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Black History Month: Q&A with Driver Tony F.

It’s safe to say that our distinguished Driver Tony F., has left a notable impact on everyone he meets. A frontline leader, Tony’s work ethic and consideration of others has generated a profound impact on the Charlotte, North Carolina community he serves.

In 2021, Tony was awarded the NWRA Industrial Driver of the Year, an honor he says is the highlight of his career. While his over 34 years of exceptional work speaks for itself, during his nomination process, Tony was praised by countless leaders in his community.

“His proactive actions of notifying us of potential issues, which may halt our daily operation, does not go unnoticed. He defines the words “true professional” and sets a high standard for Republic Services.” – Mallard Creek Polymers

“I can recall many circumstances in which we were in a jam or in need of a pick-up and he was right there for us at a drop of a call.” – Venator Chemicals

“As a 22-year veteran of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, I appreciate his prompt service and attention to meeting our needs.” – Charlotte Motor Speedway

Recognition to that caliber defines the employees we seek at Republic. His operational expertise, frontline leadership, and courteous behavior are a testament to his character and for that, we are extremely appreciative to have Tony on the team. While humble and soft-spoken, he took time out of his busy day during Black History Month to tell Blue Nation a little bit of his story.

You’ve been with the company for over 34 years, what is your trick to a long and distinguished career?

It’s simple, go out every single day doing the job to the best of your ability. Learn as much as you can and share that information with those around you.

Can you tell us of the one highlight in your career that stands out the most? And why do you appreciate it?

Being awarded the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) Driver of the Year. It’s the highest honor a driver can receive, and I received it. I work hard and give back because it’s the right thing to do and winning this award, is proof that doing the right thing pays off.

We understand that you are heavily involved with your community, tell us what you like most about service?

I love helping others. Helping them do something that they cannot do themselves is what community is about. Then seeing their smile, knowing I did something good, makes it meaningful.

Do you have a role model that has helped lay the foundation to your success? If so, tell us about them?

Yes, Martin Luther King Jr. He devoted his life to the civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s. He sought that all men be judged by our character, not our race. One of my favorite quotes from him is, “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”

If there is one bit of advice you can give a young Tony, what would it be?

I have two bits of advice that have proven to be valuable lessons for me:

  1. The most important thing you can do for people is to treat them the way you want to be treated.
  2. Be all that you can be in life.

Throughout the month of February, we encourage you to visit the Day of Reflection and Connection SharePoint site. We also invite you to take a few moments each day to participate in our 21 Day Reflection and Connection Challenge and check out the videos from this year’s MLK Reflection and Connection virtual event. Stay tuned for more Black History Month features later this month!