Republic Services, Inc. announces that two employees were recognized with the prestigious Driver of the Year and Operator of the Year awards from the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA). Mike Juhan of Winder, Ga., was named National Commercial Driver of the Year, and Roberto Hernandez of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., was named the National Operator of the Year. “Safety is the number one priority at Republic Services,” said Jon Vander Ark, president. “It’s why we continue to invest in our award-winning, best-in-class training program that enables our drivers and operators across the country to continually improve. On behalf of our 36,000 employees, I congratulate Mike, Roberto and their families on this extraordinary recognition.”
For more than 25 years, the NWRA Driver of the Year and Operator of the Year programs have honored drivers and operators who uphold the field of recycling and waste collection as an honorable occupation, and have conducted themselves and the vehicles and equipment they operate in a safe and responsible manner. Mike and Roberto were honored by the industry and their peers during an awards program at the 2019 WasteExpo, which is the largest annual waste industry trade show in North America.
2019 National Commercial Driver of the Year: Mike Juhan
Mike Juhan has spent more than 20 years in the industry and is a certified residential and small container collection truck driver. He has had no preventable crashes or injuries throughout his entire career. Mike is also the two-time reigning local ROAD-EO champion – Republic’s local skills competition for drivers and operators.
Mike takes great pride in the communities he serves, and is willing to go above and beyond for the Company. Mike is part of Republic’s SOS program that consists of volunteer drivers from across the country who are deployed to service routes in the aftermath of natural disasters. When he is not driving a collection truck, Mike volunteers at the local food bank, teaches Sunday school, and serves as a deacon in his church.
2019 Landfill Operator of the Year: Roberto Hernandez
For 25 years, Roberto Hernandez has been an essential part of Republic’s landfill operations team. He has maintained a flawless safety record with no crashes or injuries, in addition to a perfect attendance record. He was a three-time NWRA Operator of the Year finalist before his win this year.
Roberto is a model employee and takes great pride in his profession. He is a selfless leader and has mentored countless employees, inspiring team members to approach each day with a willingness to go above and beyond for customers. He is admired company-wide for his commitment to excellence. A devoted family man, Roberto and his wife have four children. He is dedicated to his family, his faith and serving his community.