Con-way names winners of second annual CEO Constellation Awards

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Five exemplary employees of Con-way Inc. are the winners of the company’s second annual CEO Constellation Awards, its highest employee recognition. Winners are selected for extraordinary achievement, performance and leadership, as well as best representing the company’s core values of integrity, commitment and excellence.

“Con-way’s most vital resource is its employees, and recognition of those who lead by example and personify our values is one of our most important responsibilities,” says Douglas W. Stotlar, president and chief executive officer. “What these exemplary individuals bring to Con-way’s customers and employees through their inspirational leadership, work ethic, collaboration and integrity is immeasurable.”

The Constellation Awards announcement marks the end of a six-month process during which more than 200 Quarterly Leader Award recipients were selected from nominations within individual business units. Those winners automatically advanced to the next level of recognition, the President’s Award. The 35 2007-2008 President’s Award winners then were narrowed to 10 finalists considered for CEO Constellation Award honors.

The five CEO Constellation Award recipients each received a check for $5,000, a sculptured crystal vase inscribed with their names and lifelong recognition within the company. They and their guests also will attend a retreat next month with Con-way’s CEO and other senior executives aimed at sharing ideas about Con-way and how employees can impact its future most effectively.

“The opportunity to gain the unique perspective of these employees is tremendously valuable,” Stotlar says. “It’s invigorating to hear their ideas and observations on how best to foster teamwork and success throughout our organization.”

This year’s winners and examples of their outstanding accomplishments are:

  • Edward “Gunny” Butler, driver sales representative, Con-way Freight, Columbus, Ohio: A former Marine Corps gunnery sergeant, Butler designed and executed a program to increase efficiency in processes for a major account. His improved procedures have significantly reduced shortages and improved customer satisfaction. Butler has been a Con-way Freight employee since 2006.
  • Dan Pence, region manager, Con-way Freight, Indianapolis: A veteran who served two tours in Vietnam, Pence has worked tirelessly for the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program. His efforts – many contributed on his own time – were instrumental in Con-way winning the National Freedom Award in 2007, and in Con-way becoming a preferred place to work for veterans, as well as citizen/soldiers who serve in the National Guard and Reserves. Pence started with Con-way Freight in 1985.
  • Gerry Schmidt, driver sales representative, Con-way Freight, Oakland, Calif.: Schmidt was singled out by his peers for his unwavering attention to detail on tasks including inspection forms, manifests, pay sheets and logs. He is known as the “master” at loading trailers for maximum efficiency and utilization, and is a respected leader at his facility. Schmidt has been a Con-way Freight employee since 1991.
  • Ted Schoenke, driver sales representative, Con-way Freight, Green Bay, Wis.: A seven-time winner of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association Safe Driver Club Award, Schoenke also was a 2003 recipient of Con-way’s Distinguished Driver Award for 25,000 hours of accident-free driving with the company. His commitment to safety has earned him a reputation for ensuring safe practices among his coworkers on the dock. Schoenke began his Con-way Freight career in 1987.
  • Dave Lawton, logistics manager III, Menlo Worldwide Logistics, Brampton, Ontario, Canada: In 2007, Lawton led his team through both successful ISO certification and implementation of Lean process management at the Brampton facility. Lauded as an exceptional leader by employees from every level of his organization, he is praised equally by customers whose expectations he and his team consistently exceed. Lawton joined Menlo in 2000.
  • The company flew the 10 CEO Constellation Awards finalists to Con-way’s headquarters in San Mateo, Calif., for interviews and final evaluations before selection of the winners.