GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association announced that the bridge at I-70 and Grain Valley exit 24 will be dedicated to OOIDA’s late president, Jim Johnston.
“He was an outspoken champion for the rights of all professional truck drivers,” said Todd Spencer, president and CEO of OOIDA. “This is a fitting honor for him and the Association.”
Johnston was president of OOIDA from 1975 until he passed away in 2018. His contributions to the trucking industry go back decades as he was regularly consulted by congressional leaders and administration representatives on all issues affecting the hard-working men and women that drive trucks for a living.
He entered the trucking industry as a driver and an owner-operator after completing his military service in the U.S. Navy. His driving career continued until the oil embargoes of the early 1970s and the subsequent shutdowns across the country. Those events created the need for truckers to organize themselves and communicate their concerns to lawmakers.
Jim then gave up his truck to focus solely on the responsibilities of leading the newly formed Association.
From its humble beginnings in an office trailer chained to a light pole at a truck stop in Grain Valley, Jim nurtured OOIDA to become the largest national organization of professional truckers in the country. Today, OOIDA has more than 350 employees and over 160,000 active members. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.