Association News
A glimpse at the CEO side of OOIDA’s Jim Johnston

By Sandi Soendker, editor-in-chief

As “CEO of the Quarter,” OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston is featured in the July issue of Risk Retention Reporter. The article reports on a side of OOIDA’s longtime executive leader that most truckers never see.

RRR Managing Editor Karrie Hyatt called the article one of “great interest and relevance,” pointing to Johnston’s contribution to the risk retention industry.

Along with his job as president of the largest and most influential organization of professional truckers in North America, Johnston is the force behind the business side of OOIDA. That’s the part that pays for the lobbying efforts for fair laws and regulations and for the lawsuits that fight for the rights of truckers.

Under Johnston’s executive management, OOIDA’s Risk Retention Group was formed in 1995.

A risk retention group – known as an RRG – is a type of insurance company that’s unlike a traditional company. RRGs are self-insured and can be ideal for a group like OOIDA, composed of members who have similar types of business and liability insurance needs. Also, RRGs are formed under federal laws instead of state laws.

Although OOIDA’s RRG is domiciled in Vermont, all insurance operations are handled at OOIDA’s headquarters in Grain Valley, MO. According to the article, OOIDA’s RRG is the 27th largest by premium of the more than 250 RRGs and one of the most successful. 

The RRG currently insures 4,500 members of OOIDA.

“We would like all of our eligible members to get their liability insurance through the RRG,” says Johnston. “Offering a full line of insurance products to our members is one of the reasons that OOIDA has survived, when other startup associations in trucking failed.”

When asked about his greatest professional challenge, Johnston said it is providing the “best representation to independent truckers across the country and overcoming threats to their operations that constantly arise.”

The RRR article describes Johnston’s commitment to this objective as “relentless,” guaranteeing “OOIDA’s future as the voice of independent truckers beset by big government and giant motor carriers.” LL