Driver of the Year Finalist - Bryan Jones
Bryan "Skipper" Jones, a finalist for the esteemed Western Dairy Transport Driver of the Year Award, has carved a remarkable path through life, embodying the values of respect, service, and dedication. Born into a legacy of military honor, Skipper's nickname pays homage to his father, a Marine Corps Sergeant whose life was tragically cut short at 20 years old, when Bryan was just ten months old. The term "Skipper" holds special significance in the Marines, representing an informal term of respect for a captain in command of an infantry company. This early connection to military values instilled in Bryan a deep admiration for those who serve and have served in the armed forces, a sentiment that echoes throughout his life.
Bryan's journey took an academic turn when, supported by his late father's military assistance, he pursued a degree in soil testing at college. His professional journey led him to the University of Missouri, where he worked in plant pathology, forming connections with ag chemical representatives. This eventually led him to Rohm and Haas' agriculture division in Mississippi, where he excelled in his career. A pivotal moment came when Bryan seized the opportunity to purchase his first 18-wheeler and obtain his commercial driver's license after a market disruption at the company where he was employed. This marked the beginning of his career in over-the-road trucking, a journey that would take him through entrepreneurship, safety director roles, FedEx, and eventually back into trucking.
Life's twists and turns brought Bryan back to Missouri to be closer to his ailing mother. A connection at SEMO Tank introduced him to Phil Mosca, WDT Trailer Maintenance Supervisor, opening the door for Bryan to join Western Dairy Transport part-time in July 2010. Initially handling one of two dedicated tire truck routes, Bryan's dedication shone through, and he soon took on both routes after his mother's passing. Today, he is the sole driver dedicated to the tire route for WDT.
Bryan's meticulous approach to his work is evident in his efforts to optimize routes, making deliveries more efficient while minimizing expenses. With over 1 million miles under his belt at Western Dairy Transport, he views driving as a therapeutic pursuit, providing him with a sense of purpose and joy.
Beyond the miles and efficiency, Bryan's commitment to giving back is inspiring. Working 52 weeks a year, he donates all of his PTO pay and driver rewards points to foster children and angel tree kids, ensuring gifts are purchased on their behalf during the holiday season, often amounting to substantial contributions. Bryan was greatly influenced by the generosity of leadership at WDT and carries with him the funeral program of Western Dairy Transport founder Bill Honeycutt. He often reflects on the company's legacy with the program in hand and expresses his belief that Bill would be proud of the institution it has become today.
A man of faith with a warm smile and a heartfelt "God bless you," Bryan Jones is not just a driver; he is a testament to the values of service, dedication, and compassion. Please help us congratulate him as a Gold Standard Driver Award winner and Driver of the Year Finalist!