WESTLAKE, Ohio—TravelCenters of America has announced its annual Citizen Driver Award winners: Susie Deridder of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, and Douglas Ralph Smith of Bountiful, Utah. Chosen from nearly 200 nominations, the professional drivers have a combined 95 years of hauling freight across the nation, with over eight million accident-free miles.
“Each year, our Citizen Driver Program honors those who go above and beyond to serve others. Their commitment to delivering our nation’s goods, no matter the circumstances, is critical for our country’s economy,” said Barry Richards, president of TA. “We are committed to continuing to share these drivers’ stories and demonstrate why they deserve respect and recognition year-round.”
As a Citizen Driver Award recipient, drivers may choose a TA, Petro or TA Express location to be dedicated in their honor. To celebrate their career and contributions, a bronze historical marker with the driver’s image and story is installed on the front of the building and a dedication ceremony is held with dozens of their closest family and friends. By dedicating a location in their name and displaying their accomplishments at the site, TA allows the drivers’ stories to be heard by all travelers that pass through.
Susie Deridder has chosen the TA in Barstow, California, to be dedicated in her name and is giving her $2,500 donation to Truckers Final Mile. Doug Smith has chosen the TA in Tooele, Utah, to be dedicated in his name. He will split his $2,500 donation among the following three charities: The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, Tunnel to Towers and Truckers Final Mile.
TA launched the Citizen Driver program in 2013 to recognize the professional drivers who keep America moving. Winners are chosen based on their background and involvement in initiatives including community involvement, safety, health and wellness and leadership.
TA recently announced a collaboration with Cleveland Clinic to expand its support of truck drivers’ health and well-being by enhancing healthy food offerings and educational opportunities.
The collaboration with Cleveland Clinic will result in new healthy meal options on the menus at all of TA’s Country Pride and Iron Skillet full-service restaurants by the end of 2022. TA plans to expand beyond these full-service menu offerings by working with Cleveland Clinic to identify healthy snack and grab-and-go food options in its travel stores in addition to offering overall healthy lifestyle information.
Additionally, Minnesota-based Minnoco is raising funds for breast cancer awareness and research. To raise the funds, Minnoco is donating two cents of every gallon of gas when customers use the Minnoco Rewards Program. The fundraiser began on October 1 and will run through November 8, and the money will be donated to the Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation, a Minnesota-based 501(c)(3) that has been a source of hope for local breast cancer patients and their families since 2001.