The Bennett Family of Companies, based in McDonough, Georgia, is a group of transportation and logistics companies that are woman-owned and certified by the Women’s Enterprise Business Council (WBENC). With 14 affiliated operating companies, the Bennett Family of Companies offers comprehensive transportation and supply chain management solutions on a global scale.
Our team recently had the pleasure of participating in a chat that took us right into the heart of Bennett’s vibrant universe. We sat down with Kris Rzepkowski, the company’s VP of Marketing & Communications, and it was a real treat.
We got to dive into everything that makes Bennett so awesome – the cool stuff they’re involved in, those awesome partnerships they’ve cooked up, the heartwarming charities they back, and how they roll out the red carpet to show their drivers some serious love, and now, we’re here to share some of the highlights of that conversation with you.
Bennett Motorsports was formed when the company expanded their umbrella to sponsor Austin Hill, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver in the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Richard Childress Racing. In that first year of sponsorship, Hill was awarded Sunoco Rookie of the Year after finishing 6th in the championship.
Bennett’s goal was to bring new faces to the races while also creating some seriously cool and unique experiences for their truckers and clients. To this effort, they’ve created several VIP experiences to show their appreciation to these folks, including a unique experience for their Drivers of the Year at the Martinsville Speedway. They’ve also been known to have some exciting events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In addition to NASCAR’s Austin Hill, Bennett is an official Trans Am and SVRA Series sponsor and works closely with Danny Lowry, Bennett owner and driver of a Mercedes AMG in the XGT class. The company has proudly brought drivers and customers to these events as well as their special way of treating them to exclusive experiences to show just how much they are appreciated.
Rzepkowski recalls a Father’s Day experience in which he got to see his father drive an MG Midget in the SVRA race and recalls just what a fantastic experience this was for all involved.
In addition to the big races, there are also a few other smaller things that fall under Bennett Motorsports.
At the 2023 MATS truck show, the company was introduced to Ryan DeBroux and the Playin’ with Fire Semi Pulling team in the National Tractor Pullers Association (NTPA) and Professional Pulling League (PPL). They were excited to get involved from the start, even when they weren’t sure how it would be received. They were pleasantly surprised to find that the league was well-known and loved among many of their drivers and employees hailing from the Midwest, and so they were excited to add this to the mix and bring even more people to enjoy the sport.
Tony Justice Partnership
Tony Justice is a highly acclaimed independent country music artist, with a track record of selling over 100,000 albums and garnering extensive media coverage. His music embodies the quintessential American spirit, combining respect, adventure, and a tribute to the hard-working patriots he encounters as a truck driver in small town America. Furthermore, he is actively involved in a two-year collaboration with Susan G. Komen, dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer through his annual Large Cars & Guitars Music and Truck Show. Adding to his accomplishments, he released his long-awaited greatest hits album, entitled “Greatest Shifts,” in 2023.
Bennett has had a longstanding relationship with TA Petro, and in 2020, this relationship would lead them to connect with Tony Justice to lead entertainment for their virtual Symposium during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
It turns out that Tony was looking for a sponsor for his new album, and Bennett thought they just might fit the bill.
Their paths crossed again in 2021 in Atlanta where Tony appeared at an in-person Symposium. It was here that “He and David (Lowry) hit it off like they were long lost brothers,” according to Rzepkowski.
Justice has been a featured performer at numerous events hosted by Bennett. They showcased his talent at Driver Appreciation Week in 2022 and both the 2021 and 2022 Symposium. In support of Tony’s fundraising endeavors for breast cancer research during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 2021, Bennett lent their assistance by promoting his single, “War Paint”. In the previous year, Bennett extended its partnership with Tony by wrapping his new tour bus, which made appearances at various truck shows nationwide. Bennett also sponsored several of these shows.
This year, the company sponsored Tony’s “Greatest Shifts” album, adding the album’s cover art to the #21 Bennett car driven by Austin Hill.
The partnership just made sense as Justice shares many core values with the company.
The Bennett Family of Companies has been widely known to appreciate drivers year-round, but when asked about what collaborative events the company has coming up that he was most excited about, Rzepkowski immediately told us about the festivities they have planned for Driver Appreciation Week in Bristol, Tennessee with Tony Justice headlining at the race.
“We like to appreciate our truck drivers with really unique experiences,” said Rzepkowski.
The event will also feature a social media influencer panel, a new experience they’re excited to debut to drivers.
Rzepkowski was also pretty pumped about an upcoming Breakbulk America event in Houston featuring Austin Hill. The company plans to have a Victory-Lane themed booth at the event.
“Our core values are to give back to the communities we live and work in,” said Rzepkowski.
For Bennett, they not only talk the talk, but walk the walk when it comes to giving back. They’ve given a good amount to local charities in their home communities and beyond. This is a company that cares. They like to get involved; they enjoy sharing their success by giving back.
In 2012, the company established The Taylor Family Foundation, their non-profit dedicated to giving back 10% of the company’s profits to causes aligned with the company’s Core Values. For example, Bennett has been actively involved with Wreaths Across America every year since 2017 to honor Military Veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice and “Real Life” Christian Summer Camps are dedicated to bringing God’s word to children of Bennett Drivers and employees.
In addition, they use Driver Appreciation as a way to build Driver Relief Funds. To this goal, they raised over $140K last year alone, matched by $40k in funds from the Taylor Family Foundation. These funds help drivers in times of need such as health issues, housing issues, and natural or personal catastrophes. The funds are used to help drivers recover from these periods by taking a little stress off until they can get back on their feet.
Bennett is also proud of the spiritual commitment they’ve made to their team, their drivers, their clients and beyond. As a testament to that commitment, Chaplain John Dewberry gets on SiriusXM Channel 146, The Dave Nemo Show every single morning to start the day by praying for truck drivers. The company has been humbled by the number of people that not only tune in, but who have expressed their appreciation for this daily gesture.
Supporting Women in Trucking
Bennett firmly believes that their whole team is elevated when the team includes people from all walks of life. This is truly a diverse and equitable company that’s actively working to empower women. Their Women in the Driver’s Seat program brings together experienced women from various departments within Bennett who excel in their roles as fleet managers, independent contractors, and owner/operators. These accomplished women are driven by a desire to give back and share their valuable expertise with others.
In addition, the company has formed a Women Drivers Advisory Board which advises them, the partners, and leadership at all levels to ensure they are addressing the particular challenges faced by women drivers.
“There’s a lot of wonderful energy going into that right now,” said Rzepkowski.
One of David Lowry’s personal passion projects has been putting funds into driver campgrounds that includes hookups, as well as areas to rest, park, and cook. They’ve already completed two of these projects in Casa Grande, AZ and Carthage, MO with plans to expand in the coming years.
If you’d like to learn more about the Bennett Family of Companies, check them out at http://www.bennettig.com.