You can now vote online
OOIDA is on course in an Association election that will seat five new alternates to the organization’s directing Board in 2011. Ballots were mailed Nov. 15 and must be returned to OOIDA by Dec. 30. Or there’s another way to vote.
This year, the Association will also offer an online voting process. To participate in the election online, go to ooida.com and on the home page, you’ll see a button that is a link to the ballot. Just follow the instructions. It’s a secure site and only members will have access by providing a name and member number. You will only be able to vote one time.
To help you with the election process, short bios and comments from nominees are featured here.
Every two years, OOIDA holds an election for alternates to the Association’s Board of Directors. The Nomination-Election Committee has determined the list of nominees, made up of members who have had a minimum of five consecutive years of commercial truck driving experience and five consecutive years of active membership in the Association immediately before the nomination.
Alternates will be elected by and from the membership for two-year terms. Voting is open to life members, senior members, members and retired members who are current on their dues.
It is important that you as an OOIDA member take the opportunity to participate in this election by voting for those nominees you feel are qualified to sit on the OOIDA Board. The election process is a very important part of your membership as you are responsible for electing those individuals who lead and guide your Association.
The elected alternates will be seated at the spring 2011 board meeting.
Click on the nominee's name to read their bio
Henry Albert, 47, Statesville, NC, has more than 28 years’ experience in the trucking industry with 14 years as a company driver and more than 14 as an owner-operator with his own authority. Currently, Henry participates in Freightliner’s “Slice of Life” program. Freightliner provided him with a 2009 Cascadia to operate for one year. He pulls a flatbed, primarily East Coast, and a dry van, from Charlotte to Laredo. Henry blogs about his experiences on the road at sliceoftruckerlife.com.
Henry has been an OOIDA member since 1999. He joined because he was looking for a group that represented the small-business truck operator. Henry states, “I always try to promote our industry and OOIDA in a positive manner. I realize first impressions are important. I strive to maintain a professional appearance and good attitude at all times.”
Henry believes one of the biggest problems with drivers is their unprofessionalism and lack of concern about appearance. To be successful, Henry believes you must determine how to get your customer to value you and your services and you must conduct yourself as a professional. Henry achieves this by wearing a shirt and tie – a uniform he developed for his business. Henry says when his customers see his professional appearance they treat him with a new level of respect.
Henry feels that another problem in the industry is with lease-purchase programs. “Too many carriers prey on new drivers coming in and try to get them to be leased operators – on lease-purchase programs – which to me is not all that different from sharecropping,” says Henry.
Henry wants to be an alternate because he feels OOIDA is the most important organization representing drivers today. He believes being part of OOIDA is an honor and gives him a venue to help forge the future of trucking. Henry believes he would be a good alternate because he can use his experience and business “know how” to help OOIDA in its business dealings.
“Anyone who knows me knows I am the model of efficiency,” says Henry. “If I can figure out how to get $1.50 out of $1.00, I’m doing that every time. Just using money to use money goes against my grain. Trying to make the most out of a dollar is really the core of my operation to start with.”
Henry has served one term as alternate to the OOIDA Board of Directors.
He is married and has one son. When Henry is not trucking, he enjoys being involved in church, spending time with his family, and riding ATVs and dirt bikes.
Larry Beebee is an OOIDA life member from Sparta, MI. Larry is 63 years old and has more than 45 years’ experience in the trucking industry – 12 as a company driver, more than 30 as an owner-operator leased to a carrier and, currently, almost three years as an owner-operator with his own authority. Larry has hauled machinery, lumber, general commodities, food products and automobiles in the past. He currently hauls general commodities and refrigerated freight.
Larry joined OOIDA more than 18 years ago because of the commercial truck insurance, services and products offered. He also joined because of OOIDA’s leadership in matters pertaining to the trucking industry.
Larry feels he can contribute to the Board as an alternate by “bugging” his public officials about issues important to truckers. He also states that he would be able to give a practical, working man’s voice of experience to the Board. Larry states, “I have been in the industry for more than 40 years, and have seen many things change over the years.”
Larry believes alternates to the Board should stay informed on all Association activities, political problems facing the industry and regulatory problems. Larry says the No.1 responsibility of an alternate is to bring issues in the trucking industry to the attention of the Board so the Board can bring those issues to the legislature. He believes another responsibility should be to promote OOIDA and what it stands for.
