Meet The Staff from Fitch Trucking, Inc.

Melanie Cheney
Melanie Cheney, the owner's daughter is Fitch Trucking and Nebraska Bulk's President. Melanie, besides dutifully handling the President's responsibilities, also handles the roles of Chief Operating Officer, Controller and the Business Development Manager. Melanie Cheney grew up in Bennet and has always been actively involved in the family business. With both sets of Grandparents in the transportation business hauling milk, the younger Melanie was either on a milk route or taking naps on the office floor. As the business evolved into hauling soybean oil, she cleaned the outside of tanks and the inside of tractors. A graduate from Palmyra High School and Melanie went to Joseph's College of Hair Design. Thereafter, she went to start her own business as owner and operator of a local hair salon in Bennet.

In 1987, Melanie Cheney joined the family business, on a full-time basis, to help with the growth of the company. On top of her work with the family company, Melanie has been very involved in the community. Melanie recently retired for the Bennet Rural Fire Department and Rescue Squad after 25 years service as an EMT and Firefighter. She has also taught classes for both Emergency Medical Technicians and C.P.R. at the local community college. Melanie Cheney was also active in the Red Cross First Aid Team for many years, as well. In addition, Melanie Cheney was appointed, by the Governor of Nebraska, to be on the Board of Ambulance Advisors in 1990 and was elected its Chairman for four years. Melanie Cheney was selected to be in the Emerging Leaders Program in 2000, by the Nebraska Trucking Association. She is currently a member of the Nebraska Trucking Association. In addition, Melanie has been the Treasurer of the Foundation Board of Education, District of four villages covering.

123 square miles and helped with the actual start up of the Foundation in 1997. Melanie has been on the Scholarship Selection Committee for the past several years. Melanie Cheney has been the Treasurer in both the Happy Go Lucky 4-H Livestock Booster Club and also the Lancaster County 4-H Booster Club. Melanie Cheney has been a strong supporter of the 4-H and FFA programs in the area, as both of her sons were very active members. Melanie Cheney has mentored many area children in 4-H and FFA in various programs.
Warren Cheney
Warren Cheney, Melanie's husband, has been with Fitch Trucking, Inc. and Nebraska Bulk, Inc., since 1985. Warren has been very active in improving driver productivity and organization over the past two decades. Warren Cheney grew up on a farm near Bennet and helped his family with livestock and farming business. He graduated from Palmyra High School in 1972 and went to college in Curtis, Nebraska at the College of Agriculture. He graduated with a Business Agricultural Degree. Warren worked at Kawasaki Manufacturing Company as a line supervisor for several years and then he was employed by the Village of Bennet as their Town Supervisor. In his spare time, he started helping in the family trucking business with doing mechanical work and learning all about the dynamics of the business. In June of 1985, Warren joined the family business as Operations Manager and continues to lead and support in every aspect of the business.  Warren has been active in many organizations outside of the family business. He recently retired from the Bennet Rural Fire Department after 33 years of service.He is the Treasurer on the Lancaster Rural Water District #1, Board of Directors. He is a member of Sons of the American Legion Post #280. He is also on the Foundation for Knowledge, District OR-1 Board of Directors. This organization is a leading supporter in helping students with scholarships in our local area. Warren is also a strong supporter of all 4-H and FFA programs, both locally and statewide.
Dean L. Petersen
Dean L. Petersen is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder. The business originally started as Dean H. Petersen & Son in 1956. Dean was born and raised in Nebraska. He graduated from Gibbon High School and also advanced to the rank of Eagle Scout, with the Boy Scouts of America, in 1943. His father, Dean H. Petersen, was assistant Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop #156 in Gibbon.

