The Bekins Blog

Schilling earns 2023 Stephen F. Burns Extra Mile Award

March 11, 2024 | Bekins News & Events

Bekins Van Lines held its fifth annual Van Line Summit & Awards Gala on Thursday, February 29, during which Bekins Vice President of Operations Kevin Miller announced Patricia Schilling as the winner of the van line’s rare Stephen F. Burns Extra Mile Award. The distinguished recognition, which hadn’t been earned since 2019, acknowledges the recipient’s dedication to delivering an excellent experience to their customers, no matter whether that means the end customer or peers in the network.

The Extra Mile Award was introduced in 2000 to acknowledge an agent, driver or corporate employee of Wheaton | Bekins who performs the extraordinary every day. In 2011, the award was renamed the Stephen F. Burns Extra Mile Award in honor of the company’s Chairman of the Board. Award winners’ attributes include unselfish contributions to the Wheaton | Bekins system and adherence to the company’s mission and values: Treat everyone honestly, fairly and professionally.

Kevin Miller, Patricia Schilling, Theresa Schilling and Marc Kirschner at the Van Line Summit & Awards Gala ceremony.
Patricia making remarks after accepting her award.

In her dealings with customers, agencies and the van line staff, Schilling – a top-rated driver for Bekins Moving Solutions, Inc. – goes above and beyond the expected in her role.

“Pat’s accomplishments speak volumes,” said Wheaton | Bekins CEO Mark Kirschner. “From the fantastic experience she offers to customers to the grace with which she navigates relationships with agents in the network, her efforts inspire other members of the van line to treat others with more respect and kindness.”

Pat’s Journey

Since her arrival in the Wheaton | Bekins system in 2012, Schilling has been an invaluable asset to her agency and the network as a whole. The consistently high-rated driver’s journey to this point is a testament to resilience and transformation, as her story began with her service in the United States Navy from 1996 to 1999, followed by her transition to civilian life where she found work in the moving industry in 2002 but grappled with substance abuse, leading to periods of homelessness.

Determined to turn her life around, Schilling sought help from the VA and enrolled in the Crossroads for Women program, a pivotal step in overcoming her challenges. Subsequently, she joined the US VETS program and obtained her Class A CDL with the assistance of a government grant. Despite initial skepticism due to her past struggles, Schilling’s commitment shone through when she approached BMS in 2012, seeking employment.

Since then, Schilling’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable. With support from Bekins Moving Solutions, she became a qualified driver for Wheaton | Bekins and transitioned to become an owner-operator, defying the odds along the way.

Since then, Schilling has earned seven Bekins Driver of the Month awards, as well as becoming the network’s first female Driver of the Year in 2017.

In addition to her professional achievements, Schilling found personal happiness as she married her soulmate, Theresa, in October 2022, becoming a loving stepmother to Jaydee Duda and Barron Duda.

In recognition of her achievement, Schilling was honored at the Van Line Summit & Awards Gala with the Extra Mile Award trophy and a well-deserved $2,000 cash award.

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