Larry says, “As a working owner-operator, I can promote OOIDA across the country. With more than 40 years in the industry, I have seen and dealt with many things.”
Larry sees many problems in the industry today. Brokers are a problem for many truckers. To fix these problems, we need to make sure government agencies enforce existing laws and regulations with regard to brokers. Larry sees a lack of courtesy and respect by the public as another problem. He believes we need to educate the public about trucking to help combat this. Finally, Larry states that we need to have better training standards for truckers. New drivers need to be adequately trained.
Larry believes that the most effective ways to change the industry for the benefit of OOIDA members are voting and education on the issues and what the industry does for the nation. Larry says, “We need to vote and speak to, call and write elected officials.”
When not trucking, Larry enjoys motor sports, spending time with his family and grandchildren and “puttering around the homestead.”
Noel Carpenter, 40, is an OOIDA member from Moore, OK. Noel has been in the trucking industry for more than 19 years and is currently an owner-operator with his own authority. In the past, Noel was a company driver, contract driver, owner-operator leased to a carrier and a leased operator. He has hauled dry van, frozen foods and oil in the oil fields. He currently hauls frozen seafood.
Noel joined OOIDA more than 12 years ago because, in his words, “I wanted to do more than just sit in the corner. I wanted to make the voice of truckers heard. I believe OOIDA and its Board does the best it can to put the interests of all drivers first.”
Noel feels that he can contribute to the Board because he has had a wide variety of experience in the industry and he is very passionate about being part of this industry. Noel states, “I try to be well-educated on issues and changes in this industry and believe that I can bring a real world point of view to the Board. I have fought my way back from losing three trucks and a trailer to losing $30,000 on a lease purchase to working for a broker and then as a leased owner-operator to an independent with my own authority. I want to be here in this industry.”
Rates are a big problem in the industry, according to Noel. Brokers need to disclose what percentage they are taking off the top, and he believes the industry should cap how much a broker can take.
Another big problem is delays at shipping and receiving docks. Shippers, receivers and brokers need to be held responsible for these delays. Truckers should not be penalized. Finally, we need to push for more flexibility in the hours-of-service regulations. Noel believes we need to enforce the rules and regulations that we already have on the books instead of making new ones.
Noel believes truckers must call their elected officials to make their opinions known and voices heard. He thinks we need to educate those elected officials by inviting them to attend meetings at OOIDA and to ride in a truck to get an industry perspective. Communication and education is definitely the key, according to Noel.
Besides his interest in trucking, Noel is a member of the NRA and enjoys guns and hotrods. He also enjoys keeping up on politics.
Steve Davenport is an OOIDA senior member from Lewisville, TX. Steve is 61 years old and has been trucking for more than 43 years. He is currently a one-truck, one-trailer operator with his own authority and he pulls a flatbed hauling building materials. Before becoming an owner-operator, Steve was a company driver for 33 years and has hauled general freight, dry goods, refrigerated goods, meat and produce.
More than 10 years ago Steve joined OOIDA because of its advocacy for company drivers, independents and small-business truckers. He was also impressed by the array of services offered at good prices and by the assistance OOIDA offers its members.
Steve feels that he can contribute to the Board “with years of experience talking to others in the industry, getting positive agreement on ideas to improve or make more transparent how the industry works.”
Steve says that he believes the OOIDA Board represents and lobbies in a positive way for those in the industry. He believes that, as an alternate, he could support the Association and represent OOIDA. He could also lobby politicians, if called to do so. Steve believes that his experience in the industry would help him discuss safety and regulations and develop ideas and strategies for the Association. Steve states he is “willing to learn from current Board members what is needed to make trucking better for all that follow.”
Steve says that rates and pay always seem to get the most attention in the industry. To raise rates we need to teach good business practices to those coming into the industry. Efficient business practices are essential to improving the industry.
Also, we need to make sure information on new requirements, laws and regulations is available to all. Networking and technology are keys to keeping up with the changes, and we need to make sure our members and fellow truckers are aware of this information.
Steve states that with all the things that change daily in the industry, we need to remember there are also things in the industry that should not change. We need to protect those things in the industry that are good and that work for us.
