ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On October 18, American Trucking Associations honored Ralph Garcia of Rio Rancho, N. M. as the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award recipient. Garcia is a professional truck driver for ABF Freight System.
"Ralph has been an exceptional voice for the trucking industry for decades and we are all very thankful for the work he has done to improve the industry's image," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "Ralph's nationwide work as an America's Road Team Captain has made a tremendous impact on highway safety and he has been an example of professionalism throughout his career."
Garcia began his career as a professional truck driver more than 37 years ago and since then has accumulated more than 3.5 million accident-free miles. He was nominated by his company, ABF Freight System, for the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award and has been with the company for the last 23 years.
Garcia is a 17 time New Mexico Truck Driving Champion and in 2009 was named the state Grand Champion. He has competed at the National Truck Driving Championships 33 times and has claimed one 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finish while competing. In 2013, Garcia was awarded the Neil Darmstadter Professional Excellence Award by the National Truck Driving Championship Committee.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the industry, the New Mexico Trucking Association recently created the Ralph Garcia Award to recognize outstanding drivers, making Garcia the first recipient.
The Mike Russell Trucking Image Award celebrates companies, organizations, and individuals who creatively generate positive awareness of the trucking industry. This award, along with other industry initiatives such as Trucking Moves America Forward, aim to highlight the economic necessity and vibrancy, as well as build pride among the industry's 7 million workers, including 3.2 million professional truck drivers.
In his role as an America's Road Team Captain, Garcia spends time each month speaking to schools, community groups, news media, legislators and industry and government officials about highway safety and the essentiality of the trucking industry. He was also recently featured by Healthy Trucker as an advocate for spreading wellness messages to other professional truck drivers and industry employees.
"Not only has Ralph been an advocate for the industry and an example of professionalism, he's also made a significant impact on highway safety through his service as an America's Road Team Captain." said Elisabeth Barna, ATA senior vice president for communications and public affairs. "He fully deserves this recognition as a champion of the industry's image."
Garcia resides in Rio Rancho with his wife Anita. They have three children and two grandchildren.
American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward
SOURCE American Trucking Associations