ATLANTA — It all started when Ivery Stokes was accompanying her husband, a truck driver, to work one day. He asked her to drive his truck and It was in that moment that Stokes discovered her passion, beginning a journey that would make her the first Black woman to drive a truck for Walmart.
"I never drove a truck a day in my life. Never. He said, 'Come on, get up, I'm going to get up and put you in the seat,'" said Stokes.
After taking the wheel for the first time, she enrolled in truck driving school.
She started her career in Cullman, Alabama where she drove trucks for five years before making the move to LaGrange, Georgia.
"That's where I stayed for the remaining six years and they gave me a lot of opportunities," said Stokes.
Opportunities like going to the White House and receiving the Ron Brown Award and being on the front cover of Walmart World twice.
It wasn't until after Stokes saw herself on the front cover of the company magazine that she discovered she had made history as Walmart's first Black woman driver.
"I know in the area when I was in Cullman, I was the only Black female in that area and then when I moved to LaGrange, I was the only Black female in that area. And so when I got a chance to go out to do the magazine I realized I was the first one there because I mean, the front cover in that was the big one," said Stokes.
It was opportunities like these that made her appreciate her employer.
"You know, I love them for that. I always give them, you know, props on that because they were good to me, she said.
Now Stokes continues her career as a transportation associate for Amazon in their metro Atlanta center. Recently she was selected to join the Transportation Operation Management team at Amazon's fulfillment center in Stone Mountain.
According to her Amazon family, she is a living legend.
"It’s an absolute honor. You don’t get many opportunities to be around a living legend, but we have one right here with us!” said Marcus Tucker, an area manager with Amazon.
The living history-maker credits her success to having a career she loves.
"Once you have truck driving in your blood, it's there and that's what I am - a people's person. I love being out there and I love meeting people. I don't meet strangers, I just love being out," Stokes said.