESSIONAL MIKE WILKINS SAYS THANK YOU TO DRIVER DOM CORINALDI ON HIS ROUTE.
CINCINNATI DRIVER WILLIAM HOLLEY SHOWS OFF THE NEW UNIFORM SWEATSHIRT FOR COOLER WEATHER
This newsletter was produced with the help of your fellow Associates.