OOIDA members named Outstanding Trucker Buddies

March 22, 2018

Mark Schremmer


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Two members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association received Outstanding Trucker Buddy awards for 2017, Trucker Buddy International Executive Director Alan Welborn announced on Thursday, March 22 at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

Steen Gronlund, an OOIDA life member, and OOIDA member Sonja Springman earned the awards.

Neither of the Outstanding Trucker Buddies attended the news conference.

Outstanding Trucker Buddies
Alan Welborn, the executive director for Trucker Buddy, named the Outstanding Trucker Buddy awards during the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

Gronlund, a driver for Mile Hi, has been a Trucker Buddy for 20 years. He assists Angie Banning’s fourth-grade class at Longmont Estates Elementary in Longmont, Colo.

Springman, a driver for Try Hours, has been a Trucker Buddy for two years. She assists Geraldine Mazua’s ninth-grade class in France.

Welborn said the difference in Gronlund’s and Springman’s number of years in the program shows that the award is about how much the truck drivers interact with their respective classes.

Chelsea Smith, a teacher at Golden Hills Elementary in Oroville, Colo., earned Outstanding Teacher for 2017. John Waldvogel, a retired trucker from Motor Carrier Services, received the Darrell Hicks Ambassador of the Year award.

Drivers nominate teachers, and teachers nominate drivers.

The organization was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1992. It has helped educate schoolchildren and introduce educators to the trucking industry through pen pal relationships. The truck drivers undergo an extensive screening process.

The organization said it has helped more than a million schoolchildren since its founding by trucker Gary King.