FedEx Blog

FedEx Blog

We’re Thankful to Those Who Truly Deliver

December 9, 2013

Each week during November we’ve spotlighted the men and women on the frontlines – the dedicated team members who don’t hesitate to go above and beyond their job descriptions.

We are thankful not only for these team members mentioned below, but also for our entire FedEx family – in every corner of the world.

Thank you to our team members!

Mike Starnes
Rick Hofman

Kenny Cass

Jim Miller

Cheryl Petty
Larry Meadows
Jeff Clifford

Thank you, Mike Starnes.

mike starnesMike Starnes loves helping people. He also loves classic cars.

It only seems natural, therefore, that for 11 years Mike has organized the Christmas-For-Kids Car and Truck Show in Charlotte, N.C. The money raised from the registration of the cars and trucks in the show buys toys for children at Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville, S.C. The 300-plus cars in this year’s show helped raise over $14,000 for the hospital.

A passion for helping others and a love of classic cars is not all Mike has to offer. He has delivery trucks—lots of them. As an owner of Hickory, N.C.-based Double S Express, Inc., a small business that provides pickup and delivery services for FedEx Ground, Mike is able to transport the toys directly to the hospital. Mike’s large fleet of delivery trucks is a testament to his business growth over the last 11 years.

Mike gives back in other ways, too. Recently, after learning through his church that children in Haiti were attending school without adequate clothing, he helped to organize an event that shipped more than 600 pounds of items.

“The workers who were there told me that the Haitian children were so excited to have a brand new item of clothing that they kept the tags attached to show off that it was brand new,” he said. Mike was deeply moved by the stories of the children’s excitement.

“You reach a point, 40s or so, when you realize it is time to give back, help pay back some of what you were given to get where you are,” Mike says. “I’m at that point now.”

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Thank you, Rick Hofman.

At FedEx, we know that getting the job done for our customer sometimes means jumping into the driver’s seat on short notice.

Rick HofmanAs Stations Operations Manager Rick Hofman was wrapping up his Saturday at the C-O-E-A station in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, he received an urgent call from a courier. The driver’s truck had broken down and would need to be towed back to the station, but the driver still had four deliveries to make.

Rick, true to form, decided to drive to the stalled vehicle, meet the driver and help finish the deliveries. But of course, it wouldn’t be that easy.

The driver’s cell phone battery had died in the meantime, so Rick couldn’t get in touch with him. By the time Rick had determined the truck’s last known location and made it to the scene, the truck had been towed.

Most people would’ve thrown their hands in the air and said, “Well, I tried!” We’re very glad that Rick is not most people.

He returned to the station, collected the undelivered packages and began the long drive to deliver them that night. After some 200 miles, he made the last delivery at 9:30 p.m. – to a very grateful (and understanding) customer.

Talk about customer service!  Rick is truly an example of a team member who delivers, in every sense of the word.

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Thank you, Kenny Cass.

What are the odds of being part of two life-saving, life-changing events in one year? Meet our driver that happened to be at the right place, at the right time.

Kenny Cass is a FedEx Freight driver development instructor based in Portland, Oregon. In 2012, Kenny witnessed a severe accident involving a truck and tractor trailer. He acted quickly – contacting the authorities and marking the scene. As smoke billowed out of the truck, Kenny assisted the driver, who was in shock, out of the truck, applied bandages to his injuries and prevented him from injuring himself further. Kenny’s ability to think and act quickly under pressure kept the situation under control until emergency medical technicians arrived.

Kenny CassFor his efforts, Kenny was named the 2012 Highway Angel of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). TCA’s goal is to educate the general public about the good deeds that professional truck drivers do every day in the course of their jobs. TCA and Internet Truckstop Magazine, the Highway Angel sponsor, recognized Kenny at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at the Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho. The Highway Angel program recognizes hundreds of drivers for the exceptional kindness, courtesy and courage they have shown others while on the job.

A week before this event took place, Cass was involved in another life-saving, life-changing event.

Kenny and David Fossen, a driver apprentice being trained by Kenny, witnessed an out-of-control vehicle hit a bridge pillar. With the assistance of some other concerned motorists, they lifted the car, removed the driver and provided aid until emergency responders were able to reach the scene. David and Kenny’s response during this stressful situation showed exceptional courage and genuine compassion.

Kenny was recognized with a FedEx Humanitarian Award for both events. Recipients of this award are the unsung heroes of our company and we are so grateful for them. Thank you Kenny!

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Thank you, Jim Miller.

Imagine this: You’re driving along the road and all of the sudden a dump truck in front of you tips over and lands on its side.

What would you do?

FedEx Express driver James “Jim” Miller didn’t hesitate to leap into action when this scenario happened to him one afternoon in Middletown, Pennsylvania.

Jim rushed to the driver’s aid. When Jim approached the overturned vehicle, the man was lying near the passenger door and appeared to be disoriented and unable to move. Jim quickly kicked out the remaining windshield and pulled the driver to safety near a grassy area.

Surrounding neighbors heard the crash and called 911. Soon police arrived on scene and called for an ambulance.

