If you have ever had the opportunity to meet Don Talley, you would know that he is one of the most enthusiastic drivers at Carter Express. Better known as “Uncle Don”, Talley makes it a point to go above and beyond as a driver and as a teammate. He is dependable and always the first one ready to take on a new task. Talley says he is the way he is because of his time spent in the military. He is a natural-born leader, and part of being a leader is to challenge those around you to be the best they can be. One day, Don presented an idea to our Senior VP of Operations during a quarterly staff meeting aimed at bringing recognition to the employees or Carter Express, who go above and beyond their job description. Because of Talley, Carter Express started the Carter PRIDE Challenge Coin Program in 2018.
The Carter PRIDE Challenge Coin Program is intended to challenge all Carter Express employees to recognize their teammates who are taking pride in their jobs and exhibit excellence in everything they do, even down to the smallest of tasks. All Carter employees are eligible to be nominated and are also encouraged to nominate their coworkers. It is to recognize those who go out of their way to help their company and community move faster, easier, and more pleasantly. Because we are not always able to hear about the wonderful things our employees are doing, we wanted to create a program that could shine a light and recognize those who take their jobs to the next level, and, wow! We have gotten to recognize some amazing people!
Matt Vaught is a Purchasing Manager for Carter Express. In February of 2019, Vaught was nominated to receive a coin from the Carter PRIDE Challenge Coin Program by Clint Huffman, a driver for Carter Express. On his way home from work, Vaught pulled over to help at the scene of an accident. A car was overturned in a retention ditch. It was cold with a mixture of rain and snow coming down on them, but Vaught helped the injured driver and stayed at the scene until help arrived. Vaught didn’t stop there. He also used his personal vehicle to drive those not directly injured to the hospital to be with their loved ones who were involved in the accident. Vaught was a hero that night and is most deserving a coin.
When Andy Cruz’s route for the rest of the week was canceled due to the GM strike, he found himself in a tight spot. This meant that Cruz would need to go to Laredo, Tx., to wait for another load, which could potentially mess up his reset schedule for the following week’s route. To help Cruz, Javier Zamirripa told his route manager Annie to give Cruz his load for the week. Zamirripa opted to take the week off if they did not need him out of Laredo to help Cruz. Because of Zamirripa’s sacrifice and willingness to help another driver, he was the perfect candidate to receive a coin.
Sometimes, we are taken by surprise at who is recognizing our wonderful drivers! For example. when a couple called in the report a driver, we were worried it might be a complaint, however we were pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a compliment. This couple happened to be driving behind Christopher Fuchs for nearly 100 miles. Little did Fuchs know, the gentleman behind him was also a professional driver. The couple raved about how safe and courteous of a driver Fuchs was. Because of Fuchs’ dedication to keeping himself and everyone around him safe, he was awarded a coin from the Carter PRIDE Challenge Coin Program.
These are just a few examples of those who have received recognition for their exemplary behavior. We have always known we have some of the best employees and drivers in the industry, but we don’t always get to hear firsthand from those they impress and help. Since we started the program in 2018 we have given out 38 coins of recognition. If you know someone who shows their Carter PRIDE on their sleeve, then give them a nomination! It is as easy as sending their name and story to our Driver Relations department at DriverRelations@carter-express.com or by calling Jessica at x1537, Erica at x1244, or Shonda at x1270.