In 1944, Dean enlisted in SA in the V-12, assigned to Doane College, Crete, NE; Western Michigan College, Kalamazoo, MI and Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, being honorably discharged on June 20, 1946. He then enrolled in the NROTC Program, University of Nebraska, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and was commissioned ENS June 6, 1947. After graduation he returned to farming in Grand Island, NE where he became Assistant Scout Master for the local troop for three years. On June 6, 1949 he was assigned to NRIP 9-1, Unit 8, Omaha, Nebraska. Dean volunteered for active duty July 13, 1950 and was assigned as a student in Class V Naval Intelligence School, Anacostia, VA. After graduation he was assigned as O-in-C, Investigation Section, DIO-6ND, Charleston, SD and Intelligence Officer, COMNAVFE, Yokosuka, Japan, supervising investigations in Japan and Korea. Dean returned to civilian life in July 1954. He was assigned to NRED 9-7, St. Cloud, MN and then NAVRESSURF Div 9-143, Lincoln, Nebraska. In January 1960 he reactivated Naval Reserve Intelligence DIV 9-1, Unit #8, Omaha, NE serving as O-in-C until June 1964.

While residing in Lincoln he started Boy Scout Troop #38, Eastridge Presbyterian Church, as Scoutmaster until 1979. At one period during this time he had 65 members in his troop. They made many summer trips, Mines Kuya, Lincoln; Cornhusker Camp, Humboldt, Red Feather Lake, Colorado and Sylvan Lake, South Dakota. During this period Dean attended many training seminars and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. Members of the troop constructed 16 canvas and wood canoes on his residence patio and many still have them. Some of his former scouts are still in the Lincoln area as dentists, doctors, lawyers, educators and business men. Recently, a former scout requested that Dean present his son with his Eagle Scout Badge, as his memories of his past scouting were very dear to him.

During his years in the reserve he was assigned to various billets including the NRMPSPO, attached to AG, State of Nebraska from 1970 to 1974. He was then assigned to CO, INVEST C&C 417. Next assignment as CO, Contingency ‘A” 878. In October 1977 was assigned CO of FIRSTPAC 278, NAVAIRESCEN, Minneapolis, MN, followed by CO, IVTU 116. Captain Petersen was designated Reserve Intelligence Area Coordinator, Area 10, NICHQ 0118, October 1, 1980. After 2 years he was assigned IVTU 0116 until being transferred to the Naval Reserve retired list on November 13, 1986, having completed 42 years, 9 months and 14 days of service. Captain Petersen received the Naval Commendation Medal, Campaign Service Medal, American Theater, WWII Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Korean Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal w/2HG, Naval Reserve Medal, United National Service Medal and Pistol (Expert) Medal.

Dean received his Silver Beaver Award on January 11, 1997 and has been active on the Board of the Cornhusker Council for several years, serving on the Executive Committee during the fund drive for the new Scout Council Service Center. He is also active in various community organizations; Rotary Club #14, Sowers Club of Lincoln, Mason, Scottish Rite, Seosotris Shrine, Executive Club, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and BPOE #80. He is also a Trustee at Doane College, Crete, NE and District OR-1, Foundation for Knowledge, Palmyra, NE. Dean was the President of the Reserve Officer Association, the Big Red Sub Club and the Navy League. Other organizations he is involved in is a Trustee on the Nebraska State Historical Society, member of the Danish Immigrant Museum, the Norden Club and past president of the Jensen, Petersen, Elkjer Family Association. He is presently serving his 3rd-4 year term as board member on Lower

Platte South NRD, having served as Chairman of the Board. During the period from 1956 to present, Dean was involved with the transportation of bulk milk and other edible products that have developed into two companies, Nebraska Bulk Transports, Inc. and Fitch Trucking, Inc. where he is presently the Chief Executive Officer. Dean and his wife, Darlene, have 7 children and 10 grandchildren.
Darlene Petersen
Darlene Petersen, Dean's wife, grew up in the Bennet area and graduated from Bennet High School. She went on to work at the Department of Aeronautics for a few years before she started to raise her family.   Darlene Petersen started with the Dean H. Petersen & Son, Inc. in 1963 as an office manager.  Darlene Petersen has the dual role in both Nebraska Bulk Transports, Inc. and Fitch Trucking, Inc. as Chief Financial Officer.  Darlene Petersen has been through all the changes, in both companies, for the past 49 years: from milk hauling, to soybean oil and produce, to flatbed and, most recently, cryogenics.  She is active with her grandchildren and is very engaged in carrying out her duties in the business.