OOIDA’s Pugh joins MATS Wall of Fame class
March 10, 2023
The final name for the 2023 Mid-America Trucking Show Wall of Fame has been revealed.
On March 9, the group announced Lewie Pugh, OOIDA executive vice president, as the third and final member of the 2023 class.
As a driver, Pugh has 26 years of experience behind the wheel. He began his trucking career as a motor transport officer for the U.S. Army Reserve in 1992. After leaving the military, Pugh became a company driver, and in 1996 he purchased his own truck and became an owner-operator.
Pugh was most recently leased on with Landstar Ranger, where he spent 13 years pulling flatbed trailers under his company name, Bum Steer Trucking. During his time with Landstar, he received the company’s Star of Quality Award while raking up over 1 million crash-free miles.
When Pugh became an OOIDA member in 1996, he said it was because he was looking for an organization to represent his ideas in Washington. Eight years later he would join that voice, being nominated and elected alternate to the Association’s Board of Directors in 2004. In 2006, Pugh was seated as a director, a position he still holds.
His role with the Association grew again in 2017, when he reluctantly sold his truck and moved to Missouri to begin working at OOIDA as a regulatory specialist. He would also hold the position of manager of OOIDA’s Business Services Department prior to being elected executive vice president in April of 2018.
Pugh said he was surprised and humbled by the Wall of Fame honor.
“It’s a very cool thing. I’m very honored and very surprised,” Pugh told Land Line Now. “I don’t feel like I deserve it. I feel like there’s lots of other people out there that deserve it. And I know everybody says that when they get something like that, but I truly do.”
While his career in the driver’s seat may have come to an end, Pugh continues to have an indelible impact on the trucking industry. In his current role, he regularly travels to Washington, D.C., meeting with lawmakers to discuss issues that affect small business truckers. In 2020, Pugh testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. He also serves as chairman of the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Committee.
Pugh joins OOIDA life member Candy Bass and the late Troy Huddleston as honorees in the 2023 Wall of Fame class.
Started in 2022, the Wall of Fame aims to “honor those in the MATS community that have made significant contributions to improve the American trucking Industry.” Twenty-six inductees – including OOIDA founder Jim Johnston and current Association president Todd Spencer – were named to the inaugural class. Pugh says he is honored to be joining such illustrious company.
“I just feel like I do my job. I did my job trucking to the best of my ability. I try to do my job here and hopefully make things better for people out there,” he said. “It’s very much an honor, not only be recognized with (Bass and Huddleston), but also the people that are already in there … There’s a lot of good people that have really changed the industry.”
According to the MATS website, nominees for the Wall of Fame must:
- Conduct themselves with a high degree of integrity both within and outside of the heavy-duty trucking industry.
- Demonstrate professionalism and dedication to the trucking industry and contribute toward enhancing its image, technology and/or growth.
- Nominee’s contributions must reach beyond the local level.
The 2023 class of inductees will be recognized during the MATS opening ceremony in Louisville, Ky. on March 30. LL