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Derrick Johnson named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce Derrick Johnson as the recipient of the Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the 2nd Quarter of 2021. Derrick has been with Kottke Trucking for almost nine years with no accidents and no violations. He has been in the trucking industry for over 24 years.

Derrick’s nominator said: “Derrick is deserving of the award because he is very hard working and a go-getter, he plans his loads well and is never late. If you need him to do something, all you need to do is ask him and he will go above and beyond to insure that that job gets done on time. Derrick is a true example of what Kottke Trucking is all about.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. Derrick is the 2nd Quarter recipient for this award and is now a finalist for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award.

CongratsDerrick! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

 

#ThankATrucker

To all of our amazing drivers, past and present, and every trucker across the country, we’d like to wish you all a very happy National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Thank you for all that you do! #ThankATrucker

Kottke Trucking-Viking Signs Softball Team Finishes Second in Buffalo Lake Days Tournament

We had the pleasure of teaming up with our friends at Viking Signs for a softball team for Buffalo Lake Days and, of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve teamed up!

Our relationship goes back decades with Duane Kottke and Red Jones and continues to this day. This weekend had four members of the Jones family and one Kottke on the field together en route to a second place finish in the Buffalo Lake Lions Club Softball Tournament! We know Duane and Red would have had a ball!

Thanks to everyone that came out to Buffalo Lake Days! It was great fun to see our small town filled with smiling faces and celebrating our community.

Glenn Lopp named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce Glenn Lopp as the recipient of the Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the First Quarter of 2021. Glenn has been with Kottke Trucking for two years and has been in the trucking industry for over 15 years.

Glenn’s nominator said: “Glenn is one of those go getter drivers that always approaches each task with a “we will succeed” attitude. He exemplifies what a good American Trucker should be. He is a strong asset to Kottke Trucking and embodies the spirit of what the Jim Doering Award of Excellence is all about.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. Glenn is the First Quarter recipient for this award and is now a finalist for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award.

Congrats, Glenn! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

Ben Schmidt named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce Ben Schmidt as the recipient of the Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the Fourth Quarte of 2020. Ben has been with Kottke Trucking for over five years and has been in the trucking industry for over 13 years.

Ben’s nominator said:

“Ben is a great dude and is someone that will always go the extra mile to make sure the job gets done. He is a great member of the #BleedingBlue team. Ben’s qualities greatly reflect those that are looked for with the Jim Doering Award of Excellence.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of Excellence are also the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award. Mike and Sabrina Lopez were our First Quarter recipients, John Johnson was our Second Quarter recipient and Boogs Fellows was our Third Quarter recipient.

Congrats, Ben! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

Robert “Boogs” Fellows named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce that Robert “Boogs” Fellows as the recipient of the Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the Third Quarter of 2020. Boogs has been with Kottke Trucking since the acquisition of Wayne T. Fellows in August 2019 with experience in that firm for years prior.

Boogs nominator said, in part, the following:

“He believes in the power of teamwork and is always ready to jump in and do whatever is needed if it benefits the greater good of the company overall or of any of his co-workers, even if it comes at the expense of home time for him. If we are short a local driver for an off-day delivery, he volunteers. If we are short an OTR run and need a local driver to pinch hit, he volunteers. If he is done with his pickups in Miami but still has room and one of the other local drivers still has picks left, he calls and asks if he can make some of the other driver’s pickups so the other driver doesn’t get home as late as he otherwise would. If we need help with organizing paperwork or an extra pair of hands somewhere, he is the first to raise his hand.

“He is a constant company “cheerleader,” always trying to raise morale when others are down and assure everyone that even if you’re having a bad day, it’s the exception, not the norm, and better days are coming if we all work together.

“Simply put, he may not have joined the Kottke Trucking family the conventional way, but make no mistake, he is as strong of a company man as you’ll find. He believes in the company, he believes in the vision, he believes in the mission, he believes in the people, and most of all, he believes in the heart. Perhaps that is because it seems to me that his huge heart is what drives him and what makes him such an outstanding driver, excellent co-worker, and even better man.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of Excellence are also the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award. Mike and Sabrina Lopez were our First Quarter recipients and John Johnson was our Second Quarter recipient.

