Dan Porter has spent over half a century behind the wheel, but above all else, he’s spent all those years putting others first. His authenticity, positive attitude and unconditional respect for others is what makes Dan a Citizen Driver, and his kindness towards others goes far beyond the road. Dan’s empathetic nature, calm demeanor and impartiality allows him to support friends and other drivers emotionally, even saving a friend from taking their own life at one point.
Dan has always been a champion of safety, logging an incredible 3.8 accident free miles in his 52 years hauling practically any type of freight you can imagine. He currently drives for Werner Enterprises, but once served on the Driver Advisory Committee and regularly attended safety meetings during his time driving for Hyndman Transport.
Driving a truck is Dan’s full-time job, but being a freelance photographer is his full-time passion. He has volunteered hundreds of hours snapping shots at non-profit events and major truck shows like MATS and GATS, providing services to Women In Trucking, Trucker Buddy International, Truckers United for Charities, St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, Truckers Against Trafficking and more.
Dan is a lifetime member of the International Freelance Photographer Organization, a lifetime OOIDA member and a member of Women In Trucking.
Don Talley is a decorated veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1974 to 1994. He began his trucking career while serving in Saudi Arabia. His loyalty and dedication to safety was a natural fit for the trucking industry, as evidenced by his many company awards and recognitions over the years.
Active in both the Vietnam era and Operation Desert Storm, Don received several medals and certificates of achievement for his exemplary leadership and contribution to two of the most successful logistics deployments in support of a combat victory in military history. Don received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for sustaining injuries while saving lives in a combat setting, after an Army truck full of ammunition caught fire and Don rescued the soldiers trapped inside. He was also awarded the Soldier’s Medal—the highest honor a solider can receive for an act of heroism not related to combat—for risking his life to save a woman who was pinned against the side of a cliff in Hawaii in 1982.
The courage, commitment and integrity Don gained in the military has helped him rack up nearly 2 million accident free miles over the last 21 years on the road and has earned him recognition from Carter Express and the Indiana Motor Truck Association. Back home, Don and his wife are active members of their church and its food pantry, as well as a local nonprofit that ensures all families in the Muncie, Indiana area have a meal to share at Thanksgiving.
Herschel Evans is truly a standout leader in every endeavor he is involved in. His distinguished 32 year career includes over 3.1 million accident free miles. He leads by example and exceeds every expectation in his efforts to improve other people’s lives. He is a true ambassador for the industry.
As a 2013 American Trucking Associations (ATA) America’s Road Team Captain, Herschel drove the Team Image truck and Share the Road trucks around the country to speak to schools, community groups, news media, legislators and industry and government officials about highway safety and the importance of the trucking industry.
The list of his volunteer work and leadership roles seems endless. He is passionate about helping others, and in 2011 he took over an intercompany truck driving championship and turned it into the Safety Drive for a Cure benefitting The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. He has also devoted countless hours to the Convoy of Care, which was developed to deliver critical supplies to families affected by major disasters.
Herschel is a strong advocate for safety, as evident by just a few of his awards. In 2018, he received the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance International Driver Excellence Award (IDEA), and in 2017 was presented with the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award from the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Herschel was 2012 Georgia Motor Trucking Associations’ Driver of the Year.
Jerry Seaman’s driving career started when he was just 12 years old, delivering goods from farm to market. When he got older, he went to work for a family owned trucking business. With over 48 years of driving and over 5 million accident free miles, it is clear that safety is of high importance to Jerry.
He is known for his thorough pre-trip inspections, taking extra care to make sure his equipment is operating correctly for every trip. Jerry was nominated for 2019 South Dakota Driver of the Year award. He was also the South Dakota Trucking Association’s Driver of the Month, September 2010 and October 2018. In 2011, Jerry was named Grand Champion of the South Dakota Truck Driving Championships, where he also received first place in the 5-Axle Van Class, won Rookie of the Year and took home the Larry Thury Award for having the highest test scores.
