Meet TA & Petro’s Citizen Driver 2020 honorees

June 9, 2020

Greg Grisolano

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Two drivers with a combined 8 million crash-free miles and exemplary records of leadership and service within their communities have received TA & Petro’s Citizen Driver 2020 honors.

Jerry “Skimpy” Seaman, an OOIDA life member from Huron, S.D., is one of two 2020 TA & Petro Citizen Drivers.
Jerry “Skimpy” Seaman, an OOIDA life member from Huron, S.D., is one of two 2020 TA & Petro Citizen Drivers. He drives for NTA Trucking Ltd.

Jerry ‘Skimpy’ Seaman

Jerry “Skimpy” Seaman, an OOIDA life member from Huron, S.D., who drives for NTA Trucking Ltd., and Herschel Evans of Bremen, Ga., a driver for Holland Inc., were announced as the winners via a live broadcast Tuesday, June 9, on the Dave Nemo Show on SiriusXM.

Seaman’s driving career started at 12 years old, delivering goods from farm to market. In 48 years of driving, he’s logged 5 million accident-free miles behind the wheel.

In 2010, Skimpy was chosen as the NASTC Driver of the Year and as a member of their 2010 America’s Safe Driver Team. In 2011, he began competing in the South Dakota Truck Driving championships. He received a first-place finish in the five-axle van class, received Rookie of the Year honors, the Larry Thury Award, and was named Grand Champion. He also competed in the American Trucking Association’s National Truck Driving Championships.

Seaman is a dedicated Sunday school teacher, Sunday school director, worship leader and music director. He is devoted to working with the Special Olympics and has been involved with the South Dakota Convoy for Special Olympics since its inception in 2002.

Herschel Evans is a trainer for Holland. He was named a 2020 TA & Petro Citizen Driver.
Herschel Evans is a trainer for Holland. He was named a 2020 TA & Petro Citizen Driver.

Herschel Evans

Evans followed in his father’s footsteps as a diesel mechanic before transitioning to a seat in the cab. A trainer for Holland, he’s logged 3 million safe miles, He received the 2018 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance International Driver Excellence Award. In 2013, he was selected as an American Trucking Associations American’s Road Team captain. In 2017, he was presented with the Mark Russell Trucking Image Award for representing the industry through his role as an America’s Road Team captain.

Seamen and Evans were chosen from among 10 finalists. Nemo himself and OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer are among the six-member panel of judges. Over 75 nominations were received.

TravelCenters of America President Barry Richards said all 35 honorees over the past seven years have certain traits in common: They lead by example and they’re committed to safety, mentorship and representing the industry in the best way. They’re also all heavily involved in charity and community support.

“There are so many upstanding individuals out there driving trucks, and most of America doesn’t know about it.” Richards said during the live broadcast. “Consider the hours that these folks dedicate to the highway and their career, it’s rather amazing that they have the time to accomplish some of the things they’re going to be recognized for today.”

A trio of OOIDA life members: Steen Gronlund, from Longmont, Colo., and Kenn and Beth Zelten, a husband-wife team from Menominee, Mich., were selected as the 2019 Citizen Driver honorees.

The program launched in 2013 to honor hardworking, professional truckers. The award places a premium on being positive role models within their communities. Now in its seventh year, the Citizen Driver program seeks to exemplify the good in the trucking industry by honoring drivers with exemplary records of safety, leadership and public service.

Honorees get the TA or Petro of their choice dedicated in their honor. A plaque recounting their stories and service is displayed in each facility. TravelCenters of America also makes a $2,500 contribution to the driver’s charity of choice.

Evans has chosen the Petro in Atlanta for his dedication ceremony. Seaman picked the TA Express in Vermillion, S.D., for his location. The honorees were supposed to be announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville in March, but the announcement was delayed after the show was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Greg Grisolano

Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.