Friday, March 27, 2015

Four OOIDA members among five honorees for 2015 TA/Petro "Citizen Driver" award

Respect. Leadership. Integrity. Community involvement. These are just some of the values that TravelCenters of America is looking for in its "Citizen Drivers." And four of OOIDA's membership are among the five finalists honored at a luncheon Friday, March 27, during the Mid-America Trucking Show. The winners will have a TA or Petro stopping center of their choice named after them.

The winners and the locations of their renamed truck stops are:

  • OOIDA Life Member Richard Ash, - TA, Commerce City, Co.. - "Richard Ash Travel Center"
  • OOIDA Senior Life Member Sandy Long - TA, Oak Grove, Mo. - "Sandy Long Travel Center"
  • OOIDA Member Micheal Sheeds - Petro, San Antonio, Texas - "Micheal Sheeds Stopping Center"
  • Gary Buchs - TA, Bloomington, Ill.. - "Gary Buchs Travel Center"
  • OOIDA Member Robert Fernald - TA, Willington, Conn.. - "Robert Fernald Travel Center"

OOIDA Member Micheal Sheeds, Senior Life Member Sandy Long,  Life Member Rick Ash. Not pictured: Member Rob Fernald
A total of 19 finalists were named from a pool of 72 nominees from 25 states and Canada, with over 1,386 years of combined trucking experience, more than 100 million combined accident-free miles, and included 10 nominees who have saved others lives. The nominees all have exemplary safety records, are involved in their communities, and serve in leadership capacities in the industry and in their personal lives.

The 19 finalists were submitted to a group of eight judges, including OOIDA president Jim Johnston; ATA president and CEO Bill Graves; Women In Trucking president Ellen Voie; Target Media Partners publisher Micah Jackson; Heavy Duty Trucking magazine editor Deborah Lockridge; and radio personalities Eric Harley of Red Eye Radio; Dave Nemo of Road Dog Radio; and Steve Sommers of America's Truckin' Network, who selected the final five honorees.

All 19 finalists and their guests were treated to a banquet hosted by executives for TravelCenters, including Tom O'Brien, president and CEO.

O'Brien said the award will hopefully serve as a foundation for restoring respect for the trucking industry.

"The overall success, the image improvement, rests on all drivers, the men and women behind the wheel," he said. "It's on their shoulders that the real image of trucking is based."

What began at last year's MATS as a means of honoring truckers and restoring the "Knights of the Road" image to truckers is becoming an annual tradition. Nominations for the 2016 Citizen Driver Awards open in May. Sheeds was a finalist last year before winning this year.

1 comment:

  1. I am proud of each of these people for their time and effort that each has contributed to the trucking industry. Sandy Long and Rick Ash, I know you both and am so pleased and proud! Congratulations!