This year’s Citizen Drivers will have their favorite TA or Petro Stopping Center named after them.
At the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, TravelCenters of America LLC held its third annual Citizen Driver luncheon ceremony, where it announced this year’s Citizen Driver honorees. TravelCenters’ Citizen Driver program recognizes professional drivers for bringing respect to the truck driving profession.
TravelCenters launched the Citizen Driver program in 2013 in an effort to honor the many great, hardworking professional truck drivers that keep our economy going. 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. By demonstrating their good citizenship, safety, community involvement and leadership, they are shining examples of all of the hard working men and women in this industry with whom we are proud to be associated.
The 2016 Citizen Drivers are listed below. Each driver has picked their favorite TA or Petro Stopping Centers location, which will be renamed after them. Citizen Drivers also received a Citizen Driver Honoree package from TA and Petro.
- Jon Osburn – TA Boise, Idaho – “J.D. Doc Osburn Travel Center”
- Bill Underwood – TA Greenwood, La. – “Bill Underwood Travel Center”
- Michael Eugene Zanella – TA Hebron, Ohio – “Michael Eugene Zanella Travel Center”
- Bill Ater Jr. – Petro Carl’s Corner, Texas – “Bill Ater Jr. Stopping Center”
- Mary “Candy” Bass – TA Nashville, Tenn. – “Candy Bass Travel Center”
- Denis Litalien – TA Greenland, N.H. – “Denis Litalien Travel Center”
- Bill and Robyn Taylor – TA Southington, Conn. – “Bill and Robyn Taylor Travel Center”
With this group of honorees, there are now 19 TA or Petro Stopping Centers locations across the country renamed to honor professional truck drivers.
“The Citizen Driver program is a truly special and honorable recognition of the exemplary individuals within the trucking industry who pride themselves on hard work and true leadership skills. We are extremely proud of all our honorees and want to identify the drivers that the trucking industry is proud to count among their own and give their stories a chance to be heard,” shared Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters.
TravelCenters accepted nominations for the 2016 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. Distinguished members of the trucking industry, Bill Graves, president and CEO of the ATA; Jim Johnston, president of OOIDA; Ellen Voie, president and CEO of Women In Trucking; Micah Jackson, publisher for Target Media Partners; Deborah Lockridge, editor, 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, judged the submitted nominations and selected the honorees who excelled in the identified categories.
The 2017 Citizen Driver nomination form, rules and other information will be posted to the TA and Petro Stopping Centers web site in May 2016. Nominations will be accepted throughout 2016 and the new honorees will be announced at the 2017 MATS.
In the most recent ‘Voted Best’ professional driver survey, drivers preferred TA and Petro five to one in the ‘Best Truck Stop Experience’ category. These results are based on TA and Petro survey of professional truck drivers. The ratios depict professional driver preference for TA and Petro versus the next closest truck stop brand.