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Premier Achievement Award

The Trucking Cares Foundation’s Premier Achievement Award is bestowed annually to an individual or company that exemplifies trucking’s spirit of giving.  In recognition of the recipients generosity of time and money, the Foundation will donate to the recipient’s 501(c)(3) charity of choice (such charity shall further the Foundation’s mission).

2023  Recipient - Phil Byrd Honored with Trucking Cares Foundation’s John Lex Premier Achievement Award

Austin, Texas – Today, the American Trucking Associations’ Trucking Cares Foundation recognized Phil Byrd, President and CEO of Bulldog Hiway Express, with the 2023 Trucking Cares Foundation’s John Lex Premier Achievement Award.

“Phil has led at a level few dream,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “His family, his church, his company and our association are stronger because of him. He’s led with faith, conviction and an unyielding commitment to improving people’s lives. He has experienced personal loss… and through God’s grace, rediscovered the joys life can miraculously provide – and he has and will continue to lead through this conference as our foundation’s first Chairman.”

Byrd, who was chairman of ATA from 2013-2014, was one of the founding members of the Trucking Cares Foundation’s Board of Directors and has served as the organization’s chairman since 2018.

“Phil has been a true leader and partner helping build the Trucking Cares Foundation into what it is today,” said TCF President John Lynch. “We were beyond fortunate to have him as our first chairman. I am truly blessed and honored to work closely with Phil. One will be hard pressed to find another individual who carries himself with such class, compassion, grace, dignity, and humility. I’m beyond delighted that he has been given this prestigious honor for his service and I look forward to working with him more in the future.”

The Trucking Cares Foundation is the trucking industry’s charitable arm, focusing on several core areas, including humanitarian and disaster relief, eradicating human trafficking, leadership development, strengthening the industry’s relationships with law enforcement and military and veterans’ organizations, and safety and research opportunities.

Phil Byrd receives Lex Achievement award at MCE

2022  Recipient - UPS’ Clifton Named Trucking Cares Foundation Lex Achievement Award Winner

Nikki Clifton, UPS president for social impact and the UPS Foundation, was named the first winner of the newly rechristened William “John” Lex Achievement Award from the ATA Trucking Cares Foundation.

In addition to her work at UPS, Clifton is a National 4-H Luminary and serves on the Board of Directors for both the Girls Scouts Nations Capitol and Points of Light. She was also appointed to the Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking and serves on the Advisory Board for the CARE Global Network Leaders.

This marks the first time the Trucking Cares Foundation has presented the newly renamed William “John” Lex Achievement Award, which comes with a $5,000 donation to the winner’s preferred charity. The Trucking Cares Foundation was established in 2018 to help highlight the trucking industry’s countless charitable efforts and community leadership. For too long, the industry’s charitable efforts have been disjointed and disparate. TCF was created to help pool our resources to do while also highlighting those efforts to the masses to help demonstrate broadly the essentiality of giving spirit of our great industry.


2021  Recipient - John Lex, Professional Truck Driver, Walmart Transportation

Nashville, Tennessee – John Lex, a professional driver with Walmart Transportation, was presented with the Trucking Cares Foundation’s Premier Achievement Award today during the American Trucking Associations’’ Management Conference and Exhibition.

“John is a 32-year veteran, with 3.1 million accident free miles. He’s a husband and father of two sons; a dogged advocate for ATA’s issues, who always elevates and shares our industry’s image – a true leader,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “As a Road Team Captain, he has been a tireless advocate for his fellow drivers, a representative of all the dedicated, patriotic and faithful people that make up this industry. He is a real example of leadership and it is an honor to give him this award.”
Spear presented the award during his annual State of the Industry Address.

A longtime ambassador for the industry, Lex has been an America’s Road Team Captain since 2013, and in 2016 won the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award.

The Trucking Cares Foundation’s Premier Achievement Award is bestowed annually to an individual or company that exemplifies trucking’s spirit of giving. In recognition of the recipients generosity of time and money, the Foundation will donate to the recipient’s 501(c)(3) charity of choice (such charity shall further the Foundation’s mission).


2019 Recipient - Mike Ducker, Retired President & CEO, FedEx Freight and ATA Treasurer.

Mike Ducker was recognized on October 7, 2019, for the decades-long tradition of giving back to others in communities across the world and here at home.  Mike has donated to numerous charities and advised many more.  Among his many affiliations, he serves on the national advisory board of the Salvation Army, which supports the mission and focus of TCF, including Humanitarian and Disaster Relief, Eradicating Human Trafficking and Strengthening Trucking’s Relations with Military and Veterans.   In addition, the Trucking Cares Foundation’s mission includes supporting and promoting research, education and leadership development – all of which Mike has done through the years through FedEx and its Foundation, American Transportation Research Institute, and other charities.   Personally, Mike has given considerable time to finding and developing talent, including mentoring and training others within the industry.  Mike was presented a commemorative plaque and representative “check” onstage by ATA President & CEO Chris Spear, TCF Chairman Phil Byrd, and TCF President Rusty Duckworth at the 2019 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition in San Diego, Calif.  The actual check will be sent to the Salvation Army, Mike’s charity of choice, for its work to fight human trafficking and its response to U.S. human disasters, and other programs that are in line with TCF’s mission and focuses.

In addition to his extensive charitable work, Mike Ducker is spearheading a new health initiative under the umbrella of the Trucking Cares Foundation. This initiative aims to provide truckers and their families with easier access to essential medications, including the availability of buy Strattera online services, at discounted rates. Recognizing the unique mental health challenges faced by those within the trucking industry, this program is designed to offer support and resources that promote overall well-being and address issues such as ADHD, for which Strattera is often prescribed. Mike’s commitment to this cause extends the foundation's impact from humanitarian efforts to directly improving the health and quality of life for individuals in the trucking community.

MIke Ducker Awarded

2018 Recipient - Herschel Evans of Holland, Inc.

Herschel represents the trucking industry with honor with over three decades, as a driver-trainer for USF Holland, a certified heavy duty technician and a proud America’s Road Team Captain.  Herschel has accumulated three million accident-free miles and was awarded CVSA’s 2018 International Driver Excellence Award.  He is also a six-time competitor at National Truck Driver Championships and a 12-time competitor at the state level, earning Georgia’s Grande Champion title in 2017.  He also has committed his life to charitable works.  Three years ago, Herschel started a truck rodeo called the Safety Drive for a Cure, a truck safety and skills competition benefiting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.  Hundreds of drivers travel from across the country to compete at the Atlanta Holland terminal, improving their safety skills and supporting a cause.  Last year, Safety Drive for a Cure raised $30,550 with 116 drivers competing from 21 states and 31 sponsors.  Herschel is also involved in the Convoy of Care, helping deliver critical supplies to families affected by major natural disasters, such as the flooding in Baton Rouge, tornado victims in southern Georgia, and flood victims in Houston, Texas.