Mike Russell Trucking Image Award

The American Trucking Association presented J&M Tank Lines, Inc. with the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award, for a motor carrier, during this year’s virtual Management Conference & Exhibition on Oct. 26, 2020.

This award is given to one motor carrier, one state association and one professional driver who has gone above and beyond to improve the image of the trucking industry.

“Involvement in our industry’s associations is crucial whether it is at the local or national levels,” said Harold Sumerford, Jr. CEO of J&M Tank Lines. “This award is for all of the hard-working people at J&M Tank Lines and the efforts that go into treating each other how we would like to be treated.”

First awarded in 2007, the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award is given to an individual, motor carrier, trucking organization and industry supplier who each demonstrate excellence in illustrating the industry’s essentiality, professionalism, and commitment to safety on and off the highways. Since 2014, the award has been sponsored by HireRight. 

“It is not enough to just simply exist in this industry, you have to be active in this industry,” said Peter Sumerford, President of J&M Tank Lines. “My father taught Harold and me at a young to give of our time and our resources, to give back to an industry that has been so good to us and to our people that have worked so hard for us.” 

J&M Tank Lines is recognized for promoting the industry on social media and in the community, working to improve drivers’ morale while providing important health and safety information during the Pandemic. 

“Technology and the rise of social media is an extremely powerful tool,” said Sabrina Williams, J&M Tank Lines’ Social Media Coordinator. “In an industry like ours where a company’s workforce is so wide-spread, social media provides a platform to connect employees to one another and the organization they work with. We take concrete steps to involve our entire workforce in our online culture and promote engagement through our various platforms.”

NTTC Competitive Safety Contest

We are proud to have won our mileage class for the for the National Tank Truck Carriers, NTTC, Competitive Safety Contest. This award is based on our safety record from 2019 for 31.5 – 40 Million Miles driven.

The attention to detail and safety-focused mindset that our professional drivers have, allows for J & M to receive recognition for programs such as this. Each safe mile that our drivers put in each day, accumulates toward our goal of getting every driver home safely.

Costume Contest

In the spirit of Halloween, J & M hosted a Costume Contest on Friday, Oct. 30 for all employees. Employees were allowed to dress in a work appropriate costume of their choosing for a chance to win one of three prizes. First place received a $50 VISA gift card, second place a $25 VISA gift card and third place a $10 Walmart gift card.

1st Place: Maleficent; 2nd Place: Wilson (Home Improvement); 3rd Place: Chicken

We had a great turn out of costumes. Those at J & M’s corporate office who chose not to participate were eligible to vote on the best costume. Votes were tallied and placings awarded based on the total amount of votes. A fun way to celebrate Halloween and bring some excitement to the office! Congratulations to our three winners!

As far back as Harold and Peter Sumerford can remember, J&M has held its Employee Appreciation Picnic each year without fail. The picnic was started by Harold Sumerford, Sr. and carried on by Harold, Jr. and Peter after taking leadership of J&M Tank Lines.

This year’s COVID-19 outbreak posed a serious threat to a tradition looked forward to by so many employees and their family members. As September drew closer and COVID-19 was still hanging around, the decision was made to rethink the 2020 Employee Appreciation Picnic.

To better protect the health and safety of all J&M family members and their loved ones, a virtual picnic option was created. While the comradery would be greatly missed as well as the delicious food… a virtual event was deemed the best option without cancelling all together.

The Sumerfords distributed a letter to all employees thanking them for their dedicated service and explaining the current health risk our traditional picnic would impose. The letter also explained the outline for the virtual option, to help keep some sense of normalcy and tradition.

Traditional Picnic

Traditionally, the picnic takes place in mid-September, in tandem with National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. There are multiple picnics that take place across the different locations of J&M terminals and operations. All picnics take place on the same day, at the same times.

Employees and their families are invited to attend their location’s picnic, held on a Saturday, to enjoy home-cooked BBQ with all the fixings, comradery, multiple raffle drawings and several rounds of bingo.

A commemorative T-shirt is given out to all in attendance, in addition to the many prizes distributed to employees and their families. A health fair wellness check is also offered for all employees on J&M health insurance, with an additional raffle prize opportunity for those who participate.

Virtual Picnic

The virtual picnic was designed to keep as many traditional picnic events as possible. This included providing each employee with a $50 VISA gift card to use with their families, a raffle drawing of traditional prizes and an additional raffle to replace the health fair raffle.

