Biden announces pick for FMCSA Administrator

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, April 15, 2021:

Biden taps Joshi to lead FMCSA
Meera Joshi, who has served as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) acting administrator since the Biden administration took office in January, is the president’s nominee to head up the agency that oversees the trucking industry.

FMCSA Acting Administrator Meera JoshiFMCSA Acting Administrator Meera JoshiJoshi was one of 10 nominations announced by the White House Wednesday to fill posts at various agencies related to climate and transportation.

If confirmed by the Senate, Joshi will be the first person to hold the title of FMCSA Administrator since Ray Martinez left the post in 2019. Jim Mullen served as acting administrator after Martinez left. When Mullen retired from the agency last summer, Wiley Deck led the agency as deputy administrator from September until Jan. 20.

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear noted that as Deputy Administrator, Joshi has been communicating well with trucking industry stakeholders, "and our economic recovery and growth will depend on how challenges facing the industry are addressed. These issues – including training, workforce development, technology and strengthening interstate commerce – will need strong leadership by FMCSA," he said. "As our economy and communities recover from the pandemic, we look forward to working with her in her new role to help address these critical priorities without compromising safety.”

Joshi most recently worked as a principal and New York general manager with the transportation firm Sam Schwartz for the past year. She assumed that post after serving for more than five years as chair and CEO of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). That commission regulated all yellow taxi cabs, as well as the app-based ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

Before serving as CEO, Joshi was TLC’s Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs and General Counsel. Prior to that, she served as the first Deputy Executive Director of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, the agency tasked with investigating complaints of police misconduct. She also served as an Inspector General for the New York City Department of Investigation and was responsible for overseeing New York City’s Department of Correction, Probation, Juvenile Justice, and the TLC.

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Yellow undergoes leadership change
Yellow Corporation (CCJ Top 250, No. 5) announced the promotion of Darrel Harris to President of the company.

Harris joined Yellow in November 2020 as Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives with the responsibility of instituting and leading a company-wide enterprise transformation initiative.

He is a 25-year industry veteran with extensive experience in the less-than-truckload marketplace. Most recently before coming to Yellow, he served as CEO of Xpress Global Systems in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Prior to that, he worked in sales and operations at some of the largest freight companies, including FedEx Freight.

“Darrel is well-positioned to help drive Yellow toward a vibrant future," said Yellow CEO Darren Hawkins. "He brings innovative, exciting ideas and leadership to his new role. He started his trucking career working the docks, and few are better positioned to understand this industry than those who have worked at all levels. I’m proud to see him in this expanded role.”

Harris will assume some of the responsibilities of T.J. O’Connor, Yellow’s former CEO who is retiring, and Scott Ware, former Chief Network Officer, who announced his resignation.

Women in Trucking Driver of the Year finalists named

The 2021 Women in Trucking Driver of the Year finalists are, from left, Carmen Anderson, Ingrid Brown, and Nikki Weaver.The 2021 Women in Trucking Driver of the Year finalists are, from left, Carmen Anderson, Ingrid Brown, and Nikki Weaver.Three female truck drivers – Carmen Anderson, Ingrid Brown and Nikki Weaver – have been named finalists for Women in Trucking’s 2021 Driver of the Year award, sponsored by Walmart Transportation.

The second annual award recognizes outstanding female professional drivers who lead the industry in safety standards while actively enhancing the public image of the trucking industry. 

Brown is an independent owner-operator with her own Rolling B LLC authority. She’s been trucking for more than 40 years and has more than 4 million accident-free miles. She also drives for Fleenor Bros. Brown has received recognition from across the trucking industry, including being on the WIT Image Team in 2015; an FMCSA Voice of Safety for the Our Roads, Our Safety campaign; the National Association of Small Trucking Companies’ 2015 Woman Driver of the Year; a TA-Petro Citizen Driver in 2018; and more.

Anderson is a company driver for America’s Service Line and has 2.5 million safe-driving miles. In 2015, she won the South Dakota Truck Driving Championship and went on to compete in nationals in St. Louis. Two years later, she was selected for the Wisconsin Road Team, and in August 2019, she was named the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association Driver of the Month. She also won the WMCA 2019 Driver of the Year – the first woman to be named the sole recipient of the award.

Weaver has been a company driver with FedEx Freight for 12 years and has more than 2 million accident-free miles over her 19 years as a truck driver. She served as an America’s Road Team Captain in 2019, and she was most recently a finalist for the Luella Bates Award at FedEx Freight and is a two-time winner of the prestigious Bravo Zulu Award, an award created by FedEx Freight founder, Fred Smith.

The winner of the award will be announced April 27 and awarded a plaque and commemorative ring.