2010 Winner Siluvathasan "Eddie" Ravienthira Culinary Ventures Vending, Union, N.J.

To be recognized as the route driver of the year takes more than just filling vending machines. It takes people skills, an open-mind to technology, and a positive outlook. These attributes are why Siluvathsan Edwin Ravienthira, who goes by “Eddie,” won the 7th annual route driver of the year award from Automatic Merchandiser, sponsored by Kraft Vending and OCS. The 200 nominees in 2010 were scored in the following areas: years as a driver, number of machines serviced, miles traveled, accidents and citations, days missed, speed, thoroughness, customer compliments, truck condition, empty spirals and sales.

A ‘people’ person and a role model

One of the things Ravienthira enjoys most about his job is meeting different people. Providing quality service is something he takes seriously. “He is great with our customers and is always one step ahead of their needs,” said Steve Mistretta, operations manager at Culinary Ventures Vending, who nominated Ravienthira.

Considered an excellent route driver role model by management, Ravienthira has perfect attendance, top marks in machine cleanliness, accountability, a professional appearance and a clean driving record. He has even become a mentor to the other route personnel as the company makes the transition to prekitting routes.

“As the vending industry implements more technology, we as route drivers are able to service additional customers on our route per week and at the same time increase the products sold, which increases our commissions,” said Ravienthira.

Ravienthira has worked for Culinary Ventures for 13 years. The current owners, Tom DiNardo and Joe Belasco Jr., bought the company in 1994. The company offers full-line vending and OCS to the New York metropolitan area.