Each picnic location was given a time slot on the original Saturday date, for their raffle drawing, employees were able to watch via Facebook, but were not required to watch in order to win. All employees’ names were placed into a bucket and guest drawers helped to select the winners of each prize.

Winners were contacted the following Monday, regarding details on how to receive their prizes. Employees also received their gift cards that week to put towards a family experience, since the company was not able to gather.

The additional raffle created an opportunity for employees to have some fun while also entering to win a 65” SONY TV. Employees had the opportunity to take a photo of them and their family out using the gift card given to them and send it in to J&M by Sept. 30. These photos were used as a raffle ticket entry to win a 65” SONY TV. Winners were announced on Oct. 1 via Facebook video.

Overall, the virtual employee appreciation was a success! Providing each employee with an opportunity to win a prize through the raffle as well as spend time with their family at their leisure on J&M. While we greatly missed spending time with our employees and their families, we are happy to keep some tradition alive.

Congratulations to all of the winners from this year’s raffle! We are keeping our fingers crossed for next year!

July and August have sent encouraging vibes throughout J&M Tank Lines as the summer season begins to wind down. While COVID-19 is still present across the country, proper PPE has shown its effectiveness in protecting against the virus and helping to keep our J&M family healthy. As companies continue to open back up, freight opportunities are also increasing – giving companies like J&M potential for additional growth. Catch a summer re-cap of everything J&M below.

July

The American Trucking Association (ATA) selected 10 drivers to attend the Salute to America at the White House in Washington D.C. on the 4th of July. J&M’s Darrien Henderson from Mobile, AL was one of those invited. Henderson and his wife traveled to D.C. for the festivities and were featured in Bulk Transport’s Article.

Vice President of Safety and Compliance, Dave Edmondson, was invited to be part of this year’s FMCSA Virtual Trucking Safety Summit. Edmondson, along with several other industry professionals, spoke on challenges facing the industry and some ways to overcome such challenges.

August

We are happy to welcome Chris Bryan as our new Business Development Manager. Bryan has over 14 years of experience in the tank truck industry and experience in both the shipper and carrier side of the industry. We look forward to the strengthening of current customer relations and the building of new ones as we keep J&M moving forward.

Nominations for the Truckload Carrier Associations Best Fleets to Drive for are in and J&M has made the list! This is our first year to be nominated and we are excited to take on this journey. This nomination could not have taken place without the dedication and hard work of our employees. Thank you!

This year’s pandemic has forced several companies and organizations to change, cancel or post-pone events that are usually held in-person. J&M’s Managers Meeting was no different. What typically is a two-day in-person event filled with travel for terminal and shop managers, terminal overviews, evaluations, team bonding and state of the company discussions – turned into a virtual version.

With the use of Microsoft Teams, video conference calls were possible to provide some face-to-face interactions, while complying with social distancing. The comradery portions were greatly missed, however other opportunities for more in-depth reporting and reviews were made possible.

Adjusting to a new normal is never simple and certainly has its challenges. The J&M family has shown is flexibility and willingness to adapt to changes as they come. No one knows what the future holds, but we are confident in the abilities of our employees and the services we provide to keep J&M and our industry moving forward.

Many of our nation’s professional drivers have seen an extreme slowdown in freight, a shut down in some cases, as a result from the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. Other drivers have been fortunate to maintain consistent loads and steady pay while making adjustments to their day to day operations.

For company drivers, such as J & M’s, these adjustments consist of daily self-certification forms, masks, daily sanitation, virtual safety meetings, social distancing and more. A silver lining for drivers during this pandemic has been the extreme decrease in traffic and other motorists during both interstate and intrastate travel.

Professional drivers and other essential personnel have had the roadways to themselves over the last few months, but as each state begins to lift Stay Home orders, more challenges are coming.

Everyone is adjusting to what the new normal will be including public outings, travel, shopping and recreational activities. Many states still require citizens to wear masks and maintain social distancing while in public, but what does this mean for the professional driver?

Drivers have an advantage on those who have been under the Stay Home order. That advantage being they have already adapted to new safety and health protocols put in place by local, state and national government agencies.

However, a disadvantage comes into place as drivers will need to adjust again to the increase of motorists throughout the nation. This adjustment also applies to non-professional drivers as well.

All motorists should be aware that they are not the only ones traveling, recognizing that some may not have driven or traveled for weeks. The time has come to remind yourself of some standard driving safety tips and laws, whether you are operating a commercial or personal vehicle.

