Thursday, April 26, 2018

TravelCenters of America/Petro names 2017 Citizen Driver Award winners


Thursday, March 30, 2017
by THE TRUCKER STAFF

Tom O’Brien, right, president and CEO of TravelCenters of America, greeted the 2017 Citizen Driver honorees at a banquet during the Mid-America Trucking Show at Louisville, Kentucky, last month. They are, left to right, Marty Ellis, Idella M. Hansen, Evan (Buddy) Haston, Dick Pingel and Jim Wilcox. (Courtesy: TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA)
Tom O’Brien, right, president and CEO of TravelCenters of America, greeted the 2017 Citizen Driver honorees at a banquet during the Mid-America Trucking Show at Louisville, Kentucky, last month. They are, left to right, Marty Ellis, Idella M. Hansen, Evan (Buddy) Haston, Dick Pingel and Jim Wilcox. (Courtesy: TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA)

WESTLAKE, Ohio — TravelCenters of America (TravelCenters), operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, has named its fourth annual Citizen Driver honorees during the Citizen Driver luncheon ceremony at the 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, last month.

Citizen Driver recognizes professional drivers who help bring respect to the truck driving profession.

TravelCenters launched the Citizen Driver program in the spring of 2013 in an effort to honor the many great, hardworking professional truck drivers that keep the nation’s economy going. The first awards were issued at the 2014 MATS.

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, according to Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters. 

The drivers have to be nominated and then go through an extensive vetting process that looks at their driving and safety records, company accomplishments, public service in the communities in which they live, and their ability to be a positive example for the trucking industry.

Each driver has picked their favorite TA or Petro Stopping Centers location, which will be named after them.

Each Citizen Driver Award winner will be the recipient of a TA/Petro renaming ceremony that includes a banquet with their favorite foods, live music, and unveiling ceremony hosted by TA executives at the winner’s chosen location.

The honorees, the locations and the new names of the locations are:

  • 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, and
  • 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,” O'Brien said.

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.

Members of the trucking industry judged the nominations and selected the honorees who excelled in the identified categories.

Judges included Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations; Jim Johnston, president of OOIDA; Ellen Voie, president and CEO of Women In Trucking; 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.

The 2018 Citizen Driver nomination form, rules and other information will be posted to the TA and Petro Stopping Centers website in June.

Nominations will be accepted throughout 2017.

In an effort to spread the word about the great professional drivers, 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.

 

 

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