It is important to communicate with elected officials, says Steve. He calls federal lawmakers on issues important to trucking. All truckers need to be active in that area.
When Steve is not trucking up and down the road for fun and profit, he keeps himself busy with a pickup truck restoration project. He is also an avid investor and self-professed student of the stock market.
Lou Esposito, 62, lives in Duanesburg, NY, and has been involved in trucking for more than 40 years, with 25 years’ experience as a company driver. For the past 13 years, he has been an owner-operator with his own authority hauling general freight.
Lou has been an OOIDA member for almost 10 years. He joined because “I wanted to be a part of an Association that represented the professional driver and owner-operator.” Lou is an activist and has attended several meetings in New York on behalf of OOIDA.
Lou feels each member of the Board has duties and responsibilities he or she must uphold. First, all must back any decision made collectively by the group. Directors also must represent OOIDA in a professional manner. Finally, he believes we all have a responsibility to communicate with our federal and state elected officials and to educate them on all matters concerning trucking.
One of the most important issues for Lou is the lack of training for new drivers. As a former trainer, Lou states, “These driving schools today are not the way to go. They don’t take them over the mountains, they don’t put any loads on the trailers. They put them in pup trailers and in trucks that have automatic transmissions.
“When I was a trainer, I took the drivers out over mountains in upstate New York,” Lou says. “I put a load on the trailer so they could get a feel for the truck and trailer together. They don’t do that today and they need to. When you are pulling these kinds of weights in traffic today, you need comprehensive training.”
Another concern is CSA 2010 and its impact on both drivers and carriers. Lou feels we need to convince FMCSA that drivers cannot be held to the same standards as carriers for equipment not owned by the driver. Also, we must continue to educate lawmakers about the negative impact that cross-border trucking with Mexico will have on the U.S. Other concerns for Lou are the new HOS rules and mandatory EOBRs.
Lou believes that communicating with lawmakers is essential. He states, “I have developed a very good relationship with my state lawmakers.” Lou says it takes time and persistence to develop relationships with elected officials. You can’t get frustrated or give up. His most recent conversations have focused on opposing fees charged on trucks by New York and the governor’s proposed truck route restrictions.
When Lou isn’t trucking, he is involved in local politics. He was appointed as a committee person for his town and was recently elected to the town board in November. Lou is married and has one daughter.
Joe Powell, 43, from Pensacola, FL has been an OOIDA member for more than six years. Joe is currently an owner-operator with his own authority and has been for the past seven years. In the past, Joe was a company driver, was an owner-operator leased to a carrier, and was involved in a lease-purchase program. Over the years he operated a flatbed, step deck, RGN, dry van, dump, tanker and doubles and has hauled hazmat as well as general freight. Joe states that he has been involved in the trucking industry for more than 32 years as his father was also an owner-operator and OOIDA member.
According to Joe, he joined OOIDA because he was concerned about the deteriorating conditions for drivers and owner-operators. Joe says he “wanted to be part of the solution and give back to my profession.”
Joe states that he can contribute to the Board because, “I live in the real world. I am adamant about highway safety and giving back to trucking. I always tell the truth no matter what. I will in no way do anything to disrespect the position nor appear as a fake. My ‘refuse to lose’ attitude will hopefully inspire future generations of drivers.”
Joe believes the main responsibility of the Board is to “keep it real” and that OOIDA cannot lose touch with its members by succumbing to the system or special interests in government. He states, “We cannot stand by and let our right to make a living be jeopardized by ‘big business and big government.’ We must educate ourselves and the public on all matters that would impact safety foremost and the rights of the truck drivers to make an honest living to pursue the American dream without oppression.”
Joe contacts his elected officials mainly by fax and e-mail, but finds that blogging works well, too. According to Joe, “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when legislation is proposed, lawmakers are no different than anyone else. They take the path of least resistance. Why go to a town hall meeting when they can have their staff set up a blog or forum. I seek out such and make sure I leave a professional comment to be taken seriously.”
Joe firmly believes that we need to change the image of truckers. We need to inform the public that we are just like them and we are a part of them. Joe says, “We have lawyers and special interest groups slamming us all the time. Education is the key.”
Joe is a former Trucker Buddy and is currently involved in the Special Olympics. He is a mytruckingspace.com VIP, and he likes racing and motor sports.