Jerry’s dedication to trucking and desire to help others is in his DNA. He takes pride in what he does and is committed to making a positive difference both in and out of the trucking industry. He has been especially devoted to working with the Special Olympics since 2002, and serves on the Convoy Committee for the South Dakota Convoy for the Special Olympics. Jerry also received the Founders Award for volunteer work at the Sioux Falls Convoy and Truck Show benefitting Special Olympics.
A commitment to safety and a strong work ethic have driven Steen Gronlund throughout his career. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Steen moved to Saskatchewan, Canada when he was nine.
His love for trucking started at a young age, and he’s strived to be the best driver he can be ever since. At 23, Steen began his truck driving career. He went on to drive as an owner-operator, spending 20 years with Leprino Transportation, and currently driving for Mile Hi Foods.
No matter where Steen goes, he always makes an impact – and he’s gone many places. His 49 year career has taken him across 5.43 million miles without a single accident. He received the OOIDA Safe Driving award in 2017 and is actively involved in his company’s Safety Review Committee and Driver Accident Review Board. The value Steen places on safety speaks volumes.
In addition to encouraging safety on the road, Steen takes the time to engage with the community through the Trucker Buddy program. In 2000, Steen began mentoring students at Colorado’s Longmont Elementary school. He received the Outstanding Trucker Buddy award for his efforts in 2017.
Kenn and Beth Zelten bought their first truck together in 1989 and they’ve been driving together ever since. Kenn, a former driving instructor, was actually the one that taught Beth how to make the switch from driving a bus to driving a big rig.
Fast forward 30 years and 10 trucks later, the duo has built a reputation that other team drivers aspire to. Kenn and Beth are always willing to lend a helping hand and make themselves available to mentor other drivers, giving advice on everything from business practices and equipment choices, to routing and regulations.
Grounded and humble, this team gives back to the community in a big way. Organizations they are involved with include Wreaths Across America, Trucker Buddies International, Women in Trucking and Truckers Against Trafficking, just to name a few.
Kenn and Beth are also both committed to leaving a small carbon footprint, and that starts with their green truck “Kermit”. “Kermit” has graphics of water, birds and butterflies to represent their “green” lifestyle. To back those images up, “Kermit” is outfitted with adaptive loading, side skirts and even solar panels in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
With his never-say-die work ethic, Roland Bolduc has collected a long list of awards during his trucking career that include 14 State Championships, three National Titles and the crowning achievement of National Grand Champion of 2017.
For over 33 years, Roland has been perfecting his safe truck driving skills, while piling up 1.9 Million Accident-Free Miles driving for FedEx Express. When he’s not trucking, Roland is passing on his knowledge and passion for safety through No Zone programs, which are a part of the American Trucking Association’s America’s Road Team program. Through these programs he has had the opportunity to speak to children, students and other members of his community about sharing the road with large vehicles.
Roland believes in giving back and he uses his love for trucking as a means to do so. He has been competing, helping and donating to the Northeast Charity Challenge to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital since 1997. Roland has also raised over 1 million dollars in donations for the Wishes on Wheels truck convoy, benefitting the Connecticut Make-A-Wish Foundation.
After being born into her family’s road construction company, it didn’t take long for Ingrid Brown to see that it was the perfect career path for her.
Ingrid has always been dedicated to making her mark in the male-dominated trucking industry. As an independent owner-operator and sole proprietor of her own company, Rollin’ B LLC, she has hauled everything from produce to livestock, and has proven she can handle anything that comes her way with amazing knowledge and skill. Her dedication, tenacity and professionalism have earned her the respect and admiration from her peers, both male and female. She is fiercely loyal to the trucking industry, proud to be a part of it and is continually giving back to it.
Her 4 million accident free miles are a testament to her commitment to safety and top level professionalism. In acknowledgment, Ingrid has been awarded Women in Trucking Safety awards from 2010-2017, and also won the NASTC 2015 Woman Driver of The Year Award. She has also been a member of the Women in Trucking Image team for the last three years.
Living together in a box the size of a walk-in closet for 29 years takes a lot of work, but Danny and Cindy George make it work beautifully. While one drives, the other sleeps. They’re best friends and grow closer together each year. It also helps that they like to travel together, and they take advantage of their breaks by traveling the world. So far, they’ve been to over thirty countries, and all seven continents!
