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TravelCenters of America Vice President Spends Week on the Road with Professional Driver in Quest to Elevate Safety Standards at Sites


WESTLAKE, OH - As part of its focus to elevate safety standards at its sites nationwide, an initiative announced earlier this year, TravelCenters of America is hitting the road to more fully understand the experiences and challenges faced by women professional drivers. On May 14, Retail Operations Support Vice President, Debbie Shelton, will embark on an over-the-road trip alongside Violet Helferich from ACE Doran Hauling & Rigging Co., a division of the Bennett Family of Companies.

The journey will span a week, taking Debbie and Violet from Tulsa, OK to Seymour, Texas and then to a wind farm in Texas. During this immersive experience, Debbie aims to gain firsthand insights into the daily experiences and challenges of female professional drivers.

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to ride alongside a female professional driver and witness firsthand the intricacies of their roles and the challenges they navigate daily,” Debbie said. “This journey aligns perfectly with TA's commitment to diversity and safety within the transportation industry." Debbie hopes to leverage the insights gained from this journey to spearhead further initiatives that promote safety at TA's travel centers, supporting the company's overarching goal of enhancing the experience for all guests.

In March, TA announced its focus on elevating site safety standards, an initiative created by CEO Debi Boffa upon learning women professional drivers are seeking ways to protect themselves while on the road and visiting travel centers. In addition to the road trip with Debbie Shelton, TA has formed a Women Safety Advisory Panel which brings together professional drivers and members of the trucking industry to discuss topics regarding even safer TA, Petro or TA Express travel centers and services. While the advisory panel specifically focuses on female perspectives, any feedback and information received will be used to create safer sites for all guests and team members, regardless of gender.

About TravelCenters of America
TravelCenters of America Inc., part of the bp portfolio, is a full-service travel center network operating under the TA®, Petro Stopping Centers® and TA Express® brands. Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, its nearly 19,000 team members serve guests in over 300 locations in 44 states, with a mission of returning every traveler to the road better than they came. Offerings include diesel and gasoline, truck maintenance and repair, full-service and quick-service restaurants, stores with food, beverages and merchandise, car and truck parking and other services dedicated to providing great experiences for guests. TA is also committed to meeting the evolving needs of professional drivers and motorists as the nation shifts toward the increased adoption of alternative fuels and electric vehicles. For more information, visit

About Bennett Family of Companies
The Bennett Family of Companies, based in McDonough, GA, is a woman-owned enterprise and holds Women’s Enterprise Business Council (WBENC) certification. Renowned for its diversified transportation and logistics solutions, the Bennett Family of Companies operates through its 14 affiliated operating entities, delivering integrated transportation and supply chain management solutions worldwide. With a vast network comprising 4,625 drivers/owner-operators, over 1,000 employees, and 600 agents spread across the United States, Bennett is a cornerstone of the transportation industry.