Trucker Buddy names new executive director

October 9, 2017

Mark Schremmer

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For the first time in almost a decade, Trucker Buddy International has a new executive director.

Randy Schwartzenburg recently retired after nine years in the position, and former Randall-Reilly employee Alan Welborn will fill the role. Schwartzenburg, who said he has been involved with the program for 25 years, will continue to work with the nonprofit organization part time, serving as the operations manager.

Started as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1992, Trucker Buddy is dedicated to helping educate schoolchildren via a pen pal relationship between background-checked professional truck drivers and students in kindergarten through the eighth grade.

Matched with teachers and classrooms, truck drivers share news about their travels with the class, and students write back to the drivers. Doing so gives teachers a new way to educate their students about such subjects as geography, math, social studies and history, and it helps provide a positive image of truck drivers and the trucking industry.

The program has about 2,000 truck drivers paired with classrooms.

In addition to providing students new ways to learn the traditional subjects, Trucker Buddy also teaches students, teachers, and parents the safe way to drive around heavy-duty trucks.

“We don’t have any way to say that our program has saved ‘X’ number of lives, but I guarantee you that Trucker Buddy has saved lives,” Schwartzenburg said.

Don’t expect many immediate changes to the organization, Welborn said.

“It’s running pretty well already,” he said. “That’s the great thing. We can just concentrate on trying to expand and make things better than having to fix things.

“It’s been a great program. I hope I can carry the torch and keep it going.”

Those interested in applying to be a part of the Trucker Buddy program can apply here. For more information about the program, call 800-MYBUDDY.

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.