Burton was recently named the Expediter of the Year during the Expedite Expo. Burton donated the $500 that accompanied the inaugural award to the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, which is a charity dedicated to helping truck drivers whose medical problems have led to financial hardship.
“We are aware of the St. Christopher Fund and the great work they do on behalf of drivers. St. Christopher’s is a terrific charity, and, while we were extremely proud of Robert’s recognition as the first-ever Expediter of the Year, the entire team at V3 was greatly moved by his decision to give the $500 cash prize to the St. Christopher Fund,” said V3 president John Sliter. “Our management team at V3 felt the best way to pay tribute to Robert’s accomplishment and his commitment to others on the road was to match his donation. V3 is proud to make a $500 donation to the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund in the names of Robert and Christy Burton.”
The nomination for the Expediter of the Year was submitted by Christy Burton, Robert’s wife and co-driver. In her submission to the committee, she cited the numerous instances since they have been driving together when Robert provided assistance to motorists and truck drivers during their travels. In one situation when the Burtons encountered a burning car filled with oxygen tanks along I-35 in Texas, Robert was able to coordinate a blockade of traffic on both sides of the highway before authorities arrived on scene, keeping people safe from the ensuing explosion of the burning car.
“I knew I had to nominate Robert because of the human being that he actually is. I just had to do it,” said Christy Burton. “You always hear about the old trucking stories where everybody would help everybody. You just don’t see that a lot today, but Robert still goes above and beyond. There were so many examples where Robert put his foot forward and helped people. He is my husband and I think the world of him. But for the expedite community to feel the same way about my husband that I do touches my heart very deeply.”
Christy Burton did not tell her husband about nominating him for the award until he was named as one of the finalists.
“I couldn’t believe it when she told me,” said Robert of the nomination before commenting on the experience of earning the Expediter of the Year honor. “When it first happened, everything in the room disappeared. It was something I never felt before. I’m still in awe and it’s mind-blowing. It’s such a great honor. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Sponsored by On Time Media and the Expedite Expo, the Expediter of the Year was chosen by an independent, three-judge panel, which consisted of representatives from CIS Insurance, National Truckin’ Magazine and the Women In Trucking Association. The judges narrowed down the field to three finalists before ultimately choosing Robert Burton as the Expediter of the Year.
Prior to making the trip to the Expedite Expo, Robert and Christy made the decision to donate the $500 cash to the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund – if Robert was selected as the winner. The Burtons had been inspired by the mission of the fund, having been out of work following an accident in which their personal vehicle had been struck at a high speed by a motorist.
“We’ve been there,” recalled Robert Burton of the accident that initially kept he and Christy from returning to work. “The wheels weren’t turning on our truck and we weren’t making any money. We were living off a nest egg at the time, and that nest egg was being cooked. This is what St. Christopher’s does. They help people in these situations. In my mind, this was the best thing I could have done with this money – to help someone who was in the situation that we were once in.”
“These surprise donations always make our day,” said Shannon Currier, the Director of Philanthropy and Development with the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund. “This shows what a giving spirit that Robert and Christy have, and we are thrilled that V3 chose to support us with their matching donation. They were excited for Robert and they honored him with a donation. That’s the kind of company that we want to work with and that’s the kind of company that drivers want to drive for. It’s just in their heart to give back to the industry and they chose us to do that. It means a lot. It makes us feel that we are giving back to the industry the way that we should – treating drivers the way that we should.”