Shawn Nowlin firstname.lastname@example.org
History was recently made in Salem. On May 21, longtime resident Steve Akers was one of 70 individuals nationwide inducted into the Class of 2021 International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA)Truck Driver Hall of Fame. Since its inception, IFDA has worked tirelessly with its member companies to promote a culture of safety. This year marks the largest inducted class to date.
Akers, as to be expected, is immensely proud of his hall of fame accomplishment.
“When you’re on the road, safety isn’t just about you as the driver, it’s about every person you share the road with and I take that commitment very seriously,” he said. “It is a great honor and privilege to be recognized by IFDA for my commitment to safety. I could not have accomplished this without the support of my US Foods team. I truly work for a terrific group of people.”
Added Drew Rhodes, the Manager of Transportation for US Foods, “Steve has held many driving duties with US Foods and has always demonstrated a commitment to being a team player. He is willing to go above and beyond when asked and always puts safety first.”
There are over 130,000 foodservice distribution drivers currently on the road, but only those with the best safety records and longevity of service qualify for the IFDA Truck Driver Hall of Fame.
“These hard-working professional drivers are truly essential to our economy, national security, and way of life,” said Mark S. Allen, President and CEO of IFDA. “Our drivers are the heart of the foodservice distribution industry – enabling our member companies to safely and efficiently deliver food and supplies to professional kitchens across the country, even during times of crisis.”
In addition to shifts often surpassing 50 hours a week, additional facts about truck drivers include: only six percent are women, nearly nine million are employed in the truck industry, 70 percent of all U.S. freight is transported via Class 8 trucks and small-business trucking companies comprise 90 percent of the industry.
“The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) is the premier trade organization representing the $303 billion foodservice distribution industry,” Senior Media Relations Specialist Gerald Witt said. “This industry ensures a safe and efficient supply of food and products to more than one million restaurants and foodservice outlets in the U.S. every day.”
When asked if he had any advice for those who want to become a truck driver, Akers responded, “Work hard, rest well and always put safety first.”