In an industry that isn’t always recognized as the most health conscience, Danny and Cindy are an inspiration to everyone they meet. They are making a real difference in the trucking industry, and always pushing themselves physically. In 2006, Danny completed the Rock-N-Roll Marathon and in 2016 the Half-Ironman, which was 70 miles of swimming, cycling and running!
This power couple is truly dedicated to staying healthy and fit so they can live the life they dream. Through their blog and by example, they teach other truckers dietary tips, exercises and healthy choice recipes for the road. They encourage others to follow their dreams, both in health and driver safety.
In 2012, Carol Nixon landed at her current position with Walmart Private Fleet, a company that she loves working for and that appreciates her hard work and positive energy. It would be hard for anyone to not love Carol. With her ever-present wide smile and upbeat positive attitude, she is a true inspiration. She loves meeting new people and has touched many lives with her caring and compassion. If there is someone that could use some help, Carol doesn’t hesitate to say “yes.”
With 2.5 million accident free miles under her belt, Carol is a true ambassador for the trucking industry. Walmart recognized their superstar driver with a “Most Inspirational” award at the conference for women drivers in 2017 and the “Good Sam” award in 2016.
Her most profound act of kindness began in 2015 when she met a fellow Walmart driver named Deb Pollard at the Women in Trucking conference. When Deb shared that her husband, Craig, was on dialysis and needed a kidney transplant, Carol volunteered one of hers, even though she’d never met him. Both surgeries were a success and in November of 2016, Craig Pollard had a working kidney and no further need for dialysis.
Marty Ellis has a huge heart, and is ready and willing to help anyone in need. His positive attitude and big smile have touched many people, from friends and
family, to other drivers, and even complete strangers.
He is the guy who gets out of his truck in the rain to help someone, or gives away his last dollar without thinking twice. He’s humble about his achievements, and quick to give credit and praise to others. A prime example of his humility occurred in 2013 when he was named Driver of the Month, making him eligible for that year’s Driver of the Year award. Having already won this prestigious award in 2006, Marty asked for his name to be removed from the list of contenders so that another driver could have the opportunity to experience the win.
Before joining A&A Express, he was a beekeeper. He was stung 100 times! In 2002, he became involved in the South Dakota Convoy and Truck Show benefitting Special Olympics and has helped grow the event every year, bringing enormous benefits to kids with special needs. He is dedicated to the trucking industry and to advocating for truckers through various forums and listening sessions.
Idella Hansen was 18 years old when she started driving with her family’s business, and now, more than 46 years later, she shows no sign of stopping! She is a true professional in all aspects of her career; her strong work ethic shines and her employers have high praise for her.
Her ability and dedication have earned her the respect of her fellow drivers. She has had to overcome many difficulties breaking into such a male-dominated industry, but she’s never wavered and is a strong proponent for women drivers, encouraging and mentoring them. She and a fellow female driver were recently featured in an NPR interview, discussing their experiences and futures.
She also strongly believes in giving back, actively volunteering with numerous trucking organizations, her community, and at her local church. She won a citizenship award in her hometown of Camden, Arkansas for her work in the community to help with festivals and events, and her many acts of compassion and kindness.
Evan “Buddy” Haston is a solid citizen, and truly one of the Knights of the Highway. He is involved in his community, church, and workplace, and is the plumb line that others are measured against. He started driving part-time over 50 years ago when he was 25, then quickly made it his full time career. He takes the constant changes of the profession in stride, whether it’s dealing with difficult customers, congested traffic,
or the day-to-day struggles associated with physical and mental health. Through it all, he has established a standard of excellence and integrity, which has not gone unnoticed.
Buddy is always positive, with a smile on his face. He is quick to put the needs of others first, lending assistance physically, spiritually, or financially. All of these accomplishments, and many more, have been achieved with God, country, and family as his priorities.
