George Calore Named 2016 TMC Wheel Master

by Stacey Sickmiller on Thursday, February 16, 2017 in Awards & Recognition

TMC Transportation has named George Calore of Willoughby, Ohio as the recipient of the highest driver honor given by TMC, the Wheel Master Award for 2016. George has been driving with TMC for a collective 20 years. He is the epitome of an industry veteran, having had 17 years of experience as an owner-operator before joining our fleet. Though it’s not your typical nine to five job, George describes the trucking industry as his “bread and butter”.

“I am so humbled. When I first started at TMC, I heard about the Wheel Master title, but I never imagined it was really achievable for me. I’m just a regular driver, out there doing my own thing,” expressed George.

Making the transition from an owner-operator to a company driver was surprisingly simple for George. He was trying to raise a family and it was getting difficult to afford fuel and breakdowns. In 1992 he sold his own trucks and began driving for fellow owner-operators, but he missed the top-notch equipment that he was used to when driving his own trucks. He soon chose to make the move to ‘company driver’, and it was one company in particular that caught his attention.

“I used to load right beside these clean, new trucks in Cleveland, Ohio that said ‘The Mickow Corporation’ on the side of them,” George says. In the early eighties, TMC was still very small and operating under ‘The Mickow Corporation’. “I told myself that if I ever sold my trucks, I would go to TMC.”

George stood by his word and quickly made a name for himself at TMC. He’s driven over 1.5 million safe miles and has received multiple safety awards. In the summer of 2015 George was named Driver of the Quarter, and he currently is a valued asset on our Worthington dedicated account.

TMC has grown immensely since George first started here—but the one constant has been the hard work and dedication that it takes to be a successful driver and meet the company’s high standards. “To be a successful driver, you have to have the mindset that you’re going to get the job done right,” he says. “Trucking is a lifestyle. You have to not only enjoy it, but adjust your life to it.”

“George gives 100 percent effort every day and is a true professional,” says Jeff Bleadorn, George’s Fleet Manager. "We often have customers comment on the job George does and if they haven’t seen him for a while they will ask where he has been. George takes a lot of pride in his work and I don’t think you will find a cleaner truck inside or out in the TMC fleet, it looks like he just pulled it off the showroom floor.”

Early in his career with TMC, George had the opportunity to come off the road and into the office to be a Fleet Manager. Here is where he met some very influential people and a moment that serves as his greatest TMC memory.

Just a few months prior to this transition, George attended a quarterly ‘Driver Issues Meeting’ at the company headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. Also in attendance were Chairman and CEO, Harrold Annett, and his late brother, Walt Annett, who was the former VP of Maintenance and a beloved member of the TMC family.

“Walt had only met me that one time so briefly, but when I came to be a Fleet Manager months later, he remembered me and without hesitating said ‘Hey George! Congratulations!’ It really meant a lot.”

Not long after, George’s enthusiasm for adventure got the best of him and he was back out on the road in his black and chrome truck that he loved so much. “It was a great opportunity and I embraced it, but I’m a working kind of guy that isn’t made for the office. The experience was so inspiring, however, and meeting Harrold, Walt and Glen McCravy (TMC’s Executive VP of Human Resources and Risk Management) is something that will stick with me.”

George will be honored at the annual Wheel Master Meeting that will take place at TMC’s headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa in April. Each spring, former Wheel Masters, some retired, many still active drivers, gather for a luncheon to catch up and induct the newest Wheel Master.