Safety Reminders:

  • Wear your seatbelt – It’s the law!
  • Put down the mobile device – Many states and cities have made it against the law to use a mobile device while operating a vehicle of any kind.
  • Use extra caution on the roadway
    • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
    • Use proper turn signals
    • Check you mirrors
    • Be prepared for rush hour and construction related traffic
    • Keep a level-head – Road rage only escalates a dangerous situation
  • Inspect your vehicle
    • Commercial drivers should maintain proper pre and post-trip inspections
    • All motorists should inspect their vehicle for potential problems that can arise from inconsistent or minimal use. Such as flat or expired tires, low tire pressure, low fluid levels, etc.
  • Be alert! Brush up on defensive driving techniques – it could be the difference between an accident or arriving safely.

Help do your part to lessen the amount of accidents as our nation begins to open up.

From our J & M family to yours, stay safe out there.

J & M Tank Lines continues to prosper and grow each year through forward-thinking leadership and the hard work of each employee, at every level. 2019 was a year of next-level planning and business opportunities, which included plans of a new corporate office.

Summer and fall 2019 brought ownership of the previous Valley National Bank corporate office along Highway 280 in Birmingham. While just a short move across the street from the existing office, this new building brings long-term goals and future growth opportunities into place.

Now headquartered at 1100 Corporate Parkway, J & M Tank Lines maximizes on new technology opportunities to streamline day-to-day operations and advance within the industry ranks. A new layout among departments allows for quicker operations and more open communications.

While adjustments are made and new workflow processes are implemented, J & M Tank Lines has its sights on maintaining its status as an industry leader and continuing to help move trucking forward.

“Harold and I are proud to provide this wonderful, new corporate office for our valued employees,” said J & M Tank Lines President, Peter Sumerford. “As they continue in their daily dedication to helping J & M meet our goals of serving the needs of our customers and continuously progressing as we look to the future.”

Valley National Bank will continue to host a branch on the 1st floor entrance and drive thru, however the other three floors will be home to J & M Tank Lines.

Upon entering the building through the lakeside entrance, you will find the Driver Orientation/Training Room, Safety, Human Resources and Recruiting Departments.

A trip to the 2nd floor, hosts the Operations and Accounting Departments.

Finally, a trip to the 3rd floor, hosts the Leadership Team and Boardroom.

New department layouts allow for more team collaboration and accessibility. Each department is provided with equipment and technology to simplify daily tasks and maximize the time and resources of each employee.

The implementation of these technology features will assist with J & M Tank Lines’ existing paperless efforts as well as provide timely responses to the needs of employees’ company-wide and next-level service to our customers.

“We are proud to stand by the success and growth of J & M,” said J & M Tank Lines CEO, Harold Sumerford, Jr. “Providing a better environment for continued growth is a testament to the hard-work and success of our employees.”

J & M Tank Lines is excited to provide improved resources to our staff as we continue to grow. To simply exist is not enough, J & M Tank Lines strives to continue to push trucking forward as a leader in the tank truck industry.

As our country adapts to the world-wide epidemic that is the coronavirus (COVID-19), so do the many industries that support the United States economy. Each day is filled with new statistics, new local and federal orders, new medical advice and a new normal.

Those in the trucking industry have always recognized this industry to be the backbone of our country and now the rest of the country is realizing it too. The mass hysteria that occurs in grocery stores as citizens rush to stockpile as many cleaning supplies, toilet paper and canned goods as possible, has everyone looking for the Professional Truck Drivers to deliver the next shipment.

While J & M Tank Lines focuses primarily on the dry-bulk, B2B portion of the trucking industry, we are honored to serve and support our nation and its people. While business is not what we consider to be “normal” we are striving each day to adapt to the changing epidemic to keep our employees, customers and their families safe, while still delivering freight. Here are a few policies and procedures we have implemented to help make this happen.

A Letter to Our Customers & Our Employees

Maintaining open communication with our customers and employees is crucial to ensure the needs of all parties are being met. Each customer has their own version of health and sanitation policies that our drivers must be compliant with. However, compliance at the customer is simply not enough.

In order to help stop the spread of the virus, all J&M employees, not just our professional drivers, are to adhere to any new or changing health and sanitation policies set by J&M in compliance with the CDC and state and federal governments. From the moment an employee arrives to work, to the moment an employee departs, there are steps put into place to help keep them safe from the spread of COVID-19.

All customers and employees of J & M are greatly encouraged to reach out with any additional questions or concerns regarding new or any changes in policy. In times such as these, one cannot over communicate.

