Formed in 2010, RWIT promotes safety by educating the public about unsafe truck driver training and has created a network of support for women entering trucking. The organization’s mission is to deliver highway safety through leadership, mentorship, education and advocacy.
“This is my dream, and I’ll do whatever it takes to succeed and thrive in this male-dominated career,” Mathews said. “The Queen of the Road award means so much to me because it shows my strides toward wanting to succeed are being noticed in a positive, empowering way. There is also an outpouring of support I never knew existed.”
RWIT created the Queen of the Road awards to minimize bias when recognizing the diverse population of women truck drivers.
“I am so grateful and humbled by this support. At its core, what sets this award apart from the others is the appreciation of women, for women, by women — which has not always been,” said Edwina Webb, who is employed by J.B. Hunt Transport. “As a woman of color, I’ve persevered through trials though I had intentions of quitting. With all the adversity I have faced throughout my 30-year career, I can confidently say I’ve witnessed a lot of change.”
Vonnie Whitemagie, who is a Native American, said she is honored to receive the award.
“Women who truck and take the opportunity to break down barriers in all aspects of trucking are the true warriors,” she said. “I’m so thankful for this recognition.”
In conjunction with the Queen of the Road awards, RWIT recognizes outstanding women who have served the trucking industry with distinction, dedication and professionalism with the President’s Choice Trucking Industry Trailblazer Award.
This year’s Trailblazers are Deb Desiderato and Tamara Brock. In addition, Shundora Bell, Jacinda Duran and Cheryl Pollard are noted as honorable mentions in the Trailblazer awards.
Other award nominees include Brittany Richardson, Kandy Qualls, Donna Sleasman, Rebekah Meadows, Michelle Braithwood, Dale Estwick, Nickie Pointer, Shelly Burton, Margaret Heath and Ellie O’Daire.
The women will be honored in a ceremony Aug. 29 at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, with Emmy Award-winning actor Max Gail serving as presenter. Gail is known for his roles in “Barney Miller” and, most recently, “General Hospital.”
The Queen of the Road Awards are sponsored by RoadPro Family of Brands. All interested drivers, professionals within the truck driving industry, and others who encourage and support women truck drivers are invited to attend the awards ceremony. Click here for more information or to register for the event.