Local UPS driver receives Circle of Honor

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 28, 2015

SAFE DRIVING: Eric Berry pictured in front of his UPS truck. He received the UPS Circle of Honor for his safe driving after 25 years of delivering packages. Submitted photo.

SAFE DRIVING: Eric Berry pictured in front of his UPS truck. He received the UPS Circle of Honor for 25 years of service accident-free. Submitted photo.

For 25 years, Eric Berry has safely operated his UPS truck to deliver packages to their destination.

Last year, he received recognition for his work.

Berry became a recipient of the UPS Circle of Honor, which recognizes those drivers who’ve worked in the company for 25 years accident-free.

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In 1985, he began his career at UPS in Gulfport, where he worked part-time for almost five years loading trucks during college.

“As luck would have it, the day I graduated, UPS had an opening,” Berry said. “My boss asked me if I wanted to give it a shot and I thought I would try it.”

From then on, he delivered packages around the Gulf Coast community until 2001, when he started his route in Picayune.

“Then in 2007, I got married and moved up to Carriere,” he said.

Since then, he’s been delivering packages around the local community.

“When I moved up here, UPS started a satellite center, so I don’t have to drive all the way to Gulfport to pick up the packages,” Berry said.

Since he started delivering in Carriere, Berry said local residents welcomed him from the very beginning.

“The people are great out here, the people of Pearl River County really welcomed me into their community,” Berry said.

When asked how he felt about reaching the 25-year milestone, he said it’s been one of his greatest accomplishments in life.

“In 25 years I’ve driven different routes and went through every type of weather condition,” Berry said. “I love it and I’m outdoors everyday. It’s the best job to have.”

His manager, Tim Younge, said Berry is one of their most outstanding drivers.

“In 25 years, Berry hasn’t gotten into an accident, which is great,” Younge said. “Recently, he got a commendation from one of his customers for his service. The letter was received at our office, which praised Berry for his great customer service.”

Berry said he makes it a point to provide the best customer service.

“I give customers my cell phone number so they can call me if they need their package delivered somewhere else,” Berry said. “If you take care of your customers and they’re happy, they’ll keep using us and I’ll keep doing my job.”

Berry, along with five other drivers, received the Circle of Honor from the UPS Gulfport center, Younge said.

“In order to be a driver at UPS you have to be able to control what you can control and be aware of what you can’t,” Younge said. “You need to be able to drive safely and defensively.”

“UPS has been very good to me and they’ve always been very safety conscious,” Berry said. “They train us every year to make sure we’re driving safely.”

This year, Berry is celebrating his 30-year anniversary with the company.

When asked what’s changed the most since he started working for UPS, Berry said the evolution of technology.

“When I first started, I was using a legal tablet where you wrote down addresses and shipping numbers,” he said. “But now we have technology that helps us.”

Berry said he plans to continue driving for as long as he can.

“I’d like to stay five more years, I hope. As long as my body holds out and I can continue to do it safely,” Berry said.