Information & Details About COVID-19

It can be difficult to defend yourself and others from a virus that you are either not aware of or do not know much about. For this reason, flyers explaining what the coronavirus (COVID-19) is, how to protect yourself and your family, as well as hygiene and travel tips are placed around our terminals, offices and driver mailboxes.

Policies

A variety of new policies have been put in order over the last few weeks and changes to such policies are expected to happen.

  • Hygiene & Health Policy (For all locations & employees)
  • Corporate/Office Sanitation Policy (Specific to those who work at a desk and come into contact with heavy traffic and communal areas)
  • Terminal Social Distancing Policy (For drivers and terminal employees)
  • Daily Truck Sanitation Policy (For drivers and mechanics)
  • If You Are Sick… (For any employees that may show any suspicious symptoms)
  • COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire (Required for all employees upon arrival to work daily)
  • Essential Worker Form (Required for all employees to carry on their person or in their vehicle, in the event that documented proof of essential personnel is required by law enforcement)

Communication Outlets

Multiple communication outlets have been implemented in an effort to provide any changes or updates in information to all employees in the timeliest manner possible. A few of these outlets include:   

  • Personal and company emails
  • People Net Messages (sent directly to each truck to be seen at time of login)
  • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
    • Weekly video messages from our CEO, Harold Sumerford, Jr.
  • YouTube Playlist for COVID-19 Health Tips (includes informational videos)
  • Flyers and postings at each terminal and office location
  • Handouts in driver mailboxes at the terminal
  • Contact information for anyone who has questions or concerns
  • Weekly management conference calls

Until the threat of the coronavirus has ceased, we expect more policies to come into effect as well as changes to any existing company and customer policies. We hope to do our part in flattening the curve while also keeping America moving forward. Thank you to all of our employees for your dedication to J & M and willingness to get the job done. We have always believed we have the best employees in the industry, and it is proven each day.

Employees and customers, please do not hesitate to reach out to hr@jmtank.com with any questions or concerns you may have. We are here and ready to support you as we work towards a corona-free environment.

The first quarter of 2020 has been a busy one at J & M Tank Lines. While most companies are showing a slow-down in operations, we remain steady with more growth on the horizon. These first few months have allowed J & M to recognize the newest inductees to the J & M Million Mile Club, for those drivers who hit one million safe miles in 2018, and a company-wide Managers Meeting, allowing for terminal and shop managers to meet with corporate personnel to discuss current operations and team-building.

J & M Tank Lines Million Mile Club

In 2018, 11 of J & M’s Professional Drivers reached one million safe miles driven, which takes roughly nine years to accomplish pending no accidents or violations occur in that time. One driver was recognized for reaching two million safe miles driven, serving J & M for roughly 17 years. A formal dinner was hosted in Birmingham, Al for those from Alabama and another in Atlanta, Ga for those from Georgia. This dinner allowed million milers and their wives to be recognized for their achievements by J & M’s executive management and leadership.

The following professional drivers were recognized for reaching one million miles:

  • Charles Caesar – Sylacauga
  • Reginald Cureton – Sylacauga
  • Jerry McDonald – Sylacauga
  • Howard Melton – Sylacauga
  • Theodis Minor – Sylacauga
  • Stanley Jones – Sylacauga
  • Thomas Gartrell – Holly Springs
  • James Prettyman – Holly Springs
  • Kenneth Powell – Americus
  • Darrien Henderson – Calera
  • Charles Shavers – Calera

The following professional driver was recognized for reaching two million miles:

– Michael Yearby – Americus

Managers Meeting

The end of February brought a combined teambuilding and training session for all J & M corporate staff as well as terminal and shop managers. Over two days, terminal personnel, corporate personnel and executive management met to discuss each terminal’s needs and growth opportunities as well as an overview of J & M’s expectations for 2020.

This meeting provided these employees the opportunity to interact with those they rarely see face to face. These interpersonal relationships are crucial to the functions of J&M and provide time to find solutions and spark new ideas in a positive team environment.

J & M Tank Lines is blessed with a strong group of driven employees, that are working to help move the trucking industry forward. Our elite force of drivers, paired with motivated management and support staff, allows J & M Tank Lines to remain an industry leader.

We would like to congratulate, again, our 2018 Million Mile Club inductees for their dedication to safety, J & M Tank Lines and the trucking industry. Thank you to all of our J & M family for your continued service, we are looking forward to a great 2020!

