SHE Trucking, Alaskan Mining, Perk Up Podcast; Neals Finalists Cover Lots of Ground

The Neal Awards represent the best of the best in B2B journalism, and more than ever, that best is expanding the leading players of our members’ respective niches. Tension will mount this Friday at the Marriott Marquis in New York as the 69th Annual Neal Awards are presented. There are an amazing 215 finalists, all with wonderful stories to tell. Here are four of them.

“This year, FleetOwner spoke with nine different women across the industry’s ranks,” wrote Cristina Commendatore. “Each professional sees the potential that the industry has not only for women, but for the next generation of younger workers in trucking.”

A Neal Awards finalist for Best DEI Coverage, Endeavor Business Media’s FleetOwner put together a stirring Women in Transportation issue.

The package highlights many types of diversity in its profiles. Sharae Moore is the CEO and founder of SHE Trucking. (I may have to tune into their weekly podcast.) Moore was invited to the White House as part of President Biden’s Trucking Action Plan, and now SHE Trucking partners with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s driver apprenticeship program. SHE Trucking has nearly 30,000 members.

Another profile centered on Lindsey Trent, president and co-founder of Next-Gen Trucking. “High schools—and even middle schools—need more trucking programs if the industry has any chance of recruiting the next generation of talent,” wrote Commendatore. “That’s where the Next-Gen Trucking comes into play.”

Said another profiled woman, master-certified technician Missy Albin, “When people see me and I say what I do as a job, they say ‘no way.’ I am only 120 lb. and when people hear what my profession is, they think that I should be a larger man, strong, and look dirty and that my nails should be dirty.”

Here are descriptions of three more accomplished Neal Awards finalists:

Reveal an interesting history. A finalist for 11 Neal Awards on Friday, IEEE Spectrum showed why with its nominated Subject Related Package: “The Transistor at 75: The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention.” There’s a wide-ranging list of articles, some—like The State of the Transistor in 3 Charts and The Ultimate Transistor Timeline—use excellent graphics to depict the information.

While The Transistor of 2047: Expert Predictions presents the future—“Will transistors still be the heart of most computing in 25 years?”—John Bardeen’s Terrific Transistorized Music Box delivers the history. “In 1949 an engineer at Bell Labs built three music boxes to show off the new transistors… The capacitance was selectable using the switch bank, which Bardeen ‘played’ when he demonstrated the box,” wrote Allison Marsh. “Although Bardeen earned a reputation as an unexceptional instructor… he often got a laugh from students when he used the music box to play the Prohibition-era song ‘How Dry I Am.’ He had a key to the sequence of notes taped to the top of the box.”

Give voice to an under-represented segment. The music starts, an ad for the upcoming conference, Benefits at Work, is read, and Alyssa Place, executive editor at Employee Benefits News, starts this week’s podcast. “Perk Up” is a Neal Awards finalist for Best Podcast. In this episode, associate editor Paola Peralta “uncovers how employers are tailoring their financial wellness benefits to different generations in the workplace and why Gen Z’s financial habits might be getting a bad rap.”

The podcast runs 23 minutes—smartly, a transcript is also run. Peralta notes that she is a Gen Z member herself. “I’m here to once and for all dispel the myth that Gen Z workers aren’t invested in their financial futures.” Her first interview is with Duffy Collins, a 2019 Boston College grad and a financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual. He’s known for taking on Gen Z clients pro bono.

“I spend about a third of my overall time and effort in my practice dedicated to specifically people I’d say under the age of 30,” Collins says. “The reason I dedicate a lot of my time with younger people is the impact is significantly more measurable.”

Take readers to a distant destination. “Bornite Camp is beyond all the roads in North America, on the southern edge of the massive Brooks Range. It’s home to grizzly bears, and the caribou, moose, and salmon essential to the survival of Alaska Natives who live off the land. The only way in is by bush plane. If the weather goes bad, there’s no telling when you might get out. Yet in early autumn this tent city above the Arctic Circle—where satellite internet is spotty, bear encounters are expected, and visits to family are rare—is bustling with workers.”

Thus begins Bobby Magill’s thrilling story for Bloomberg Law titled, EV Mineral Bonanza on Alaska Tribal Land Turns on Disputed Road—nominated as a Neal Awards finalist for Best Climate Change Coverage. The article is designed with a captivating video of the Brooks Range, taken by Magill himself, followed by his pictures of the tent camp and the Amber Lowlands. Talk about multi-tasking.

It’s quite an achievement and does not go softly into the Alaskan night “The Ambler Road would enable new mines to proliferate all along its path and threaten the big game hunting that forms the foundation of Alaska Native village culture, the villages and the Tanana Chiefs Conference argued in their lawsuit,” Magill wrote.

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