Congrats, Boogs! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

John Johnson Named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce John Johnson as the recipient of the Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the Second Quarter of 2020. Johnson has been with Kottke Trucking for over a year and a half and has been a great presence in our Kottke Trucking family from the start.

Johnson’s nominator said the following:

“JJ is an amazing guy. His dedication and loyalty to the job is great. He never fails to put a smile on everyone’s face with his sense of humor. The day is always brighter if you get to spend some time with him. Above all, JJ is dependable. The qualities of a great truck driver and a great person.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of Excellence are also the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award. Mike and Sabrina Lopez were the recipients in the first quarter.

Congrats, John! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

Celebrating the supply chain this Labor Day

As we get ready to celebrate Labor Day, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on how the entire supply chain has came together to ensure people across the country have the supplies they needed.   It has truly been a year of teamwork, so I asked several friends to tell me what this Labor Day means to them and how their team made things happen.

I would like to add how much I appreciate being able to work with you all.   From our team at Kottke, to our customers, and my friends across the industry: You are the reason I love doing what I do, and I am thankful to have been in this industry for over 25 years.  Happy Labor Day, friends!

Chris Kozak, Tyson Foods – This will be a very special Labor Day celebration for all of us at Tyson Foods.  This holiday symbolizes the contributions workers make to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. So many members of the supply chain stepped up over the last seven months. Everyone from plant and warehouse workers to truck drivers and office staff literally kept our country fed at a critical and vulnerable time in our nation’s history. This will be the most significant Labor Day holiday I will have ever celebrated in my 30-year work history in this industry.

Dan Bohlman, Butterball – The year 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges and difficulty to our personal and professional lives. Our team has displayed astounding resilience and commitment to their day to day jobs and supporting the greater purpose of helping deliver our quality food products to our customers. I’m proud to be a part of a team that supports one another and is dedicated to reaching our collective goals.

Kelly Patrick, Kennesaw Transportation – I am so proud of our entire team for their determination and dedication to keeping our drivers safe and rolling.  Our drivers went above and beyond 110% to help deliver to our customers and help other drivers on the road to keep the big wheels rolling thru a pandemic.  #WeLoveTruckers #TruckDriversDeliverExcellence

Charles Bostick, Vantix – Absolutely we have gone above and beyond to keep the quick service restaurant business going and certainly our partnerships with organizations such as Kottke has been the foundation of our ability to create a sustainable food supply-chain.  Despite COVID-19 setbacks volumes have remained consistent. Requiring tremendous sacrifice by both my team and the drivers that our partner carriers employee.

Charlene Keller, Choptank – Our team has done an exemplary job of keeping our customers informed on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis regarding changes in the market that affect capacity and pricing. The team has seamlessly adapted to a new COVID-19 world, negotiating new contract rates and remaining positive throughout these tough conversations. I am very thankful to be a part of such a great team.

Bruce Koele, Heyl – I was so proud of our entire team!  From planners dealing with anything but normal customer shipping patterns to our drivers, who despite anxiousness and fear of the real impact and effects of the virus, did not hesitate to continue to do their jobs with pride and continue to deliver food and essential products around the country without missing a beat. We have all learned to adapt and do things differently but by tackling the issues head on and communicating with our customers, together we have been able to overcome many of the challenges brought on by the pandemic!

Anthony Megale, Burris Logistics – To keep the supply chain moving and the Distribution Centers open, Burris Logistics had all non-essential employees work from home starting in early March. Only warehouse staff, drivers, transportation team members, and leadership were allowed to stay on site.

