DALLAS – When Dianna Williams first began driving an 18-wheeler for the Exchange in 2001, reaching 1 million miles was far from her mind – she was focused on persevering in a male-dominated profession. Today, Dianna is being honored as the Exchange’s first woman driver to reach 1 million accident-free miles.
As a testament to her driving record and professionalism, Williams, who works at the Dayton Consolidation Center, represented the Exchange as its National Driver All-Star at the National Private Truck Council Safety Conference, held Sept. 13-15 in Dulles, Va.
Williams’ road to all-star status began 21 years ago when she wanted a job to better provide for her three children. What she found was a challenging career that she loves.
“This is not your typical 9-to-5 job, especially if you have kids,” Williams said. “Yes, I am a woman driver, and to this day some say it is still a man’s job. Well I am here to tell you, it takes a very special person to do this job, regardless if you are a man or a woman,” she said.
Williams began riding along with her older brother, Rex Nickell, a Marine Veteran who introduced her to the trucking industry. Ironically, she was afraid of large tractor trailer rigs back then. Williams’ youngest daughter helped prepare her for certifications through constant drills and sometimes sleepless nights. Her perseverance and family’s support paid off.
“Dianna’s family has a rich military background,” said Morgan Meeks, director of transportation at the Exchange. “She acknowledges her sacrifices of being a parent and being on the road all the time are far less than that of the customers we serve.
“She exemplifies our core value of ‘Family Serving Family’ each day – and we are proud to have her as part of our Logistics family.”
Most of her trips take Williams from Dayton to the Dan Daniel DC in Newport News, Va., and then to Fort Campbell, Ky. She hauls merchandise sold in Exchange stores on Army installations and Air Force bases to military personnel, their families and military retirees.