Giving Back is what drives Citizen Driver Ingrid Brown
July 3, 2018
When wildfires devastated Oklahoma ranchers in 2017, Ingrid Brown was there to help.
Brown, an owner-operator and OOIDA member from Mountain City, Tenn., was part of a relief convoy transporting hay and other supplies to folks who had lost everything. But she says what stuck with her most from that experience weren’t the scenes of devastation and loss. It was the resilient spirit of the people who were determined to help their neighbors.
“I sat with all these people who had lost their homes, their herds, some lost family members – not one person complained or was hateful about it,” Brown said in a phone interview with Land Line. “Everyone was humbled that they had left what they did.”
When she was honored this spring as a 2018 TA/Petro Citizen Driver, Brown said she wanted the Petro in Oklahoma City to bear her name.
Brown still vividly recalls the details of that convoy to Knowles, Okla., on April 6 of last year. Twenty-one drivers came out of western Michigan and donated time, fuel and trucks to haul hay. When the convoy arrived in Knowles, Brown says the trucks were dispatched to different ranches. She ended up at one belonging to an elderly couple who had lost three-quarters of their cattle in the fire.
“We literally drove up and unloaded in the ashes of the barn,” she said. “Not once did you ever hear this man say anything other than that he was just grateful his wife and kids were alive, and they could start over.”
Among the guests who attended a renaming ceremony for the Petro on June 22, were members of the state’s Agriculture Department.
“I made friends with those people when they were on the ground, in the ranches,” she said. “When they heard of this, they came as my friends, not as dignitaries.”
Each year, the Citizen Driver Program honors “exceptional drivers who demonstrate values of citizenship, community involvement, health and wellness, leadership and safety.” The program, which started in 2014, has rewarded 31 truck drivers by naming a truck stop in their honor. Brown was one of five truckers to receive the honor in 2018. She joins OOIDA members Danny and Cindy George, Roland Bolduc, and Carol Nixon as this year’s honorees.
Brown also has logged more than 4 million accident-free miles as part of her commitment to safety and professionalism. She has also received Women in Trucking Safety awards from 2010-17. Brown won the NASTC 2015 Woman Driver of The Year Award. She also has been a member of the Women in Trucking Image team for the last three years.
Brown said that being named a Citizen Driver was the “highest honor I could ever receive in trucking.”
“God’s using me as a vessel,” she said. “You can cover my face up, and there’s not a driver out here who can’t do or be or receive everything I have. I hope it shows everybody that anybody can do this. I’ve been blessed.”