Bass Named Women In Trucking Association’s 2023 Driver of the Year
by Women In Trucking Staff, on Mar 31, 2023 5:47:25 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – March 31, 2023 – The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) announced today Mary “Candy” Bass, professional driver at Transport Designs, Inc., as the winner of the fourth annual Driver of the Year award sponsored by Walmart.
Bass was among three finalists for the award. The other finalists include Ally Cooper, professional driver, Penske Logistics and Ann McFarland, company driver, Leonard’s Express.
L to R: Lana Nichols, vice president, WIT; Ann McFarland, company driver, Leonard’s Express; Fritz Keel, Director, Fleet Development, Walmart; Ally Cooper, professional driver, Penske Logistics; Mary “Candy” Bass, professional driver, Transport Designs, Inc.; Ellen Voie, founder, WIT; Jennifer Hedrick, president and CEO, WIT
Bass has been a long-haul professional driver for 50 years, accumulating 6 million accident-free miles. In 2016, she was awarded the TA Petro Citizen Driver award. Recipients of this award exhibit citizenship, safety, community involvement, and leadership. A Nashville, Tennessee TA truck stop is named the Candy Bass Travel Center in honor of her. In 2023, she was named a Top Woman to Watch in Transportation by Redefining the Road, WIT’s official magazine.
“Candy Bass has given extensively to the trucking profession, not only during her time on the road and commitment to safe driving, but through mentorship and her desire to be a guiding star for women at all stages of their careers,” said Jennifer Hedrick, president and CEO, WIT.
Bass is a lifetime member of WIT and Owner/Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). She is involved in numerous charities including St. Christopher Foundation, Hats for Heroes, Special Olympics, Trucker Buddy, and Charities for troops. At 78, she is still driving long haul across the United States while encouraging and mentoring other women in the trucking industry.
The announcement was made during the Salute to Women Behind the Wheel event, hosted by WIT at the Mid America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, KY. The event honors female commercial drivers for their efforts and successes in the trucking industry.
Sponsored by Walmart, the annual Driver of the Year award was established to promote the achievements of female professional drivers who lead the industry in safety standards while actively enhancing the public image of the trucking industry.
“Our North Star is to create a culture where our associates feel like they belong. That means getting to know them for their own unique identities, styles, experiences, abilities, and perspectives to support them best,” Erin Bergman, Director of Talent Acquisition at Walmart said. “That’s why Walmart is proud to sponsor the Women In Trucking ‘Driver Of The Year Award’ since it was created. It’s important to celebrate the industry’s top women behind the wheel like Mary ‘Candy’ Bass, who has had an incredible 50-year career and is paving the way to show future generations what they can accomplish when they work hard at what they love.”
Members of the judging panel were Erin Bergman, director, talent acquisition, Walmart, Tim Ridley, talk radio show host, and Ellen Voie, founder, WIT.
About Women In Trucking Association, Inc.
Women In Trucking Association, Inc. is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generosity of Gold Level Partners: Arrow Truck Sales, Bridgestone Americas, Daimler Truck North America, DAT Solutions, FedEx Freight, Great Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Michelin North America, Navistar International, Inc., PACCAR, Penske Transportation Solutions, Ryder System, Walmart, and WM. Follow WIT on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. For more information, visit www.womenintrucking.org or call 888-464-9482.