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Trucking for a Cure driver wins HighwayStar of the Year

Posted: July 27, 2016 by Dave Nesseth

MISSISSAUGA, ON – A driver well known for her work behind the wheel of a pink truck became a little more famous Saturday, winning Newcom Business Media’s HighwayStar of the Year.

Highland Transport driver Joanne Millen-Mackenzie has been behind the wheel for nearly 25 years, but has become known more for her efforts against breast cancer. Her Trucking for a Cure convoy has travelled highways across the country, raising awareness and scores of cash in the process – $85,000 in 2015 alone.

“Women need to know we can do what we want out here, and there’s nothing we can’t be,” says Millen-Mackenzie, before she hoisted a winner’s cheque for $10,000. “It’s not who’s going to let you, it’s who’s going to stop you.”   

MacKenzie is the first female winner of the prestigious HighwayStar of the Year award, sponsored by Freightliner, Chevron, Eberspacher and OBAC. Other prizes included an Eberspacher bunk heater, a custom jacket from Chevron, and watch from Freightliner.

The Brockville, ON resident had her family on hand for the award presentation at Truck World, hosted at the International Centre. But not all her family was there. MacKenzie’s Aunt Anna died from breast cancer years ago; and Mackenzie herself is a survivor of the disease that has since become the second leading cause of death from cancer in Canadian women.

“I’m just so proud of her,” said Mackenzie’s brother, Steve Millen. “If they weren’t doing this, who would be doing this?”

Millen-Mackenzie was selected from more than 100 HighwayStar of the Year applicants for 2016. For Joe Glionna, vice president and general manager of Newcom Business Media, it was “great to be able to make that phone call,” to let MacKenzie know she’d won.

“HighwayStar is more than what the person does as a driver,” said Glionna. “She always remembers my daughters’ names and has a cute pink bear for them. It’s very special.”

Millen-Mackenzie expressed gratefulness to employer Highland Transport for supporting her “since day one.”

Her boss, Highland Transport VP of Operations Terry Gardiner, said a lot of people sitting behind a desk would have trouble raising the kind of money that Trucking for a Cure does, “and she does it from behind the wheel.”

Added Gardiner: “The real heroes are the people who work hard every day and give back to their community.”

To donate to Trucking for a Cure, please visit truckingforacure.com. 

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