Melissa Ritchie: New Forklift Rodeo Champion!
After a month of regional competitions, we have a new Forklift Rodeo Champion – Melissa Ritchie. Melissa was one of eight regional finalists who competed in National Grid’s 2015 Forklift Rodeo Championship on October 14 at the Sutton New England Distribution Center.
Melissa was crowned champion for safely completing a series of obstacle courses designed to promote proper forklift operation and safety in the workplace. Competitors were timed and judged on proper forklift operation practices while completing a series of obstacle courses. The events were not races, but rather demonstrations of safe forklift-handing maneuvers with penalties incurred if participants exhibited unsafe driving methods.
“The safety of our customers and employees is our number one priority,” said National Grid supervisor Joe Rodrigues, who organized the rodeos. “The Forklift Rodeo is a fun and engaging way to help raise awareness on proper forklift operation and safety. The event is another interactive tool through which we continue to provide critical training on safety in the workplace.”
Everyone competing in the Championship event had won their regional competitions. Those winners included:
- Worcester, MA regional rodeo winner: Melissa Ritchie (New Rodeo Champion)
- Sutton NEDC, MA regional rodeo winner: Shane Waldron (Second Place Winner)
- New York City, NY regional rodeo winner: Tim Bohr (Third Place Winner)
- Syracuse, NY regional rodeo winner: Marty Erwin
- Long Island, NY regional rodeo winner: Anthony Neglia
- Wilmington, MA regional rodeo winner: Al Boisvert
- Clifton Park, NY regional rodeo winner: Glenn Garnsey
- Buffalo, NY regional rodeo winner: Kevin Flaherty
(*Note – the list is not representative of how each of the contestants finished in the competition other than those so noted).
Congratulations to all who competed in the event! Everyone who participated showcased exceptional forklift skills!