The work from home policy started in early March and continues to this day since Burris team members have remained effective during these challenging times. We are happy to report that none of our 15 distribution centers had to shut down. As it turns out, the non-essential employees are very essential to the operations. During these challenging times, increased demand required our team members to work longer hours, ensuring that food remained on our retail partner’s shelves. Additionally, we deployed staff from our sister brand, Honor Foods. Honor Foods experienced a downturn in business when restaurants were not allowed to open. We are grateful to function as ONEBURRIS, shifting team members to other brands to keep all Burris employees working. We also partnered with other local foodservice providers by temporarily employing their warehouse staff and drivers in our distribution centers to help pull Burris loads. The collaboration was a win-win, as it helped keep other workers in the community employed and food on the shelves during the increased demand of these unprecedented times.

Eric Kruse, Kwik Trip – For me, Labor Day is a time to thank the working women and men of the world who help us enjoy all of the luxuries we have grown so accustom to here in America. For my industry it is a supply chain to thank. Thank the famer or manufacture, Thank the warehouses and loading crews, Thank the drivers who haul the loads, Thank the logistics folks who coordinate the schedules, Thank the retailers who sell the product and now days Thank the person who loads the groceries into your vehicle or the driver who delivers them directly to your home. I’m very proud to be an employee of Kwik Trip who has great company values. While these are my opinions, I’m glad to work for a company that holds their guests, suppliers, employees and communities in high regard. Thanks for all you do.

Mike Puckett, Overdrive Logistics – I would say the way the team worked and preformed during Covid would be what made us most proud. We had 80% of our office working from home and learning to communicate electronically with each other rather than the face to face we are so used to. Sure we had phones, but it doesn’t replace the face to face interactions.

Nelson Munoz, Jr, Kuehne + Nagel Inc. – Regarding my team, I very proud of how they help us accomplish our goals on a daily basis.  With our customer focus on pharma we were one of the groups within my organization to have not missed a beat during this pandemic. I have gotten numerous compliments from customers for each of my team members on the job they do.  Whether it is for their responsiveness to the customer needs, following up after hours, making that extra call to ensure a critical shipment moves, while still managing to support and back each other up while working remotely. I couldn’t ask for a better team.

Heather Hawkins, Kinexo – Our operations group at KINEXO is a team that works closely together to make sure our customers get the top rated service they deserve.  It has been a tough task to adapt to a mandated work-from-home environment while continuing to service our customers’ needs, which have also been impacted by the pandemic. I couldn’t be prouder of the way our team has performed in this crucial time.  Their dedication is truly amazing!  Go KINEXO!

Kyle Kottke, Kottke Trucking – I grew up in a family where my father told me the honor of celebrating Labor Day and honoring the working folk is to work the day.  Needless to say, unintentionally my father programmed me to think that Labor Day was a normal day in the calendar.  Then as 2020 came to hit the calendar and so much change, uncertainty, obstacles, life/work balance, customer demands, driver desires and the meeting place of all of that has made me appreciate every single member of our team.  It has been a joy to watch the blue collar industry stand up and be the pulse of the American spirit and economy.  So while I very likely will celebrate this holiday by working my shift, I will be reflecting on a new meaning of Labor Day to me.  Happy Labor Day to your readership!  May our next year celebration bring us less change and more joy!

Mike and Sabrina Lopez Named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipients

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce Mike and Sabrina Lopez as the recipients of our Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the First Quarter of 2020. The team has been with Kottke Trucking for just shy of a year and a half and have made their presence felt quickly in our family.

The Lopez team had multiple nominations for the award. Their nominators said the following:

“This team continually displays a very positive can-do attitude. Regardless of the task given them, they approach it with a positive spirit and enthusiasm second to none. They are the epitome of #BleedingBlue. They are among the top performers and always willing to step up and take on any task regardless of the unpleasantness or difficulty. In other words, they take on the good and the bad with equal enthusiasm.”

“Sabrina and Mike are always there when we need help. They know how to run their hours and they take care of issues on their own, if they are able. They are always thinking of the greater good for the company, never put themselves before others. They are always early, they are exceptional at keeping track of their hours, they have the knowledge and they use it. They never get mad or upset and always will go the extra mile.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of Excellence are also the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award.