Dick Pingel is passionate about the trucking industry and cares deeply about the welfare of the driver community. He’s determined to make a difference for both experienced drivers and those just starting out, and works tirelessly with several organizations to accomplish this. He is personable and easy-going and promotes a positive image wherever he goes. Dick wears a D&G logo shirt when he is working – dressing and performing his duties in a professional manner. (He even wears them most of the time he is not working!)
He takes pride in his work and treats his customers as friends. So much so that when he takes a vacation, his customers miss him! Dick is a dedicated family man as well, and enjoys spending time with his grandchildren when he’s home.
He is a 16-year member of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association, a non-profit trade association representing the interests of truck and motor coach owners within the state of Wisconsin. Dick was the first owner/operator to join, prompting them to create an owner/operator member category.
To say Jim Wilcox has dedicated himself to the trucking industry is an understatement. And with 35 years on the road and countless awards and accolades, it’s obvious that the industry is better because of him.
His recognition includes: Induction into the YRC Freight National Driver Hall of Fame in 2013. He was one of 12 drivers to be inducted at that point in the 90 year history of Yellow Roadway Corporation. The 2006 National Truck Driver of the Year Awarded presented by the American Trucking Association (ATA) to an outstanding professional that has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to safety. And the 2005 Yellow Transportation Professional Excellence Award. Jim was the first driver to receive this annual award established to recognize one exceptional driver in Yellow's North American operations.
For 42 years, Bill Ater Jr. has been a wonderful asset and ambassador for the trucking industry. He is a compassionate, hard-working professional with contagious positivity. He has a heart for people in need, going out of his way to make sure they are fed, sheltered and safe. Bill is an active member of his church, and values God, family and work—in that order. He has been very involved with FEMA’s hurricane relief efforts. He’s responded in the aftermath of 12 hurricanes, bringing truck loads of supplies to devastated areas. After Hurricane Katrina, he took a displaced woman under his wing to feed her and help her find permanent housing. He then made it a point to visit her and check upon her for several years afterwards. After an Oklahoma hurricane, he took a week off from work to volunteer and help clean up.
Mary “Candy” Bass has certainly made the most of her 41 years as a professional driver, creating a model for others in the industry to follow. From her countless volunteer activities to her willingness to help others,
no matter the time or cost, she’s an inspiration to all who meet her. When she saw a documentary on wounded veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, she became determined to do something to help. She wanted to let them know that they had not been forgotten. She founded the “Hats for Heroes” charity, a program that would donate baseball caps to those who have had head injuries or burns. The caps allow these veterans to go outside, and also hide wounds or scars that might make them feel out of place.
Denis Litalien has been on the road for 44 years and is a well-known, hard-working professional who has touched the lives of many individuals. Leadership and community service go hand-in-hand for Denis. It comes naturally to him and people gravitate to his gentle, positive nature and his great ability to bring people together. He was awarded a Highway Angel Certificate from the Truckload Carriers Association for putting out a car fire on the highway in 1998, as well as Shaw’s Good Samaritan Award in 1996, recognizing his aid to motorists. He is also a 14-time State Champion in the New Hampshire and Maine State Truck Driving Championships, and a 7-time Top Five finisher at the National Truck Driving Championships.
In all that Jon “Doc” Osburn does and has done in nearly 3 decades in the trucking industry, he believes in putting others first. He’s never too busy to lend a hand and goes out of his way to help those in need. He is intent on promoting a positive image for professional truck drivers—which is why he currently represents OOIDA as the driver and spokesperson for their “Spirit of the American Trucker” tour truck. Jon encourages drivers to make their voices heard by voting and commenting on issues relating to the trucking industry. OOIDA has awarded him their Safe Driving Award for 28 safe years and 2.79 million safe miles. Jon has also been an active volunteer for the World’s Largest Truck Convoy For Special Olympics since 2004.
Bill Taylor is a decorated veteran who began his trucking career over 30 years ago while servicing the Army in Vietnam. When he and Robyn met years later, she decided the ever-changing view from a truck window was much more interesting than her desk job, and decided to join him. She got her license in 1999, and they hit the road together. They support their local schools, sharing both their truck and experiences with the students. For years, Bill and Robyn have been involved with the Trucker Buddy program, a pen-pal program matching drivers to classrooms of children in an effort to educate and mentor them. They are currently buddies with 18 classes in 3 different schools! They were named Trucker Buddies of the Month in June, 2002. Bill and Robyn continue to contribute to their country and community. They are active in helping veterans. And they are strong champions for owner/operators, often lobbying congress in regards to the laws effecting the trucking industry.
