CWRV Transport recognized approximately 500 fleet contractors and guests from 36 states Sept. 11 during its 6th Annual Driver Appreciation Day at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Event and Conference Center in Elkhart, Ind. 

“Our purpose here is to appreciate and honor our independent contractors,” CWRV Transport President Rob Jackson told RVBusiness. “In this electronic world we all live in, this is a rare opportunity for us to get together, shake hands, and thank our drivers for all they do for us.”

This year’s event happened to fall on the 18th anniversary of 9/11, which holds special significance for Jackson. In his introductory remarks, he recalled how on this day in 2001, while employed by another transportation company, he watched the tragedy unfold in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. When the government ordered the air transportation system shut down, Jackson worked with his team to help stranded contractors find their way home, utilizing the company’s network of over the road trucks.

“I saw first-hand the incredible spirit in which  our drivers came together to help one another —  a spirit like I see here in this room today.” Veterans and first responders make up about 20% of CWRV contractors and Jackson asked that they stand and be recognized during the luncheon.

With regard to industry safety numbers, Jackson noted that “Motivated, safe transport drivers are crucial to CWRV’s continued success, and CWRV’s fleet independent partners are the best and safest in the industry.”

To reinforce that message, CWRV recognized top-producing drivers and drivers with exemplary safety records. One such recognition went to the Shuttle Team, drivers responsible for moving completed RVs off the manufacturer’s lots day-in-and-day-out. Another honor, the 100 Store Club, was awarded to drivers who have delivered to 100 or more different dealerships during their career at CWRV. The most prestigious honor, according to Jackson, is afforded to the Top Safety Drivers, with this year’s leader having accumulated nearly a half-million miles without an accident. 

A cause near and dear to CWRV and its driver fleet is KOA Care Camps, which enables kids with cancer to experience the joy, healing, and freedom that comes from attending one of the organizations more than 130 specialized summer camps. CWRV has donated over $100,000 to the organization since first coming on board as a corporate sponsor in 2017, not counting the many donations made by individual drivers.   

Local Camp Watcha Wanna Do campers Bobby Russell, age 11, and Payton Starzyk, age 15, touched heart strings as they and their fathers spoke about their cancer recovery and the role the camp plays in their healing. “We want our drivers to personally witness what their donations are helping accomplishing,” said Jackson.   

Closing out the afternoon activities, Care Camps spokesperson and country music sensation Stephanie Quayle had attendees dancing in the aisles. Quayle invited guests to visit the on-site Care Camps exhibit and become more involved with the organization. 

— Story by Jim Mac