Shawn Brown, vice president of safety with Cargo Transporters and mayor of Claremont, North Carolina, joined Jeremy Reymer on a recent episode of Taking the Hire Road. Brown and Reymer dived into the notion that there are “no secrets in safety,” as well as the parallels between being the mayor of a city and leading a department of a trucking company.

By and large, Brown has stuck close to his roots. His grandfather, Jack Brown, co-founded a garage and truck rental business in the mid-1960s. That business became modern-day Cargo Transporters. 

“I have literally grown up around this company, and all the iterations of it, all my life,” Brown said. “I can remember coming to work with my dad and granddad back in the 1980s. I have been working here since I was 12.”

Throughout the course of his time at Cargo Transporters, Brown has gone from cleaning toilets to working in operations to leading the safety department. During that same time, his passion for people — and for his community — grew.

Caring about people is a core tenet of Brown’s work as vice president of safety. His concern has inspired him to work with other industry leaders, including his competitors, to create an environment of safety and well-being for all drivers. 

“I truly believe there are no secrets in safety. We all share everything,” Brown said. “Safety is like the Switzerland of the trucking industry.”

While companies often work to gain advantages over one another, this is not the case in safety. Trucking is still a people business, and that means that working hard to keep people alive and well is everyone’s responsibility.

“At the end of the day, we all want the same thing. We all want our drivers to come home safely. We want everyone to be able to go home and live a prosperous life,” Reymer said.

The same values that guided Brown to the safety department drove him to get involved in local politics. After several years of volunteering in his hometown of Claremont, he ran for City Council in 2007, losing by only eight votes.

Brown tried his luck again in 2009 and handily secured a seat on the council. He decided to run for mayor in 2013, and he has held the position ever since. Brown said much of his work in the safety department translates to his work as mayor — and vice versa.

“It’s about people. You can apply [people skills] to any industry, any job, any situation,” he said. 

Other highlights from this episode of Taking the Hire Road

Reading recommendations: News and current events, within and outside the trucking industry

Sponsors: DriverReach, The National Transportation Institute, Infinit-I Workforce Solutions, WorkHound and Idelic

The post Leading people: From the fleet to the mayor’s office – Taking the Hire Road appeared first on FreightWaves.

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