Bill Underwood, behind the wheel for 53 years, has driven an unheard-of 7.9 million accident-free miles. A man of great integrity, he is intent on doing things right. He helped a young girl that was stranded in Mississippi, this past summer. Concerned about her welfare, Bill drove her to a TA that was near her hometown. Working with the TA general manager, they called the local police to see if they could lend some assistance. The girl revealed she was actually a runaway, and just 14 years old. Thanks to Bill’s compassion and immediate response, she was saved from a situation that could have been very dangerous. Though Bill is confident in his accomplishments and self-worth, he is a humble man. He does not see his acts as anything extraordinary.
After 24 years on the road, Michael Zanella still has the look and presence of a consummate professional. He’s driven 2.67 million miles without a preventable accident, and has received many safety awards, including honors from Road Safe America, OOIDA, and Pizza Hut’s Driver Safety and Production Committee. He was Pro Driver’s Driver of the Year 2005, Mid-State Systems’ Top Driver of 2003, and Midnight Trucking Radio Network’s 2003 National Award for 1 Million Miles. He serves as spiritual advisor to two prison inmates through letters and visits, and volunteers for various Masonic functions and works with disabled veterans as-needed in the community.
In his 27 years on the road, Richard Ash, from Lakewood, Colorado, has traveled 2.8 million accident-free miles. A strong believer in paying it forward, Rick helps out his elderly neighbors by shoveling snow and checking in on them during the winter. He also hands out Hershey’s Kisses to fuel attendants, toll booth operators, and others—a simple act of kindness that lets these folks know he appreciates them. He is a life member of OOIDA, chairman and founder of Trucking Solutions Group, an annual volunteer at Feed My Starving Children in Denver, and a member of Trucker Buddy International. Rick stands out as a highly-polished professional, assisting others to be the best they can be. He feels that everyone benefits when we support one another to move the entire trucking industry forward.
Gary Buchs, from Colfax, Illinois, has been driving professionally for over 25 years. He has logged 2.25 million miles without an accident. He is a man of deep faith with a strong moral compass, and follows this in all he does. Gary is extremely attentive to his family. When his son was deployed to Afghanistan, Gary took a full year off from driving and moved from Illinois to Hawaii to become a full-time caregiver to his grandchildren. He is 9-time winner of the Landstar Star of Quality Award, as well as the recipient of a Platinum Star, awarded after he came upon a car accident, and stopped to help. He pried the car door open and pulled a woman out, saving her life.
Westbrook, Maine’s Robert Fernald has been behind the wheel for over 21 years and 2.5 million miles. A driver for Wal-Mart’s fleet, Rob is very committed to safety and has received multiple driving and safety awards in his career. He participates in the Maine State Truck Driving Championships, which has stringent safety requirements. Participants must remain accident, incident and violation free for the previous year to compete. Rob is a 4-time State Champion in multiple classes of competition. He supports many charities, including New England Truck Drivers’ Charity Challenge, Maine Trucking for Kids Charity, Special Olympics Convoy, Pull A Plane for Wounded Warriors and Wreaths Across America. He is also a former Trucker Buddy, speaking with school children via pen-pal, then visiting them with a truck at the end of the school year.
Sandy Long, from Marceline, Missouri has been driving professionally for 42 years—that’s 3 millions miles without an accident! This has earned her 3 different safety awards from 3 different fleets! You won’t meet anyone who is more responsible or more positive about her profession—and she still makes caring for her elderly mother a priority. Sandy is a Senior Life member of OOIDA. She is a staff writer for ExpediteNow/Road Gorilla magazines and Canadian Trucking Magazine, and has contributed articles to OOIDA’s Landline Magazine, as well as maintaining her own popular blog. She is a charter and active member of the Women in Trucking Association, and was an Influential Women of the Year nominee in 2013.