New programs are developing in the trucking industry to test the abilities of drivers under the age of 21, in hope of opening a new market of professional truck drivers. It is currently legal for drivers as young as 18 years old to hold a CDL and travel intrastate, however they are not able to cross state lines or transport materials originated from another state.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has launched an Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program in order to test whether drivers under 21 years of age are as safe as those over 21 years of age. This study has the potential to open laws and regulations to allow professional truck drivers under the age of 21, to travel interstate with commodities from various origins.

This pilot program will hold two driver groups:

  1. Study Group – Drivers aged 18, 19 and 20 currently enlisted in a branch of The United States Military with one of seven specific military occupations. These drivers must be eligible to operate in intrastate commerce.
  2. Control Group – Drivers aged 21, 22, 23 and 24 currently enlisted in The United States Military with one of seven specific military occupations. These drivers must be eligible to operate in interstate commerce.

While drivers will age out of the pilot program upon turning 21 years old, carriers may continue to employ these drivers.

J & M Tank Lines is one of 23 motor carriers accepted into this pilot program and one of few which specializes in Dry-Bulk commodities with operations in the Southeastern United States.

Military occupations that are currently eligible are:

  • Army
    • 88M – Motor Transport Operator
    • 92F – Petroleum Supply Specialist
  • Air Force
    • 2T1 – Vehicle Operations
    • 2F0 – Fueler
    • 3E2 – Pavement and Construction Equipment Operator
  • Marine Corps
    • 3531 – Motor Vehicle Operator
  • Navy
    • EO – Equipment Operator

The FMCSA states that drivers must meet all requirements, except for age, for operating a CMV in interstate commerce. Drivers are not allowed to transport passengers or hazardous materials, nor operate special configuration vehicles; such as double or triple trailer combination or cargo tank vehicles.

Carrier members are required to provide monthly data submissions for each study or control group driver in addition to immediate reporting for accidents, convictions, alcohol or drug related incidents, leaving the company or leaving the pilot program.

For more information about the FMCSA Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program you many visit their website here and for a full list of carrier members, here.

The excitement and joy that spread across J & M Tank Lines’ Professional Driver, Darrien Henderson’s face told J & M Tank Lines’ CEO, Harold Sumerford, Jr. all he needed, to confirm he made the right choice by nominating Henderson for the NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award.

Sumerford informed Henderson he is one of the eight finalists for the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) 2019-2020 Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year (PTTDY) award, shortly after its public release. Henderson immediately jumped for joy and could not believe it… he is going to Washington D.C. to stand with some the industries best professional drivers, himself included. Of these top eight finalists, one will be named the Grand Champion and awarded the William A. Usher, Sr. Trophy.

August 2019, the NTTC opened its application for the 2019-2020 PTTDY award. It takes a special kind of professional driver to qualify for this award and Sumerford wanted to be sure to nominate one of his drivers for this opportunity.

“It takes an elite driver to make it in the tank world,” said Sumerford. “I believe J & M has the best drivers in the industry and I want to make sure they are recognized for it through programs like the NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award.”

About the NTTC PTTDY Award

The NTTC created the Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award to recognize, pay tribute and promote professional tank truck drivers who provide reliable and safe transportation of all dry-bulk and liquid commodities.

The NTTC Safety Committee selects a driver based on his/her ability to operate safely and professionally, demonstrate leadership abilities within his/her company and the candidate’s contributions to the industry and community.

To be eligible for this award, a professional driver must be employed full-time with an NTTC carrier member or fleet associate member for three consecutive years. All applications are reviewed for their accuracy by the NTTC as well as signed by the member company’s CEO, Director of Safety and applicant.

Any NTTC carrier member or fleet associate member is eligible to nominate up to 2 candidates for review. The application consists of questions about the candidate regarding his/her personal and professional experiences, a written statement from the applicant and three letters of recommendation; one from the company and two non-company related. A copy of the applicant’s MVR is also mandatory to ensure a clean and safe driving history.

Of the submitted applicants, eight driver champion finalists are selected, and one grand champion driver is selected from these finalists as the NTTC Driver of the Year Award recipient.

The grand champion receives a tank truck trophy, an honorary jacket, a commemorative ring and two golf shirts. Also, the NTTC will make a $2,500 donation to a safety-related organization in the grand champion’s name.

