12 years ago, CalArk's then-Director of Safety, Dennis Hilton, took a chance on him. Chris was ready to get to work driving a commercial motor vehicle, but regulations required him to have a special certificate called an SPE because of his injured right hand. Dennis told him, "We're going to do what we need to so you can drive for us." Dennis then asked the maintenance shop to hire Chris while waiting for his certificate. Two months later, Chris was driving a CalArk truck, and he's been in one ever since.
Larry Smith came in to pick up his 1.5 Million Mile Award and to announce his retirement from CalArk on the same day. Larry has spent the last 11 years of his 41 year driving career with CalArk.
We would like to congratulate Thomas Christmas on his recent achievement of 1.2 Million Miles of safe driving. Thomas started his career in trucking in September of 2006 before coming to CalArk in July of 2009. He is from Belton, Texas and is on Michelle Finn's board. Thomas says being a driver was in the cards for him as his mother, father, two sisters, brother, and cousins have all been truck drivers as well. Before driving, he worked in fast food and retail.
Robert loves that trucking has allowed him to see all 48 states and plans on driving a truck as long as his health allows. Robert encourages new drivers to always "be calm, don’t get excited, and just do your job."
A driver since 1984, Gary Cooper has been with CalArk since 2003. He attributes his success and longevity with one company to his "think with a career attitude" philosophy. He is on Michelle Finn's board but says he has always been taken care of while at CalArk, no matter who his driver manager is.
Tammy Williams started with Central Hauling in 2009 and switched to CalArk in 2015, working on Michelle Finn's board. Prior to becoming a professional driver fifteen years ago, she went to school to become a paralegal but soon decided she could make more money driving. We at CalArk are glad she made the switch!
Christo Salinas, from Penitas, Texas, began driving for CalArk 18 years ago. Former Vice President of Safety Dennis Hilton recruited him after seeing his potential to be a great driver, and Christo was excited to leave a job making minimum wage loading trailers in the heat.
David calls CalArk his home, and takes pride in encouraging other drivers in the industry to make the move to our company. He says CalArk has been fair to him, and he doesn’t feel like a "number." He likes the lanes and says it feels like family here.
We are pleased to present Dwight Walker with his 2 Million Miles Milestone Award. Dwight has driven professionally for 16 years, 14 of them with CalArk. He is from Pine Bluff, AR and is on Michelle Finn’s board. Deronda Wofford, VP of Operations, says Dwight will do anything you ask him to do.
David likes to help his fellow drivers over the road whenever possible, and said if he has one piece of advice to share it would be to always "watch your mirrors" so you can anticipate what other drivers will do and you will have time to react. Given David's great safety performance, it appears always watching his mirrors works!
At CalArk we feel honored that Curtiss continues to share his skills, experience, and incredible work ethic with us, even after hitting his 31-year anniversary last Saturday. Thanks for keeping the wheels of American business turning, Curtiss!
Gabriel Deng has spent seven of his ten years driving with CalArk. A resident of Chelsea, Massachusetts, he's originally from South Sudan and what his manager, Michelle Finn, calls a "go getter." She says he's "probably one of the hardest runners I’ve ever worked with. He is the man to call when you need the impossible to happen."
Irish Fuggins, of Shreveport, Louisiana, has been with CalArk for 20 years this June. Michelle Finn jokes she and Irish have a love/hate relationship because he has been here for so many years, but she adds that she would not trade him for the world. She can always depend on him when it comes to making on-time pickups and deliveries, and he can be a great team player.
James Harrell, from Hawkinsville, Georgia, has driven for CalArk for 8 years and has a total of 16 years' driving experience. He works on the board of Ronnie Moore, who describes him as "a good guy to work with" who "always has a smile on his face." Director of Safety Leslie Stout says he's "receptive and positive" and "someone with whom she genuinely enjoys working."
Carl Sparlin has been with CalArk since 2011, and has 20 years of driving experience prior to CalArk in a sand tanker. Carl is from Conway, AR, is on Michelle Finn’s board, has been married to Viktoria for 26 years, and has two sons. When he is not driving, he likes to cook, work on his Kawasaki Vulcan (with which he is obsessed!), do home improvement projects, and watch Blue Bloods.
Herbert Wolfe has accumulated a million safe miles with CalArk and is nearing 20 years as a driver.
"Our Queen of the Highway" Alexis Pohl, as she's called by other Central and CalArk drivers, is retiring just shy of 3 million miles.
Lual has worked for CalArk for 13 years for a total of 15 years of experience as a driver. A man of few words and many miles, he's on Michelle Finn's board and always willing to put in the time to get loads where they need to go.
Danny has worked for CalArk since April 2011 and works with his driver manager Michelle Finn. With 20 years of driving experience, he's known to be a hard runner who's always willing to go that extra mile.
“Choosing to be a professional driver means choosing to be a safe, defensive driver not only for yourself but for the motoring public around you.”
- Leslie Stout, CDS, Director of Safety, CalArk International
That is why we put great emphasis on safe and defensive driving training here at CalArk. We have a company-wide, top-down understanding of and appreciation for the importance of safety and the impact it has on our company, on our industry, and on the motoring public.
Accident costs go beyond damaged equipment. Accidents affect company reliability and reputation, employee morale, insurance costs, productivity, recruiting, and retention efforts. We recognize the value of being committed to a world-class safety program, and we strive every day to be safer than the day before and to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.