In his 36 years of safe driving, Jimmy Ardis has earned safety certificates from many trucking companies, as well as the OOIDA Award and a Goodyear Highway Hero finalist for pulling a fellow driver from a burning vehicle. He’s accomplished all this with just one arm after having cancer as a young boy. Jimmy started a Trucker Buddies club at a local school, mentors young adults, promotes American Cancer Society fund raisers, serves on the Literacy Board and helps with Chamber of Commerce events. He’s an Ambassador for Mobile Delvac, a regular guest on America’s Trucking Network, featured at truck industry shows and was a 2012 Real Life Trucking Hero finalist.
Charles Endorf has dedicated more than 40 years of service to Werner Enterprises, and is possibly the only driver to achieve 5 million safe miles with a single carrier. He’s known as “Mister Safety” with countless awards for production, on-time service and safety, including Werner’s first Million-Mile Driver. Charles helped develop Werner training videos for professional drivers, allowing others to benefit from his knowledge and insight. He contributes to numerous trucker radio shows and supports his community as a Fairbury City Council member, as a church leader and Sunday school teacher.
Former police officer Shawn Hubbard has been a professional driver for 14 years. He is a Senior Member of the Owner/Operator & Independent Driver Association and a trained instructor in the Ruan Transport Megasafe 7 safety program. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Victor Valley College where he serves as safety advisor on their Environmental, Health & Safety Committee. Shawn runs several Facebook groups to support families in need, ran on a team ticket for City Council, and volunteers at the Victor Valley Rescue Mission Warming Shelter for the homeless. In November 2009, Shawn stopped at a roadside accident where he saved a man trapped in a burning vehicle and was honored with the “Highway Angel of the Year” award.
Norman Knight has been a professional driver for 25 years without a single accident. When he’s not in his truck, Norm’s on his motorcycle, taking part in charity fundraisers for the Patriot Guards, the American Legion Riders and Warriors Watch to help families of fallen soldiers. He has been a volunteer firefighter for 15 years, earning a “Most Active Responder” award. Norm supports cancer research funding through charity events, including the Relay for Life and his own “Boating for a Cure.” He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and is proud to continue serving others through charity organizations.
Team drivers Bob and Linda Caffee are true ambassadors for the trucking industry, donating their time to St. Louis schools, Trucker Buddy International and the Saint Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund. They are founding members of the Trucking Solutions Group and serve on the FedEx Custom Critical Contractor Council. Linda is a board member for Women in Trucking, Chair of the Trucking Solutions Group Health Council and developed drivers’ Health Walks and the Expediters Online fitness forum. Bob and Linda are both Team Run Smart Pros, providing business advice to other owner/operators, and Bob writes articles for Expedite Now. Bob and Linda have been featured guests on the Dave Nemo show and earned FedEx Accident-Free and 4-Star awards.
Over 46 years, Jerry Fritts has earned numerous safety awards, including the Landstar Roadstar Award. He is a member of the Landstar Roadstar Hall of Fame. He gives input on truck safety technology to companies like Eaton, has been a Field Safety Supervisor, a finalist for America’s Road Team and invited to Washington as an advisor by the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration. When a serious injury nearly ended his career, Jerry volunteered with the Red Cross while working on his recovery. He managed disaster shelter operations, served as Chairman of fleet management and maintenance and accepted an AmeriCorps Vista assignment. After rehab, Jerry formed his own trucking company and continues to be an active Red Cross volunteer.
Henry Albert is a founding member of the Trucking Solutions Group, on the Driver Health Council, has served on the National Association of Small Trucking Companies and the OOIDA Board of Directors. He was also Overdrive Magazine’s Owner/Operator of the Year in 2007. Henry is a Trucker Buddy and supports Make a Wish in the Mothers Day Convoy. He’s on driver support panels at Expedite Expo, acts as a mentor to other drivers, and shares his tips on getting 11 miles per gallon on the ”MPG Masters” Facebook page. With 30 years as a professional driver, Henry works with engineers to improve product safety as a Freightliner Team Run Smart Pro.
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