Henderson posing with a 2019 Kenworth T680 day cab

About J & M Tank Lines’ Candidate:

Upon deciding J & M Tank Lines would submit a candidate for this year’s competition; Sumerford paired with J & M’s Vice President of Safety and Compliance, Dave Edmondson, Jr. to find the right candidate.

Not only did the candidate need to meet the technical qualifications set by the NTTC, but J & M wanted to take it a step further to find a candidate that would represent not only the company, but also someone who sets the example for professional drivers everywhere.

After weeks of an internal review, Henderson was one of five J & M drivers being considered. Following several phone-call interviews, Henderson was excited and eager to be the one to represent J & M Tank Lines on what could turn into a national scale.

“Darrien has earned the right and the privilege to stand among the best tank truck drivers in the country through his desire to be the best, his dedication to safety and his professional character,” said J & M Tank Lines’ President, Peter Sumerford. “He represents himself and our company with the kind of integrity and respect that can be rare to come by.”

Henderson and Edmondson will attend the PTTDY Finalist Interview portion in Washington D.C. on February 17 – 18. Following those interviews, Henderson will be invited back to D.C., with Sumerford and Edmondson to attend the NTTC Annual Conference May 3 -5 where the grand champion will be announced.

“I am just so honored that J & M recognizes the hard work I have put into my job,” said Henderson. “I have been with J & M for almost 10 years and a professional driver for 23. Opportunities like this don’t come often. I am so blessed to be considered for this award.”

Congratulations Darrien on becoming a finalist in this year’s NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year competition. Your dedication to the industry, your customers and J & M are profound. Good luck in D.C.!

In 2018, J & M Tank Lines was honored to participate in Wreaths Across America, where a J & M 2018 Kenworth T680 sleeper cab and a new dry van with special wrapping, were dedicated to the cause. Vice President of Maintenance, Billy Lollar, volunteered to drive and deliver the wreaths assigned to J & M. Lollar worked with Andrew Petrofsky to map out routes and deliveries throughout Florida. Over a 7-day period, Lollar was dispatched by Petrofsky to each stop and cemetery location, delivering wreaths for our fallen heroes.

“The impact of it was surreal. How appreciative everyone was at each delivery and receiving the wreaths was heartwarming to see,” said Lollar. “I wasn’t prepared for the personal impact it would have on me, seeing how big of a role J & M was making in honoring these heroes.”

Vice President of Maintenance, Billy Lollar stands with dedicated equipment from 2018.

After such success and appreciation from both parties last year, J & M Tank Lines decided to participate again in 2019. Petrofsky led this year’s participation by opening an opportunity for one of J & M’s military-veteran drivers to make the trip. Veteran drivers had the opportunity to show their interest in the program by submitting an application through their terminal managers.

“The Wreaths Across America program is an incredible way for J & M to not only give back to our community, but also honor the veterans that are part of our J & M family,” said Petrofsky. “We look forward to many more years of participating.”

Left to Right: J & M Tank Lines CEO, Harold Sumerford, Jr., wife, Shannon Sumerford and J & M Tank Lines Vice President, Andrew Petrofsky.

Following an interview process; military-veteran and driver, John Howard, was selected to represent J & M Tank Lines. Howard served in the United States Marine Corps from 1982 to 1986 with the Golf Company, weapons platoon 2/8, 22 Marine Amphibious Unit in Grenada and Beirut, Lebanon. He bravely served his country as a part of the ‘83 Strike on Lebanon where his unit came under heavy fire from Syrian-held territory ending in the death of eight Marines and the injury of two others.

“It was a wonderful experience and I am honored that J & M chose me to represent our company by delivering these wreaths,” said Howard. “Every tombstone has a story to tell and I was proud to share some of my service and honor my fallen brethren.”

J & M Military – Veteran and Professional Driver, John Howard.

Howard was assigned 9 locations in Florida to deliver wreaths. He began his trip in Georgia and went to Mississippi to load the wreaths. Howard then started in North Florida, making his way south over a 7-day period, before returning to Georgia following his last stop on December 14.

“I have great pride in the ability to provide this service for those who have lost their lives defending our freedom,” said J & M Tank Lines CEO, Harold Sumerford, Jr. “Wreaths Across America provides us with a way to thank and remember our service men and women for generations to come.”

Left to Right: J & M Tank Lines President, Peter Sumerford and J & M Tank Lines CEO, Harold Sumerford, Jr.

It is a privilege to have John as a member of the J & M Family along with so many other service members. A special thank you to those who have served this great nation as we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. For more information about Wreaths Across America or how you can participate, click here.