Congratulations, Rickie Patterson, Driver of the Year

Rickie Patterson is a humble man. He’s most comfortable in his truck – where he’s Patterson and wifespent the better part of the last three decades.
He’s a “get up and go to work” kind of guy. He’s quiet, unassuming and never one to seek the limelight. 

But for a week in Las Vegas, he’s a star. Rickie is a 2016 National Driver of the Year, and the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) honored him and nine other drivers across the country at the annual Waste Expo awards breakfast on June 7. Waste Expo is the international trade show for the trash and recycling industry. 

These 10 drivers are the best in our business, and we’re proud (and lucky) to have Rickie on Rumpke’s team. During the ceremony, the drivers nervously waited to be called onto the stage, as the announcer listed accomplishments in safety, customer service, community giving, volunteerism and heroism. The 500+ attendees couldn’t wait to cheer for these men, giving 10 genuine and much-deserved standing ovations.

When Rickie’s moment arrived, he had to leave his comfort zone. He’d much rather have been on the road, picking up trash from businesses and schools in southwest Ohio. Yet he stepped up to the podium and took a deep breath. With a lump in his throat, he thanked his wife Susan – his rock for 21 years (they renewed their wedding vows this week in Vegas). He talked about how some hate going to work, but he loves every moment, especially working with his son, brother and niece. 

A neighbor asked him what he did to earn this award. His response? “I just do my job.”

I disagree. 

He’s a mentor, trusted resource and master of his craft. He's a loving husband, supportive father and champion for safety. 

Rickie Patterson’s entire career pointed to this moment. Congratulations, Rickie. You earned it. 

About the Author: Jonathan Kissell is the communications manager for Rumpke Waste & Recycling

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