A new team of 18 professional truck drivers were named to the 2019-2020 class of America's Road Team, the American Trucking Associations announced this week. The drivers will immediately begin their service as trucking industry ambassadors to the general public, elected officials and members of the media.
"These drivers represent the diverse experiences of the 3.5 million professional drivers across the country and will be able to bring their unique stories to new, critical audiences as part of America's Road Team," said Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO. "ATA is very excited to begin working with this group of professional, respected drivers and see them continue spreading the positive image of the trucking industry. We are extremely proud of them, as are their companies and families."
America's Road Team is an outreach initiative that utilizes professional truck drivers to impress upon the motoring public, lawmakers, and media the importance of the trucking industry. Since it was established in 1986, America's Road Team has educated millions of drivers about the trucking industry's safety record, necessity, and professionalism.
"These Captains have dedicated their lives to spreading the message of safe driving while promoting a positive perception of the trucking industry. They are leaders in their communities, role models in their companies, and truly embody the professionalism and dedication that comes with the passion that they have for the industry," said Elisabeth Barna, ATA senior advisor and executive vice president of industry affairs. "This new class represents everything we strive to promote about our industry and its professionals."
The captains will have the opportunity to share their passion for trucking as they travel the country on behalf of ATA and the industry. They will share their experiences as professional truck drivers and the role the industry plays in the delivery of goods and services while also stressing the importance of a safety-first mentality. The drivers will continue to work full-time for their ATA member companies, appearing on behalf of ATA a few days per month. The new captains will tour the country in ATA's Interstate One Image Truck, an American flag-emblazoned Volvo VNL 760, featuring a state-of-the-art truck driving simulator and mobile classroom.
"Volvo Trucks is honored to continue our sponsorship of America's Road Team with a brand new Volvo VNL 760 and take part in this week's selection of the 2019-2020 Captains," said Peter Voorhoeve, the Volvo Trucks North America president. "America's Road Team is one of the most visible groups of professional truck drivers in the country, and we believe their hard work and dedication pays dividends for our industry. We want to thank the Captains for their strong engagement and being passionate ambassadors of this great profession. We congratulate the new class of America's Road Team Captains and wish them the best of luck as they carry out their mission over the next two years."
ATA held its final round of selections from January 27-29 in Arlington, VA. The drivers were judged on their ability to express their knowledge of the industry, their skills in effective communication about safety and transportation, and their overall safe-driving record. The panel of judges included trucking executives and trade press.
"I'm excited to start off 2019 by welcoming these new Captains to the America's Road Team family. America's Road Team is an important tool for our industry and I can't wait to see how they will continue to spread our message of safety and professionalism," said Barry Pottle, ATA Chairman and professional truck driver and president of Pottle's Transportation. "Everyone introduced tonight has earned their spot on the team through their hard work and dedication to safety and their passion for trucking.
After receiving their signature navy blue America's Road Team blazers, the 2019-2020 Captains will immediately begin their work in improving public perception of the trucking industry. Trucking industry professionals can support America's Road Team's mission by following the team's two-year journey on Facebook and Twitter and interacting with the Captains at major industry events, conferences and community visits.
The 2019-2020 America's Road Team Captains are:
- William C. Bennett III, UPS Freight, Maytown, PA
- Sammy Brewster, ABF Freight, Powder Springs, GA
- Jorge Chavez, Jetco Delivery, Houston, TX
- Timothy Chelette, Big G Express, Murfreesboro, TN
- James Clark, Penske Logistics, Otter Lake, MI
- April Coolidge, Walmart Transportation, Mint Hill, NC
- Scott Davis, ABF Freight, Kearney, MO
- Douglas Frombaugh, FedEx Freight, Carlisle, PA
- William Goins, Old Dominion, Cloverdale, IN
- Billy Hambrick, Werner Enterprises, Yoder, WY
- Russell James, YRC Freight, Bonner, MT
- Gary Martin, FedEx Ground, Galt, CA
- William McNamee, Carbon Express, Christopher, IL
- Tina Peterson, FedEx Ground, Blaine, MN
- Theldorine "Dee" Sova, Prime Inc., Sacramento, CA
- Ronald Vandermark, UPS Freight, Delran, NJ
- Nicolette Weaver, FedEx Freight, New Bloomfield, PA
- Todd Wilemon, ABF Freight, Fulton, MS