Jim MillerAs the dump truck driver began going into shock, Jim talked to the injured driver, keeping him awake until the paramedics arrived. When Jim was sure everything was taken care of and in good hands, he resumed his route and finished his pickups for the day.

This heroic act not only demonstrated Jim’s dedication to his job and his customers, but also revealed his true character.

Jim received the FedEx Humanitarian Award in October for his service to his community and customers.

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Thank you, Cheryl Petty.

The best thing about our FedEx family? They care about their jobs and each other. Courier and feeder agent Cheryl Petty is a shining example of teamwork, as she exhibited one dark and stormy night last January at the FedEx Express Station in Yakima, Wash.

An unexpected massive wind gusts in excess of 75 mph picked up a 30-foot section of sort belt rollers, turning them upside down. Before all the employees could move to safety, the rollers struck an employee in the leg. The injury was serious and required immediate medical attention.

Cheryl, the ramp agent in charge that night, jumped into action. She immediately called 911 and then her senior manager to inform him of the situation.

That injury was only the beginning of Cheryl’s night. The weather also caused a delay for the planes. Cheryl worked closely with the airport ramp officials, Global Operations Control Center, pilots and employees to complete the package sort and get the loaded planes in the air in those severe weather conditions.

After the end of the sort, Cheryl didn’t head home: instead, she checked on the injured coworker to see how she was doing and she made arrangements to ensure her children were being taken care of at home. She also kept the rest of the team in the loop by informing her senior manager of her condition.

That night, Cheryl’s outstanding leadership and resourcefulness helped save an injured employee, load as many packages as possible onto a delayed plane, and get that plane off the ground as quickly as possible. Cheryl exemplifies what FedEx looks for in its people.

Thank you, Cheryl.

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Thank you Larry Meadows

We all react differently in the face of disaster. Larry Meadows reacts by giving back.

Larry is the owner of Roanoke-based LM Meadows Trucking Inc., a company that has provided service for FedEx Ground for more than eight years.

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey coast on Oct. 29, 2012, Larry quickly launched an effort in November to provide relief supplies to affected families in Sewell, N.J.

He started by reaching out to other businesses in the region, but soon his efforts grew as various groups in the community began to donate. FedEx donated a trailer to Larry to transport more than 94,000 lbs. of relief supplies to New Jersey. Larry made three delivery runs totaling more than 2,000 miles during December and January.

Larry’s 15 employee–drivers and 13 tractors log hundreds of thousands of miles each year, but the drive to the Jersey coast last winter may have been the most important. “We enjoy helping people,” said Larry. “It comes back to you.”

This year, Larry was awarded the Southern Regional Linehaul FedEx Ground Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2012, he was a Best-in-Business winner, an award given by FedEx Ground to business partners for outstanding service.

The Roanoke Times also chronicled Larry’s efforts in March 2013.

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Thank you Jeff Clifford

Some people can’t help but do the right thing. We’re grateful FedEx Express driver Jeff Clifford is one of those people.

The morning of April 3, 2013, Jeff spotted a 6-month old emaciated puppy on his route in Boston.

“Oliver was 20 lbs. underweight and covered in sores and infections when the Animal Rescue League of Boston took him in.” Photo credit – WHDN 7 News

“When I saw Oliver [the puppy’s new name] during my route, I was shocked by his condition and couldn’t believe anyone would let him live like that,” Clifford said in an interview with Wicked Local Medford in May. “I couldn’t ignore him, so I called the Animal Rescue League of Boston who responded immediately.”

The Animal Rescue League of Boston took little Oliver Twist in to intensive care and received $10,200 in donations to help restore him back to health.

On April 23, Jeff received the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Community Hero Award and even had a surprise reunion with Oliver and his new owner, Kalani.

“It’s incredible to see how quickly his life has turned around and I am so honored to have played a role in that,” said Jeff. “It’s an incredible feeling.”

Jeff is reunited with Oliver and meets the puppy’s adopter, Kalani at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Photo credit: Peter Cross

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    Patti Merkel says:

    Thank you Jeff! As an animal lover myself I so appreciate your noticing and picking up Oliver and saving him from a pitiful death! Congratulations to you and the new owner!

    Denise Moore says:

    Thanks to Jeff.. He gave Oliver a second chance! A good deed was done!

    Julianna Bendickson says:

    Poor little Oliver. That top picture is so sad. Was he a stray, or did an owner ACTUALLY allow him to live that way? I am so very glad that Jeff called the authorities and Oliver got the food and medical care he so desperately needed. I’m also delighted that he has been matched up with someone who will love and care for him. BZ to Jeff Clifford and best of luck to Kalani and Oliver Twist!

    Robin John says:

    Thanks for going above and beyond to help an animal in distress, you’re a true hero!

    Jemella DeRaimo says:

    As a fellow animal lover, this story really made my day! Way to go Jeff..and congratulations to adoptive mom, Kalani.
    Oliver has a home for life. I hope this encourages others to make a difference in their communities. We are the only voice abused and neglected animals have! Thanks for sharing!

