Army Veteran Wins Driving for Excellence Award Complete with New Kenworth

Ashley Leiva, a 15-year Army combat veteran has been named this year’s winner of the Transition in Trucking: Driving for Excellence award.

The Transition Trucking program recognizes military veterans who are new to the trucking industry.

Ashley was one of 11 nominees and the only woman to be nominated.

In 2021, after the sudden passing of her mother, Ashley retired from the service to return to her hometown in Texas where she and her brother, who is also a veteran, took over her mother’s trucking business.

Leiva noted that both she and her brother were nominated for the award. “If I win, we both win,” she said.

As mother to five-year-old Olivia, Leiva wrote that her own mother inspired her to go into driving. “It made my mother feel like she ‘was on top of the world,’” she recalled her mother saying.

Prior to the announcement, Leiva said that winning would help lift a burden and allow her to continue her mother’s legacy.

The announcement was made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on December 16th where Leiva was presented not only with the award, but also with a fully equipped Kenworth T680 Next Gen Truck valued at $155,000 as a “head start to their entrepreneurial career.”

Leiva earned her CDL through Del Mar College’s Transportation Training Services. She is also pursuing her B.A. degree in business management.