In the 12 years Canadian truck drivers have been receiving the Highway Star of the Year Award, not once has a recipient been a woman. Until now.

Joanne Mackenzie, a company driver for Highland Transport, was crowned the 2016 Highway Star of the Year at Truck World in Canada this week, raising the bar for other women with CDL trucking jobs.

The award recognizes drivers across Canada who are professional, give back to their communities and “operate in the highest and safest regard for other road users,” stated the Truck News article.

“Mackenzie has been a professional driver for more than 24 years, 14 of which have been for Highland Transport,” the article continued. She is the first female to be named Highway Star of the Year.

“I’m so humbled. It’s a very humbling experience and quite the honor to be alongside the previous Highway Star winners,” she told Truck News. “I’m really privileged to be able to be the first woman to win this. I hope now that we’ve got that one foot in the man’s club…more women will come forward and feel comfortable to participate in stuff like this. Especially when it comes to stuff not only behind the wheel but in the community. Women need to know they can do whatever they want.”

The article says Mackenzie has earned a stellar reputation in the trucking industry for her work with Trucking For a Cure, a non-profit that raises money and awareness for breast cancer research through truck convoys and other trucking-related campaigns.

It was a family affair for Mackenzie at Truck World this year.

Her two brothers attended the event in a show of support for her. Their presence there meant a lot to Mackenzie, she said in the article.

“It’s the first time my family has come to an industry event with me,” she said. “And they’ve supported me back home, but they’ve never driven hours to come see me. I’m so excited my two brothers are here…My family misses me on the road and I miss so many family events and they’re all so supportive and understanding. ”

As Highway Star of the Year, Mackenzie was awarded more than $15,000 in cash and prizes, including a $10,000 check.

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