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For Immediate Release
May 12, 2023

For Information Contact:
Gary Petty, NPTC

NPTC/E.A. Dion Present 2023 Professional Leadership Awards

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Private Truck Council (NPTC) and award program sponsor, E.A. Dion, recognized seven private fleet professionals for their impressive contributions to the private fleet community. Since 1990, the NPTC Professional Leadership Awards have recognized those individuals who have positively impacted the National Private Truck Council, their profession, and the private trucking community. The recognition took place in conjunction with the NPTC Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition held May 7-9 in Orlando, FL.

“Private fleets play a critical role in our national transportation infrastructure and the professionals who support this sector demonstrate their commitments to safety, efficiency and productivity every day,” stated NPTC President and CEO Gary Petty. “We are honored to acknowledge the efforts of these outstanding professionals who have made significant contribution to NPTC, their profession and the private trucking community.”

The Council’s top award, the Dan Smith Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to Carol Heinwoski, Outbound Logistics Manager for Safety and Compliance for Meijer Logistics LLC, a subsidiary of the grocery store chain Meijer Inc. Prior to assuming these responsibilities in 2008, Carol was a Safety Investigator for 20 years with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; the agency responsible for enforcement of the federal truck safety and hazardous material regulations. Duties also included training State Police, Federal Investigators and industry on Federal Hours of Service regulations. Carol received her B.A. in General Business Administration with an emphasis on economics and law at Michigan State University and holds a Supply Chain Management Certificate from Michigan State’s Graduate School of Management. Carol served as Chair of the NPTC Board of Directors, Chair of the NPTC Safety Committee and has been a frequent speaker at various NPTC events and webcasts.

Recognized as the Private Fleet Executive of the Year was Paul Miller, Director of Transportation, Merchants Distributors, LLC. Paul has been involved in the grocery distribution business for more than 40 years in several capacities. In his current role as Director of Transportation at MDI, Paul oversees a fleet operation that services MDI’s 650 retail customers across a 12 – state region in the mid-Atlantic. Previously, Paul held positions in the distribution network for both Safeway and The Kroger Company. Paul received his Certified Transportation Professional credential in 2004 from the National Private Truck Council and has sponsored numerous associates through the program. He has also been a frequent speaker at NPTC events and webcasts as well as a member of the NPTC Board of Directors.

Mike Cramer, Corporate Vice President, Transportation, The QUIKRETE Companies was honored as the NPTC Private Fleet Manager of the Year. Mike started his career with Aeroquip Corporation as an Industrial Engineer and held leadership positions throughout the supply chain. In 2001, Mike joined Owens Corning where he held multiple supply chain positions with the last position being Director, Logistics and Customer Operations, Building Materials Group. In May of 2012, Mike joined Boral Industries located in Atlanta, GA as Vice President, Logistics. He has been active in NPTC serving as a speaker at various events as well as a key member of the NTPC Benchmarking Steering Committee. He has also sponsored several of his team members in the Certified Transportation Professional program.

Named as the Private Fleet Safety Professional of the Year was Tommy Pollard, Corporate Director Fleet Safety, Perdue Farms. Tommy is responsible for fleet safety processes for about 750 commercial and 400 non-commercial drivers, driving 61 million miles annually. After being honorably discharged from the US Army in 1984, Tommy worked in various positions of transportation management. Tommy holds professional certifications including; Certified Transportation Professional, Certified Director of Safety, Certified Driver Trainer and Certified “Operation Lifesaver” Volunteer. He has been a frequent speaker at NPTC events and a key member of the NPTC Safety Committee.

Ray Byrd, Vice President of Transportation and Distribution at Pioneer Landscape Centers, was named NPTC Excellence in Membership Award (Fleet). At Pioneer, one of the country’s leading suppliers of landscaping and hardscaping materials. Ray is responsible for end-to-end operations of the supply chain, transportation, and fleet maintenance. Prior to Pioneer, Ray has held several key leadership positions at PepsiCo, including Fleet Operations Support Manager for North America, Regional Director of Fleet Maintenance, and Director of Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution. Ray earned his CTP in 2009 and has been a frequent speaker at NPTC events including the National Safety Conference, the NPTC Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition, and the webcast series. He is a member of both the NPTC Institute Board of Governors as well as the NPTC Board of Directors.

Jose Samperio, Vice President and General Manager, North America On-Highway, Cummings, Inc., received the NPTC Excellence in Membership Award (Allied). Jose brings nearly 20 years of Cummins experience across engineering, service, strategy and sales. His Cummins career began at the Jamestown Engine Plant as a product engineer, a service engineer and in distribution service shop operations. Samperio spent time in Beijing, China, as a leader launching new products followed by a role as General Manager for Cummins Power Systems business in Latin America located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He also served as the Engine Business Strategy Leader where his work has been vital in helping craft the long-term vision for the Cummins powertrain business, with a heavy focus on technology roadmaps. He is a member of the NPTC Board of Governors.

The Allied Member of the Year was presented to Centerline Drivers. Centerline connects thousands of drivers annually with Fortune 1000 and mid-sized companies. Centerline delivers superior staffing service to fleet operations and helps qualified truck drivers find their dream job. For over 45 years, Centerline has recruited safe, compliant drivers and matched them specifically with each of our customers’ needs to deliver superior service. Centerline is part of TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI), a leading provider of specialized workforce solutions, helping clients improve growth and performance by providing staffing, workforce management, and recruitment process outsourcing solutions. In 2022, TrueBlue served 84,000 clients and connected approximately 611,000 people to work. Learn more at

About NPTC
Founded in 1939, the National Private Truck Council is the only national trade association exclusively representing the interests of the private truck industry and corporate/business private truck fleet management. With an actively engaged leadership team of Board representatives, member volunteers and staff, NPTC in the past decade has grown significantly to serve a rising professional class of private fleet practitioners meeting the challenges of modern corporate transportation. NPTC is the leading learning resource center, government affairs advocate, and business networking culture for America’s top private fleet and supplier member companies.  The Council produces benchmarking, best practices, and economic data reports on the private fleet market; administers the highly regarded Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) training program, and conducts some of the most successful events in the trucking industry including the Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition, the Private Fleet Management Institute, and the National Safety Conference. For more information about the Council’s activities and programs, visit our website at


About E. A. Dion
A member of the NPTC Board of Governors, E. A. Dion, Inc. was founded in 1968 by Edward Dion Sr., and originally called The Dion Manufacturing Company.  Despite its growth, the company remains a family business. Edward “Ted” Dion Jr. joined the business in 1980, and in 1983 his brother Dennis entered the business.  Selling strictly through its distributor partners, E. A. Dion is a fully integrated manufacturer of precious and non-precious rings, pins, badge holders, and other jewelry awards. Its highly skilled design team can bring any vision to life, and our caring factory team is committed to executing outstanding products.  Dion’s global sourcing capability and a successful presence in the recognition, promotional products, and direct selling/multi-level marketing markets make it a leader in custom award jewelry.

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