OOIDA Board member
In the February issue, we featured Rick Craig, a former owner-operator who threw in the truck keys and took a job at OOIDA. This issue, I want to introduce another former owner-operator who now has a working role inside OOIDA’s Missouri headquarters — Gary Green, also known as “The Green Guy.”
In 1971, Gary got out of the U.S. Army, where he specialized in transportation and helicopter maintenance. Trucking was a natural career choice, and that path never varied, which is no surprise. Gary’s mother and stepfather were both professional drivers, with emphasis on “professional.”
Gary recalls what good drivers they were, with memories of his stepfather’s skill at backing up a truck.
“And that was not just any truck, but a set of doubles,” says Gary, “and he could put them anywhere.”
Gary says his stepfather and mother were honest, hard-working people who taught him there is room for everyone in the trucking industry. As a kid, Gary would hear from his parents how tough it was to run a small trucking company. He would watch as his trucking parents navigated those rapids, seeing how many long hours truckers worked and how often owner-operators got ripped off. He felt there had to be other avenues to help the truckers resolve their issues.
When Gary joined OOIDA in April of 1989, he owned his own truck and was hauling product for Farmland Industries. He was leased to Michael Bennett Trucking, Seneca, KS. Gary left Bennett to start his own business.
By 1992, he was elected to the OOIDA Board of Directors.
“In 1996, I was recruited to join the team in Grain Valley and bring road experience to the department,” Gary recalls. He worked with a growing unit known as Business Services, working with supervisor Mary Johnston and her small but dedicated staff.
It wasn’t small for long. Before Mary retired early last year, more than a dozen people staffed the department.
“As we roll into 2004, we have 17 people,” says Gary, now supervisor of Business Services.
What services does this department provide? When drivers have a dispute with a carrier or shipper, need collections, permits, help in getting their authority, even help with fuel taxes, they go to Business Services. This department helps give the owner-operator a level playing field in a number of matters.
So, if problems in any of these areas have prompted you to seek the services of OOIDA, then you may have made the acquaintance of “the Green Guy.” If you’ve been to a truck show in Louisville, Boston, Las Vegas, Dallas or many others, maybe you met him at the OOIDA booth.
If you want to see Gary smile, ask him how OOIDA was able to send a dishonest DOT officer to jail or how they were instrumental on getting a dishonest broker locked up in Florida.
His department may not win every battle they get involved with, but it won’t be because they didn’t give it their best effort.
“The reason I joined this association years ago is that truckers lost the ability to set our own freight rates. And that’s not all truckers have lost. At OOIDA, I found the only people who gave a damn,” says Gary. “And that hasn’t changed.”
Gary still serves as a board member. His duties include seats on the Nomination-Election Committee, Judiciary Committee, Publications Advisory Committee and the Political Action and Legislative Review Committee.
Gary has a real type A personality. You can see that in the way he enjoys life. He works out four nights a week in the gym and enjoys archery, deer hunting, fishing and water sports.
He lives in Edwardsville, KS, with his wife, Susie. They have been married for 30 years. Gary and Susie have one daughter, Christy, and a new son-in-law, Peach.