SPECIAL REPORT: OOIDA signs on its 100,000th member

| 8/20/2003

Russell Koranda, an owner-operator from North Las Vegas, NV, became the 100,000th member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Monday, Aug. 19, Joy Guffey, supervisor of the association’s Membership Department, said.

The century mark was reached just as the association was about to hit two other landmarks – its 30thanniversary, coming up in October, and the construction of its second building, which is due for completion before the end of the year.

Jim Johnston, president of OOIDA, stressed that while the 100,000 landmark was important, he was already looking toward the future.

“While reaching the 100,000 member mark is fantastic for us, even more fantastic is the accelerated growth rates. This demonstrates the growing awareness among truckers of the need to join together to address the issues,” Johnston said. “That same trend, continuing into the future, will improve our ability and effectiveness in representing all truckers.”

“Obviously, the growth of the organization should dispel any thoughts that some truckers and others may have that truckers can’t get together and work for common goals and common improvements in the industry,” Todd Spencer, OOIDA’s executive vice president, said. “While 100,000 is monumentally impressive from our perspective, it’s just a good start.

“By far, the bigger growth in the association is yet to come, and of course, with that growth, its greater ability to make needed improvements for truckers … all truckers.”

OOIDA, which was founded during the oil crisis in October 1973 by a group of truckdrivers, will celebrate its 30thanniversary in October of this year. The organization is still led by a board made up of truckers, and is operated under Johnston’s leadership.

Membership has grown rapidly in the past decade. A 1990 brochure lists the group’s membership at roughly 14,000. By 2000, it had increased to 50,000, and it passed 90,000 earlier this year.

After a count made late last night, Guffey’s department made an understated announcement the morning of Aug. 19 over the organization’s computer system: “100,010 is the membership count.”

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor

Mark Reddig can be reached at mark_reddig@landlinemag.com.