    Karen Roell says:


    Margie Dawe says:

    Bless you for doing the right thing for this sweet, defenseless creature.

    barabara delesha says:

    You are awesome! Thank you! I cannot believe how beautiful that pup is now because of you. You are truly a saint.

    kartik jani says:

    Bravo true animal lover.

    Louann says:

    Bravo Jeff!! As an animal lover and supporter of the local animal rescue league, I want to say thank you! What a beautiful story and great way to start out my week by seeing this on my screen.

    Chip Williamson says:

    BZ Jeff for saving Oliver. FedEx team members rock!!

    Ray Bassett says:

    Thank you Jeff for the rescue. I own a rescue dog and am grateful that somebody like you cared. You are the BEST!

    Wendy Mundy says:

    Thanks Jeff, for taking that first step to rescue this adorable animal!

    Darcy Kulesha says:

    Congratulations on the Award! Doing the right thing is the harder path to follow. Thank you for taking the harder path and saving Oliver’s life, and providing Kalani with her new companion. The smile on her face tells it all. Bravo!

    Sue Scherdel says:

    Wow, Oliver is one lucky pup! MANY years ago, a similar thing happened, and we adopted an abandoned puppy in much the same condition as Oliver. Rescued by a FedEx courier, she lived a long, lazy life with us in the south and was so happy to have a family to love her. But, actually, I think we were the lucky ones ~ ‘Lula’ gave us unconditional love and joy for many years…..

    Roge Rogers says:

    Jeff, BZ to you sir, you are a true hero for helping that animal.

    Lisa Hall says:

    As a fellow rescuer, I applaud you!! You have saved a life. If you compare both pictures of Oliver… what a contrast.. You can tell she remembered Jeff. She is trying to kiss him to Thank him. You make FedEx proud! Thank You!

    Amy says:

    Thanks for saving Oliver!!Dogs touch many peoples lives during their life.Thanks for giving him the chance..

    Sonnia Silsby says:

    Wonderful human response and loving gesture !!! this World can do with may millions of Jeff’s like you !

    Ray Carter says:

    Being an owner of two Poms, this hurts to know that someone would treat an animal like this. My wife and I have raised our Poms as our second and third children. All three including our daughter that lives in Boston are spoiled rotten. Way to go Jeff.

    Susan Gothing says:

    Jeff, you are a wonderful man! As an animal rescuer & advocate, I can tell you thank you from the bottom of my heart. Oliver is a handsome young boy thanks to your caring, and compassion. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

    NANCY says:

    Sweet dog, thank you for caring

    Jessica says:

    Thank you for saving this pup’s life!

    Julie DeMaestri says:

    What a wonderful gift to give this lovely dog. So glad people look out for the animals who depend on us to care for them.

    Georg Deyab says:

    It’s a good thing Jeff was on his route that day or it very well have been too late for this dog. I always adopt. My Pom is from a shelter in upstate New York and she and I adore each other.I saw her on PetFinder. Who says you can’t find love on the Internet? I did. I would never buy a cat or dog when there are so many that need a good home. I am proud of Jeff and Kalani. Thanks! Georg Deyab.

    Venita says:

    Jeff, you are a true guardian angel! Thank you so much for doing the right thing.

    Marianne says:

    Jeff, thank you so much for saving the pup’s life. Animals bring so much into our lives if we just give them a chance. I have 4 rescue dogs who are the sunshine in my life.

    D1 says:

    Good job Jeff!!

    If everyone tried to be the person their dog thinks they are this world would be a better place.

    Susan Oselio says:

    Bless you for helping out this poor puppy! He can live a fulfilling doggie life now because of your caring effort.

    teri diedrich says:

    What a great story! If every Fedex employee adopted or found a good home for one homeless cat or dog, just think of the difference we could make!!

    Bryan Page says:

    This is really a wonderful article. Not often do we get a chance to read a happy ending for a pitbull breed. Great job Jeff. Kalani looks like you have a healthy happy puppy on your hands.

    Jeff Crawford says:

    What a great person,and a great act of kindness,thanks for doing what you did.

    Jeff Crawford

    Chris says:

    OH we need more people like you to help save a helpless pet

    Donna Andrews says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Diana says:

    On behalf of dog-lovers everywhere, thank you for taking the time to help this little guy out!!!

    Patti says:

    Jeff,thank you so much for caring. I know that Oliver could not be more grateful. Believe me they know, I have seven rescues of my own.

    Linda Knight says:

    Love hearing about all the good things that people do.

    Sammi Clark says:

    Too many look past the plight of others (animal and human)with the assumption that someone else will help them. Thank you being that someone else.

    MayLyn says:

    I so enjoyed reading these stories! The one about the puppy touched my heart. Thank you for sharing!

    Debra Gonzalez says:

    I just attended a funeral for FedEx worker Michael Joseph Petronchak (Mickey) today. The outpouring of love from his co-workers, drivers and pilots was wonderful. The funeral procession which included around 100 trucks was a very beautiful tribute to him. He was a very dedicated worker and loved his job. His children lost their mother almost 8 years ago and now they lost their father. The love for Mickey and his family was very visible today. Rest in peace Mickey.

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