Bennett Celebrates 40th Annual Symposium
This year’s theme “Vision 2020 People in Focus” concentrated on kicking off a new decade as a company focused on moving forward with growth, change, and centered around our people.
New agents attending the event got an opportunity to meet with Bennett’s leadership team and network during the 1st Time Attendee Reception on Friday afternoon.
With over 600 in attendance, the Delta Flight Museum hangar was transformed for the Welcome Reception. In keeping with the airplane theme, boarding passes were given to Bennett “passengers” upon arrival to board Bennett flight number BV2020. The attendees were treated to an “in flight” presentation “Bennett Takes Flight” which showcased past projects, ventures, and future developments. “Captain” Marcia Taylor provided commentary and successfully landed the plane in Atlanta. After the presentation, everyone enjoyed fun activities including food around the world, a Bennett scavenger hunt, music, dancing, and the exhibits of the museum including the Spirit of Delta plane. In addition, the “Spirit of Bennett” truck made an appearance at the event. In 2014, the truck was unveiled at Driver Appreciation Day to celebrate Bennett’s 40th anniversary. It was only fitting for the truck to be a part of the 40th Symposium festivities.
Saturday morning, Bennett International Group CEO, Marcia G. Taylor delivered a compelling opening message during general session. Her message discussed our legacy as we begin a new decade and how our legacy continues to grow with the Bennett Family of Companies. She adds that, “…your legacy is not what you leave behind, but what you set in motion.”
During the message, Mrs. Taylor both highlighted some of the outstanding accomplishments that Bennett recorded during 2019 and discussed the direction our company is headed in 2020. She also highlighted the RoadMasters team in Athens, Texas joining the Bennett family, the 5th anniversary of BOSS Crane & Rigging, how we rank as the number three Department of Defense AA&E carrier in the nation and several other key projects among our various divisions.
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, David Pittman, spoke about some of our great financial achievements in 2019, where we rank among competitors in the industry, and how we can continue to make significant marks as a company financially.
Katlyn Foulks, Culture Ambassador, shared Bennett’s new core values and how our values are interchangeable and overlap each other so that one core value is not more important than another. She also mentioned the impact of the Taylor Foundation and its contributions to the Henry County community through different non-profit organizations every year.
After a year-long process of refreshing the Bennett brand, the exciting announcement and release of the new logo and brand was made by Kris Rzepkowski, Executive Marketing Director at Bennett, during the morning general session. The logo was created by William Ray, Graphic Designer, in Bennett’s Marketing Department. Watch the brand launch video here.
Author, speaker and humorist, Meagan Johnson was the keynote speaker for Saturday. In her message, she spoke on how we can ‘Zap the Generational Gap’ at Bennett. She categorized individuals into the following generations: Baby Boomers (born 1945-1964), Generation Xers (born 1965-1980) and Gen Yers also called Millennials (born 1981-2000). There are definitive stereotypes of each generation, but she stressed the importance of teamwork in the workplace.
Throughout the various networking events, business unit break-out sessions and agent advisory board meetings individuals were able to meet and develop relationships that will last beyond the weekend.
“I enjoyed meeting a variety of agents and team members from all over the country and collaborating on ways we can help each other,” said first time attendee, Wes Leonard, Director of Sales with Bennett International Transport.
Among the awards presented Saturday evening at the Awards Banquet, Mrs. Taylor announced the 2019 winner of the prestigious J.D. Garrison Commemorative Award. This year it went to Jim Collins, President of Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“I am thoroughly honored and humbled to win this prestigious award. But as is the case with many awards, it’s really about the team. The owner operators, agents, and employees of Ace Doran, along with all of the support that we receive from the entire Bennett Family, deserve the credit for this award. I consider myself very blessed to have the opportunity to lead such a great organization every day, and on behalf of the entire team, truly appreciate the recognition that comes with that,” said Jim Collins, President of Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging.
Other awards included the 2019 Driver of the Year awards. Winners were James Bickel, owner operator for Bennett’s DriveAway Division, Westley Cheatwood, owner operator for Bennett Truck Transport, David Koller, owner operator for Bennett’s Power Only DriveAway Division, Timothy Mathews, owner operator for Bennett’s RV Pick Up DriveAway Division, Russ Ruffin, owner operator for Bennett Motor Express Heavy Haul, Charlie Shireman, owner operator for Bennett Motor Express General Freight, Gerald Wise, owner operator for Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging and Roman Wengerd, company driver for Bennett Heavy and Specialized.
To conclude the weekend, Sunday morning, the Camp Bennett band, Abbey Poole and Pastor John Dewberry ended a weekend on a high note by providing our worship service. You can watch the full worship service on our Facebook page here.
Check out our video showcasing some photos from the weekend here.