Jeff Tabb, 55, is a one-truck, one-trailer owner-operator from Datil, NM. He has been involved in the trucking industry for more than 38 years. For 27 years, Jeff was a company driver. For the past 11 years, Jeff has been an owner-operator operating under his own authority. During his career, Jeff has hauled a little bit of everything – steel, nuclear waste, bulk fertilizer, frozen seafood, produce, livestock, building materials, hay, agricultural products and more. Presently, he is involved in flatbed operations.
Jeff has been an OOIDA member for more than 11 years. Jeff says, “I joined because I value the same things OOIDA represents. I believe in what OOIDA does for all drivers. OOIDA is a voice for the working guys on the road and I would like to be a part of that.”
Jeff believes he can contribute to the Board by continuing to promote the Association, encouraging membership in the Association and encouraging those in the industry to act as a unit to promote the interests of drivers.
Jeff believes truckers need to stick together to accomplish big things. As an alternate to the Board, he believes his responsibilities would be to aid in efforts to increase OOIDA’s membership. All truckers need to belong to OOIDA, and members need to talk about the Association and encourage membership. Next, he would help get members united on issues as he believes solidarity among truckers is important. Finally, truckers need to get involved and get out and vote in public elections.
There are many problems in the trucking industry that need to be fixed, says Jeff. Truckers should not haul cheap freight and should educate brokers on doing their part to solicit an honest rate.
Also, truckers need to be professionals. Jeff states, “If you want to be considered a professional, you need to act and look the part.”
Finally, truckers need to be concerned with all aspects of highway safety. Jeff says, “You are the owner-operator and as such are responsible for everything. Don’t let brokers or dispatchers push you; it is your job to let them know what you can do legally and then you must do it. It’s your life on the line.”
Jeff believes that truckers should exercise their rights and contact lawmakers about issues important to them. We all need to make calls to elected officials and we need to get out and vote. To be effective, Jeff believes we need to “unite the Association into a large voting bloc and stand our ground.”
When Jeff isn’t trucking, he enjoys motorcycles and he is also a member of the National Rifle Association.
Miles Verhoef, aka “Kangaroo,” 44, is from Tomah, WI, and has been trucking for more than 27 years. For 16 years, Miles drove a company truck. He then became an owner-operator leased to a carrier. For the past six years, Miles has been an owner-operator with his own authority. He has hauled frozen food, produce, dry bulk, cryogenic liquids, grain, livestock, logs and aggregate.
Miles joined OOIDA more than 10 years ago at the recommendation of another owner-operator.
If elected to the Board as an alternate, Miles says, “I would continue to promote the Association to the trucking industry in a positive manner. I do this already as a senior/life member and feel I could contribute even more as an alternate.”
Miles believes it is the responsibility of the OOIDA Board to always put the members’ best interests first, to benefit the Association, and to continue being the leader in fighting for the rights of truckers. Board members and alternates should “represent OOIDA in a professional manner, be available when needed to assist the Board, and provide positive input to the Board to help in the decision-making process.”
Miles actively participates in the Association and its efforts. He contacts elected officials when called upon to do so. He comments on regulatory proposals via the FMCSA public comment docket system. He has represented OOIDA on FMCSA’s CDL Task Force, the Wisconsin Clean Diesel Coalition and at CVSA meetings; he also contributes to the OOIDA PAC fund.
Miles feels there are problems in the industry that need to be addressed. One is the constant abuse of drivers from carriers, brokers and shippers. To combat this, we need to continue to pursue legislation to correct this issue and to hold the aforementioned accountable. Another problem is the uncompensated time wasted at shipping and receiving facilities. We could address this by pushing for hourly pay or by pursuing legislation that would hold shippers and receivers accountable for delays.
Finally, Miles sees the body mass index discussions by the Medical Review Board as a potential problem for many drivers. Miles believes OOIDA needs continued efforts to educate the review board to prevent any improper proposal.
Miles says, “I think the most effective way to effect change in the industry is to dramatically increase our membership. I work hard on a daily basis to promote a positive image of our industry and OOIDA. If we encourage all of our members to do this and lead by example, it becomes contagious, like a smile.”
When Miles isn’t working, he enjoys a variety of outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and four-wheeling. Miles is a member of the NRA and the North American Hunting Club.