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7 community-minded, safe truckers receive 2014 Citizen Driver award

Citizen Driver Award winners are from left Henry Albert; Jimmy Ardis; Bob and Linda Caffee; Charles Endorff; Jerry Fritts; Shawn Hubbard and Norman Knight.

By DOROTHY L. COX
The Trucker Staff

3/28/2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — They’re good citizens, giving back to their communities and favorite charities. They’re safe drivers, having driven more than 100 million miles among them without an accident. And they hail from 27 U.S. states and Canada and are employed by 55 trucking companies.

They are the first seven winners of the 2014 Citizen Driver Awards initiated by TravelCenters of America and each and every one will get the TA Petro of their choice renamed in their honor.

The mission, says TA President and CEO Tom O’Brien, is to let the non-trucking public know these “largely unknown and under-appreciated” men and women who delivered 67 percent of the total domestic tonnage in 2012.

The seven winners are: Henry Albert, who will have the TA in Laredo, Texas named after him (Henry Albert Laredo Travel Center); Jimmy Ardis, who chose the TA in Manning, S.C. (Jimmy Ardis Manny Travel Center); Linda and Bob Caffee, who will have the Petro in North Las Vegas named after them (Linda and Bob Caffee North Las Vegas Stopping Center); Charley Endorf, (Charley Endorf York Stopping Center); Jerry Fritts (Jerry Fritts West Memphis Stopping Center); Shawn Hubbard (Petro Ontario, Calif.); and Norman Knight (Norman Knight Columbia Travel Center).

TA launched the Citizen Driver program in the spring of 2013 “to honor the many great, hardworking professional truck drivers moving loads to keep our economy going.”

Tom Liutkus, vice president of marketing, noted that TA received “many, many” entrees nominated by friends, family members and trucking companies, and then began an arduous task of refining those down to 14 finalists and then six winners.

However, they were so impressed with the credentials a seventh was chosen. Judging was by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Women In Trucking (WIT), the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and four members of the trucking industry media both radio and print.

The winners were treated to lunch and awards plaques were presented to them during the Mid-America Trucking Show here.

As Liutkus explained, when a member of the non-trucking public gets to know a professional truck driver … “they come away impressed and every truck driver is a winner.”

The contest is an annual event and 2015 Citizen Award nomination forms, rules and other information will be posted to the TA and Petro Stopping Centers websites in May.

Celadon