MATS, LOUISVILLE -- TravelCenters of America announced its first annual Citizen Driver Award recipients during the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., on Friday. The Citizen Driver Award recognizes professional drivers who evoke respect for the truck driving profession.

TravelCenters launched the Citizen Driver program in the spring of 2013. Citizen Drivers not only have an exemplary career in trucking, but also demonstrate good citizenship, safety, community involvement, and leadership.

The 2014 Citizen Drivers are listed below. Each driver has picked their favorite TA or Petro Stopping Centers location, which will be renamed after them. Citizen Drivers also received a Citizen Driver Award package from TA and Petro, as do the many semi-finalists and finalists.

  • Henry Albert -- TA Laredo, Texas -- “Henry Albert Laredo Travel Center”
  • Jimmy Ardis -- TA Manning, S.C. -- “Jimmy Ardis Manning Travel Center”
  • Linda and Bob Caffee -- Petro N. Las Vegas, Nev. -- “Linda and Bob Caffee North Las Vegas Stopping Center”
  • Charley Endorf -- Petro York, Neb. -- “Charley Endorf York Stopping Center”
  • Jerry Fritts -- Petro West Memphis, Ark. -- “Jerry Fritts West Memphis Stopping Center”
  • Shawn Hubbard -- Petro Ontario, Calif. -- “Shawn Hubbard Ontario Stopping Center”
  • Norman Knight -- TA Columbia, N.J. -- “Norman Knight Columbia Travel Center”

“There are 3 million professional truck drivers in the U.S.,” said Tom O’Brien, President and CEO of TravelCenters. “Their impact on the average American’s life is largely unknown and underappreciated.

"Our Citizen Driver Award is a way to recognize the best of the best, not just for being good at their jobs, but for being good people that everyone, everywhere, both inside and outside of trucking, can admire and respect."

TravelCenters accepted nominations for the Citizen Driver Award throughout last year. Distinguished members of the trucking industry, including representatives from the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, the American Trucking Association, the Truckload Carriers Association, Women in Trucking and four members of the trucking industry’s print and broadcasting media corps, judged the submitted nominations and selected the winners who excelled in the identified categories.

The 2015 Citizen Driver Award nomination form, rules and other information will be posted to the TA and Petro Stopping Centers web sites in May 2014. Nominations will be accepted throughout 2014 and the new winners will be announced at the 2015 Mid-America Trucking Show.