The caliber of nominations received from our insureds for the 2021 Driver of the Year Award was beyond impressive. To highlight some of the remarkable nominees and show our gratitude to the safe drivers we insure, DMC hosted appreciation events surrounding National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Five events were hosted at each of the home terminals of the candidates that placed as top finalists, including the event at the winner’s home terminal. Meals, gifts, and raffle prizes were provided for all the terminal staff in honor of the selected driver. Congratulations to all of the top finalists that were recognized for their achievements as safe, reliable professional drivers!


Kenneth Taylor






October 7th, 2021 appreciation event in Midland, MI.





DMC Director of Risk Engineering, Joel Paska, recognizes Ken.




All regional GulfMark Energy drivers were invited to the event, where lunch and gifts of appreciation were provided by DMC.

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Kenneth Taylor began his professional truck driving career in 1993 when got his CDL and started operating winch trucks, dump trucks, water trucks, and pulling pole trailers for the company he was working for. In 2000, Kenneth started transporting Petroleum Crude Oil throughout the state of Michigan from the oil well site to the pipeline injection point or refinery in 8 axle cargo tank trailers with 13,000-gallon capacity.

Kenneth attributes his success to staying calm, using common sense, and just taking the time to do things the right way. He impresses this discipline upon the new hires he trains. He has accumulated 27 years and 11 months of accident-free driving using that discipline. Kenneth feels that it is his responsibility to his family first and the motoring public to drive and work safely. He practices defensive driving techniques and strives to complete each task safely and efficiently so he can return home each day.

Kenneth and his wife Kelly serve in their church preparing and administering communion and serving in the church food pantry to minister to those in need. Kenneth has been a deacon of the church, Trinity Christian Life Center, for 6 months.

Kenneth Taylor is an exemplary employee and driver. He always displays a calm, confident demeanor in any situation. His professionalism is demonstrated behind the wheel and while working with customers, coworkers, and management.

The professionalism Kenneth displays on the highways, with customers, and in the community portrays a positive image for truck drivers, GulfMark Energy, and the trucking industry and makes him a worthy candidate for DMC Driver of the Year.

– Don Baldridge, Safety Director at Adams Resources, the parent company of GulfMark Energy

Tim Chelette






September 17, 2021 appreciation event in Shelbyville, TN.





DMC’s Heather Halmi, Director of Marketing, and Phil Thompson, Risk Engineer, recognize Tim.





Appreciation gifts were given to all drivers of Tim’s home terminal, in addition to lunch.





Big G leadership and DMC Insurance surprise Tim as he returns from his daily run.

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Tim Chelette is a model of, not only what a Big G driver is, but what every professional driver should aspire to be. He is an excellent representative of our industry, which is solidified by his safe miles and the awards that he has won over his career. I can write a book on all the things that Tim does for Big G, but I will let these accomplishments speak for themselves. Tim is a model spokesperson for our company and for the industry.

As a Road Team Captain, Tim has spoken at numerous conferences and meetings sharing his knowledge of safe driving practices and experiences he has encountered on the road. He has also spent many days visiting schools and educating young drivers on safe driving habits and how to operate around CMVs. Tim has participated in the Wreaths Across America campaign, which he speaks very highly of. Tim is the president of his local chapter of Christian Motorcycle Association. In addition to all of the above, Tim started a charity motorcycle ride where all the donations are given to St. Jude Hospital. Tim oversees the donations, the logistics of the ride, advertisement, reaching out to potential sponsors, and much more. In the past five years, this ride has raised over $56,000 dollars for St. Jude.

– Tim Clark, VP of Safety

Sergio Lemus





September 15, 2021 appreciation event in Las Vegas, NV.





DMC recognizes Sergio alongside Truline’s Dave Brower, VP of Risk Management.




Terminal staff grabbing their appreciation gifts and entering the DMC prize raffle.

Dave Brower, VP of Risk Management, hard at work grilling for his staff during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

Read Full Nomination Essay

From driving in the ’70s to today’s highly regulated world of trucking, Sergio Lemus is a driver that has met the challenges of an ever-changing industry. He has done so with an amazing work ethic and dedication to safety.

Sergio is a Driver Trainer for Truline Corporation and is a constant inspiration to those drivers he has shared his remarkable experience with. He is a mentor to all of our drivers, even those he did not train. He is always willing to share, guide, answer questions, and lift up a driver that may be frustrated and questioning the decision to join our amazing industry. I have been in the transportation industry for over 40 years, and Sergio is simply one of the most amazing ambassadors for our industry I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

– Kevin Cooper, Assistant Director of Safety

Gene Hall






September 15, 2021 appreciation event in Springfield, MO.




DMC’s Stacy Renz, VP of Sales & Marketing, and Phil Thompson, Risk Engineer, recognize Gene and his nominator, Mike Jones, Springfield Service Center Manager.




Terminal staff gather after the recognition ceremony to enter for the DMC raffle prize and collect the provided appreciation gifts.

All terminal staff were provided dinner as a token of appreciation for their efforts.

Read Full Nomination Essay

Graydon “Gene” Hall should be considered for the DMC Driver of the Year Award because of his impact on his local facility and his community.

Gene has driven safely for DFL since 2005. Gene has been a Lead Driver Trainer since 2009 and has served as a Senior Driver Trainer at Dayton Freight Lines for 9 years. He has trained countless drivers for multiple terminals. He is also involved in the day-to-day operations. This dedication in his professional life is directly influenced by his personal life where is he a dedicated family man and a spiritual leader in his local church. Gene is a man of many talents and successes. He has been married to his wife Cathy for 33 years. He founded a church 19 years ago and continues to be the Lead Pastor today. He has a business doing 3D printing and laser engraving that he has operated for 3 years.

Prior to driving with DFL, Gene has driven professionally over a distinguished career. He was named the Driver of the Year while with The Daniel Company of Springfield. He has served in various leadership positions in all the companies he has been associated with.

He has lived a life of service. Gene served in the United States Marine Corps from 1986 to 1989, where he served as a heavy equipment operator and in security at Camp Lejeune, NC. For the last 5 years, he has served as a registered storm chaser. He is a ham radio operator that has helped FEMA and the Red Cross by assisting with communication between family members during Hurricane Florence.

Dayton Freight Lines is a better company because of the influence Gene has on those that have worked with him. He is a man of great humility and integrity that brings out the best in all who work around him.

– Doug Dickinson, Director of Risk Management

Thank you to all of the 2021 nominees for your dedication to safe driving!

DMC Insurance