TravelCenters of America LLC, operator of the TA® and Petro Stopping Centers® travel center brands, announced its fourth annual “Citizen Driver” honorees during the Citizen Driver luncheon ceremony at the 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Citizen Driver recognizes professional drivers who help bring respect to the truck driving profession.
TravelCenters launched the Citizen Driver program in 2013 in an effort to honor the many great, hardworking professional truck drivers that keep our economy going. Citizen Drivers not only have an exemplary career in trucking, they are great examples of the kind of people who honor the great profession of truck driving. By demonstrating their good citizenship, safety, community involvement and leadership, they are shining examples of all of the hardworking men and women in this industry with whom we are proud to be associated.
The 2017 Citizen Drivers are listed below. Each driver has picked their favorite TA or Petro Stopping Centers location, which will be named after them. Citizen Drivers will also be the recipients of individual banquets and unveiling ceremonies hosted by TA executives at their chosen locations.
- Marty Ellis—TA Rogers, Minnesota—“Marty Ellis Rogers Travel Center”
- Idella M. Hansen—Petro North Little Rock, Arkansas—“Idella M. Hansen North Little Rock Stopping Center”
- Evan (Buddy) Haston—Petro Amarillo, Texas—“Evan (Buddy) Haston Amarillo Stopping Center”
- Dick Pingel—TA Madison, Wisconsin—“Dick Pingel Madison Travel Center”
- Jim Wilcox—TA Albuquerque, New Mexico—“Jim Wilcox Albuquerque Travel Center”
With this group of honorees, there are now 24 TA or Petro Stopping Centers locations across the country named to honor professional truck drivers.
“We are extremely proud of all our honorees this year and want to identify the drivers that have gone above and beyond to become the best of the best in the trucking industry. These individuals truly set the example for how to be a leader within their career and community, and we are honored to have them be part of our TA family,” shared Tom O’Brien, President and CEO of TravelCenters.
TravelCenters accepted nominations for the 2017 Citizen Drivers throughout last year, and received nominations from a wide variety of people—fleet owners and executives, other drivers, friends, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, trucking organization members and trucking industry suppliers—wanting to recognize the deserving drivers who have touched their lives. Distinguished members of the trucking industry, Chris Spear, President and CEO of the ATA; Jim Johnston, President of OOIDA; Ellen Voie, President and CEO of Women In Trucking; Micah Jackson, Publisher for Target Media Partners; David Cullen, Executive Editor of Heavy Duty Trucking; and on-air trucking radio personalities, Eric Harley of Red Eye Radio; Dave Nemo of Road Dog Trucking; and Steve Sommers of America’s Truckin’ Network, judged the submitted nominations and selected the honorees who excelled in the identified categories.
The 2018 Citizen Driver nomination form, rules and other information will be posted to the TA and Petro Stopping Centers web site in June 2017. Nominations will be accepted throughout 2017. In an effort to spread the word about the great professional drivers out there, beginning next year, the new honorees will be announced at the 2018 Drivers Award Ceremony at the TA branded Iowa 80 location in Walcott, Iowa.