check out this image of Michael Stropp from the early 1990s
2016 Rolex Ceremony for Michael Stropp
The achievement is so much more important than the watch. Highway Transport Vice Chairman Greg Watkins presents the 20 year Rolex to professional tanker driver Mike Stropp. Mike’s grandson Devon and wife Margie enjoyed celebrating this milestone with Michael Stropp who is beloved by many. Margie said, “I didn’t realize there’d be this many people.”
Highway Transport celebrates this work anniversary as an act of heroism. Drivers are held in very high regard, and many people gathered to show their respect for Mike.
Here’s an amazing fact…When asked about his truck, Mike quickly rattles off the entire list of truck numbers he has been assigned since day one on the job:
Mike also informed the group that he still has his very first tanker certification card.
The Highway Transport family enjoyed getting to know Mike’s 14 year old grandson, Devon who also aspires to be a truck driver. Currently, Devon is expressing an interest in becoming a flatbed driver, but perhaps after today’s celebration, he might give some consideration to hauling bulk. Devon was also very interested in Mike’s watch. Mike told Devon, “You may look at the watch, but no putting your cake-and-ice-cream fingers on it.”
Driver manager Jerry Noland shook Mike’s hand saying, “Congratulations, man.”
Neil Evans commented, “Mike’s been with us a long time. He’s done a great job for us. I’m pretty sure he has helped us out a lot of times, especially on Canadian loads. Mike’s always been a big help. We’ve got a lot of respect for Mike and appreciate everything he’s done over the years. Congratulations, Mike”
Gary Reagan points to Mike saying to the crowd, “He’s always been the one we can count on when we have an issue and we have to get a load there on time. We can always count on you. 20 years is a long time. We appreciate everything you’ve done for the company and all the loads you’ve handled.”
Then Gary points to Mike’s wife Margie saying,“Mike, we appreciate your family being behind you, especially you [Margie]. He [Mike] has been on the road quite a bit. Congratulations.”
Greg adds, “Well it’s an honor for me to present these things. Of course the achievement means so much more than just this watch. Me and my family appreciate your loyalty to the company and all the hard work that you’ve done. I was telling Mike earlier I said ‘you know I was thinking it doesn’t seem like it’s been 20 years, but then you think back on some of the instances from a long time ago and you’re like yeah sometimes it does seem like 20 years ago.’ That’s a long time. It’s been a great pleasure, and we’re looking forward to the next 20. This is just a token of our appreciation.”
Mike Stropp spoke…”Well I have to say it has been enjoyable being here all this time. I guess you could either blame or thank Barry Hall for me being here this amount of time. He was the terminal manager here in Knoxville 20 years ago. The first six weeks I was here I dropped the keys on the dispatch desk and started to walk away, but then Barry Hall talked to me and changed my mind.
I said ‘Here’re your keys, Barry” and I turned to walk off, and while I was walking away, Barry said, ‘So before you leave, be sure to tell me what day you’ll be back’ And so here I still am. So, if you have any complaints or comments, send e-mails to Barry.”
Gary Reagan says, “Well, we’re glad he changed your mind.”
Neil Evan [jokingly] adds, “Well now we know who to blame.”
Jerry Noland says to the group, “The thing I appreciate about Mike is his attitude. He’s got a great, great attitude. Mike, you’ve got a good attitude. I enjoy working with you, and now I’m going to cut this cake.”
Later, after serving cake and ice cream to everyone, Jerry Noland says to Mike, “I don’t always tell you, but I appreciate you.” Mike replies, “If you weren’t so easy to get along with, I wouldn’t have stayed this long.”
left: Mike Stropp, right: Driver Manager Jerry Noland
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