Dan Ledbetter | NPTC
FleetOwner Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher, left, New South Express fleet safety manager Danielle Siecienski, and Gary Petty, CEO of National Private Truck Council. Siecienski was the 2024 top graduate of NPTC's Certified Transporation Professional program.

Top CTP grad ‘beyond excited’ to take career to next level

April 22, 2024
NPTC honors fleet safety manager Danielle Siecienski of New South Express for finishing at the top of the 2024 class of more than 100 transportation leaders.

ORLANDO, Florida—The National Private Truck Council and the Certified Transportation Professional program’s official sponsor, J.J. Keller & Associates, congratulate Danielle Siecienski, CTP, safety manager for New South Express. Siecienki won the CTP Class of 2024 Top Graduate award, sponsored by FleetOwner. This prestigious award was presented at the CTP graduation ceremony on Sunday, April 21, at the NPTC Annual Conference at the Orange County Convention Center.

“Danielle achieving this year’s highest CTP exam score is especially noteworthy,” said Mike Schwersenska, CTP, chair of NPTC Institute Board of Governors and general manager of Brakebush Transportation. “This is one of the best and largest CTP classes in the 31-year history of the program.”

With this year’s 104 CTP graduates, NPTC has 898 active CTPs out of nearly 1,800 who have achieved certification since 1993.

See also: 2024 FleetOwner 500: Top Private Fleets

“This year’s exam was one of the most thorough and comprehensive we have ever administered,” Kristen Todd, NPTC director of education and certification, said. “The reason is a record 143 CTP volunteer graders. This high number of graders gave us a total of more than 2,000 individual grades recorded for both the case study and short answer essays. This means each candidate’s exam was read separately by 15 CTP graders, infusing the grading process itself with a high degree of fairness, corroboration, and integrity.” 

About NPTC's 2024 CTP Top Graduate

Siecienski did not plan a career in transportation. Raised in Connecticut, she participated in her high school’s JROTC program and intended to join the U.S. Army. After graduation, she considered becoming a police officer but ended up accepting a job managing the fleet of her uncle’s construction company. In 2017, Siecienski joined New South Express, working in the payroll department, later transferring to driver recruiting and safety, then exclusively to safety.

New South Express was founded in 1988 as the private fleet of New South Companies, a collection of family-owned sawmills in North and South Carolina. In 2006, Canfor Southern Pine acquired New South Companies and New South Express. 

“Since our inception, we’ve grown from two sawmill locations to 13 across the Southeast, achieved through acquisitions and natural expansion,” Siecienski said. “While the main focus of our private fleet is transporting finished dimensional lumber, we also handle wood chips, wood shavings, wood bark, and cut logs.”

See also: NPTC creates ‘incredible’ CTP connections

Starting with just a few drivers, the fleet now has 232 drivers, 200 power units (a mix of Class 8 day cabs and sleepers), and more than 400 trailers. Equipment also includes open-top bulk vans, flatbeds, and log trailers. 

Carl Hamilton, president of New South Express and senior logistics director for Canfor Southern Pine, introduced Siecienski to NPTC. “My boss, Carl, inspired and encouraged me to attend council events and get certified. I participated in several NPTC/J.J. Keller webcasts and attended my first conference in Cincinnati and last year in Orlando,” she said. “It opened my eyes and blew my mind. I felt I needed to learn everything. This was my think tank.

“The Private Fleet Management Institute was incredibly impressive,” she continued. “It’s hard work, fantastic in every way, and so much fun. The faculty members were very good, like Kate Mirise, CTP, of the Royal Group, who reached out and acted like a mentor. As the first person 'pioneer' from New South Express to go through the CTP program, I feel incredibly inspired to encourage my teammates to get active with NPTC and become certified. More from our company will be coming to PFMI and the CTP program in future years.

“I am still celebrating my new certification and being named the Top Graduate for this year’s class. I am beyond excited! I worked so hard and am still amazed it came to fruition. Thanks to the PFMI faculty for sharing their knowledge. Thank you to fellow participants who made me step out of my comfort zone. Finally, a special thanks to my teammates for being truly amazing and helping me bring home the gold at the end.”

About the Author

Gary Petty

Gary Petty has more than three decades of experience as a CEO of national trade associations in the trucking industry. Since 2001, he has served as president and CEO of the National Private Truck Council, the national trade association founded in 1939, representing the private motor carrier industry. Petty is the Private Fleet Editor and columnist for FleetOwner, where he writes monthly articles about successful managers and business models in the private fleet market.

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