Congrats, Mike and Sabrina! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

A conversation with Michigan nurse Jane Dotson

Jane Dotson was drawn into the medical field over 25 years ago after her father was involved in a near-fatal auto accident that required months of surgery. The hospital where he dad’s life was saved and where she was born just happened to be the same one where she started her career. Throughout her career, Dotson has worn many different hats and seen many different things. She’s been a hospice nurse, a dementia nurse, a psychiatric nurse and is now a nursing supervisor in a subacute physical rehabilitation center.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way her Michigan hospital delivers care, including the halting of visitors per the Governor’s mandate. COVID-19 put an invisible barrier between the caregivers and their patients. “Essentially, we began keeping our patients in a 6-foot invisible ‘bubble’ and were only allowed to enter it to provide direct physical care. We initially isolated all patients in their rooms where all care and therapies were provided. As we learned more about the virus patients have been allowed out of their rooms if they are wearing masks and maintain 6-foot social distancing space,” Dotson said. “A serious side effect of COVID-19 is depression among patients. Since January, we have witnessed an increase in tearfulness and angry outbursts. We attempt to comfort and reassure patients when they are in distress over the social isolation, but comfort hasn’t been well received when it is from a gloved hand, or from 6 feet away.

“One patient I care for is deaf and can lip read but wearing masks limits some of us to only writing to communicate with her. She is attempting to teach us some basic sign language, but she says she misses being able to see people talk and smile.”

The facility that Dotson works in housed and cared for COVID-19 patients for a few weeks in an isolation unit created on a separate wing of the building. Strict entry and exit rules and restrictions were in place for the entire facility, along with additional very strict rules and restrictions within the unit itself.  A pervasive fear of the virus resulted in several members of the staff asking not to be placed in the COVID unit.

“I personally believe that if you go into the medical field, you should not be allowed to refuse to give care to someone if you are provided the tools to do so safely,” Dotson said. “So, I agreed to care for COVID-19 patients because I felt it was safer caring for known carriers of COVID-19 patients while wearing full PPE next to coworkers wearing full PPE.  Fortunately, none of the COVID caregivers I work with contracted the virus.”

Working in an isolation unit with all the different safety requirements was very stressful for Dotson. Her and her co-workers had to be mindful of every moment during their shift. After a few weeks of caring for COVID-19 patients, Dotson says she and her co-workers became less fearful of the virus and more frustrated with the isolation and the effects on their patients.

“It became emotionally challenging for me because my heart broke for those patients who didn’t have anyone on the outside to call or do window ‘visits’,” Dotson said. “I had one patient tearfully say that she felt like a leper and she just needed a warm hug.”

Thankfully, the COVID-19 unit where Dotson works has been empty for a few weeks now. Dotson hopes that they never need to use it again.

Dotson is from Flint, Michigan and says that their community has come together and has been very supportive of medical personnel since the pandemic began. She sees that unity as a positive that the community can take forward after this chapter.

“I’ve been out in public with my uniform on and have had people thank me for my service to the community. I find it mildly embarrassing but also rewarding,” Dotson said. “Our facility has had numerous donations of PPE and even meals for staff throughout this ordeal. I am happy and proud of our community for the first time in a very long time.”

Things have gone back to normal for Dotson, as much as they can with mandates still in place in the state of Michigan. Long before COVID-19, she was already in the habit of using hand sanitizer frequently and being cautions to not touch her face with her hands. “I know the kinds of microorganisms that lurk in our world and I live in caution, but not fear. I just want to be able to return to a normal life where there are no mandates.”

Dotson said this interview was an unusual opportunity for her to express her thoughts with someone other than a fellow coworker of a family member. She wanted to take the opportunity to pass along this message to the truck driving community: “Thank you for your service to our nation. None of us could survive if there weren’t professional truck drivers on the road day and night. I respect each and every one of you for what you do. You don’t always have it easy, but you keep on trucking. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.”

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Kottke Trucking, Inc.