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Meet the Board of Directors, Founders and Volunteers
We are always looking for qualified leadership for our movement. Our criteria for Board of Director leadership positions require that you have at least 1 year experience operating a commercial vehicle as a solo driver within the past 15 years.
Corporate advisory board seats are open to human resource , safety department and other trucking , logistics and supply chain professionals. We value the input of corporate professionals to learn and pass along realistic expectations to qualified drivers and prospective CDL students.
You must exhibit the willingness to follow through with tasks and communicate in a mutually respectful team atmosphere in addition to submission of your LinkedIn profile resume and completion of a vetting process to assess your skill set.
A divorced single Mother that has 2 grown Children and 6 Grandchildren. She began writing about her experiences as a single female entering trucking in 2008 on the “Ask the Trucker” blog. The still unedited story was written using mostly a cellphone.
It is called “A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker” which became the basis of four Dan Rather Investigative reports into truck driver training.
To watch these programs visit the “Our Work” link. One episode is not available on you tube in which the American Trucking Association was asked to refute the allegations by Desiree Wood about the entry-level driver training system. This program is called “Truck Talk” and can be found on iTunes. The price is $1.99 , Season 4 Episode 34. Use this link to locate it. “Truck Talk“. It is definitely worth the effort to watch.
Desiree’s social media activity on Twitter and Facebook has been recognized internationally. Her personal blog “Trucker Desiree” and You Tube Channel continue to help new CDL students understand what can happen in entry level truck driver training if they do not do proper research before making a commitment to a CDL school or training carrier.
In 2007, I entered truck driver training believing there was a truck driver shortage. I believed that if I worked very hard, I could become a qualified professional driver and make a new life for myself. What I found instead was a broken system that jeopardized the safety of the public, the student truckers and the people willing to train them. I was particularly shocked and sickened when I joined a women’s trucking association seeking help and found that my membership was a promise to “serve in silence” on the injustice I witnessed. I deliberately renewed my membership despite the hostile activity and misconduct that was occurring toward me for the sole purpose of defining whether this organization would stand by the drivers when push came to shove. I got my answer when my membership was revoked for speaking out on harassment. I keep the letter written to me and the un-cashed check for my membership dues as a reminder that this industry is loaded with organizations who have an agenda that aims to give the illusion of a driver organization. This was the beginning for the REAL Women in Trucking. ~ Desiree Wood
At 75, Sandi continues to drive as a leased on owner/operator to Cargill. Sandi drives a 1996 Peterbilt 379 (which she bought new), she pulls a 1996 Great Dane reefer. Sandi has been driving for over 30 years which equates to approximately nearly 5,000,000 miles. She hauled hazardous materials for the US Government for 20 years and spent over 3 years pulling radioactive.
Trucking is my life, It has allowed me to continue to be self-sufficient after becoming a widow. I have seen many changes in the industry during my nearly four decades in the industry. There was not much opportunity to meet other women drivers or network with people outside of the industry in the past. I decided that if I remained silent on issues important to me then I would go to my grave without helping my fellow drivers. ~ Sandi Talbott
Sandi is a founder of the Women Truckers Network weekly free conferences and blog talk radio program. She acts as a public spokesperson for the “REAL Women in Trucking” on entry level driver issues. You can read Sandi’s testimony and watch her on video as she address the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on entry-level driver training issues.
The link is located in the “Our Work” section
Sandi can be reached directly at email@example.com
Treasurer: Idella Hansen
Idella began driving at the age of 11 on a 1941 Chrysler, she learned early in her life that she had a love for vehicles. She married into a family whose business was a Union 76 bulk fuel plant. Her first truck driving job was a 6 wheel – straight truck, fuel tanker in California. She later moved to Arkansas with her husband where they had a garage and a wrecking yard. They bought a cab over with a flat bed but an equipment issue caused her husband a fall which resulted in a broken neck.
Now as the primary income earner, it was up to Idella to keep the truck working. The owner of the company where they were leased thought he could put another driver in their truck and refused to let Idella work as a solo driver. She took her truck to another carrier called “Smithway Motor Xpress” and felt she was fortunate that on her first try she found a company that appreciated her and welcomed female drivers. Her marriage ended but at Smithway she excelled. It was not long before she was a top driver. She gained respect by proving that despite the obstacles she could could handle the job as a responsible solo driver. As the years passed she developed contacts in the trucking industry that appreciated her ability.
I still learn everyday and I would like to be able to help the new gals entering trucking with wise words from experience. Things are different now , back then if you had a equipment failure or small incident you shrugged it off and went on, but now it may mean your Commercial Driver’s Licence and your job!”. ~ Idella Hansen
Idella feels that she can give back to women entering trucking by helping them understand they are a viable asset by making herself available to answer questions and promote this attitude in the industry. Idella has over 40 years experience driving a big rig. She currently runs team hauling high security freight throughout the lower 48 states and Canada. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Operation Roger and Trucker Charity.
Idella can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director: Tracy Livingston
Tracy began her trucking career at the infamous CRST Van Expedited and was one of the plaintiff’s in the class action sex harassment case against the carrier. She experienced firsthand the personal safety issues and highway safety issues that set up so many CDL students for failure. Despite the obstacles she encountered at CRST she stayed on to become a trainer. She was one of the last women still employed by CRST at the time of the first dismissal for EEOC mishandling, Tracy responded to a blog post about the case in desperation when CRST sent out a fleet wide message meant to intimidate drivers.
The blog post can still be seen with the following link: CRST Within a few days an anonymous person made a comment to Tracy to apologize to her. This was during the time when Investigative Journalist Dan Rather was researching entry-level driver training. Through the blog comments, producers of the show were able to identify to the anonymous person who identified himself only as “OKC Safety” . Mr. Tom Hansen who had worked with Tracy agreed to appear in the Dan Rather investigative report into unsafe truck driver training called “Queen of the Road”.
Today, Tracy is a trainer at USA Truck , she has been called as an expert witness in other successful CRST Sex Harassment litigation actions. You can read about Tracy’s training experience at CRST Van Expedited with this link to the Summer 2014 Edition of “Bitch Magazine” article called “Rigged System by Roxanna Asgarian.“
Tracy delivers valuable insight for new entrants to the industry who are in search of reliable answers about what will be expected of them as they enter truck driver training.
Despite the challenges of training new drivers who come to trucking unprepared for the lifestyle, my personal goal has always been to put just one more safe , qualified truck driver on the road that did not have to experience what I went through as a student trucker. ~ Tracy Livingston
Tracy also raises hairless guinea pigs!
Tracy can be reached directly at email@example.com
Director: Sue Wiese
Sue Wiese is the current Founder/President of Operation Roger Truckers Pet Transport. Sue brings the REAL Women in Trucking organization a multitude of skills. A graduate of Springfield Draughon Business University in Springfield, MO., she holds an Executive Business Degree. She has worked with AAFES in the Military Support group and has had fiscal responsibility to all the military No-notice Inspection Teams worldwide.
Sue had her own real estate office in California until her divorce. She relocated back to Texas to be near family. She worked 13 years with the Trinity Improvement Association a 501(c)(3) non-profit representing the Trinity River. Sue began trucking once the TIA project closed, which ended 31 years in the corporate world. She drove as a company driver for about 12 years before buying her own truck. Just three years later, following a leg injury, she was unable to return to driving. Operation Roger Trucker Pet Transport was founded by Sue in response to the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina which left people scrambling for shelter and left abandoned many domesticated pets that required transport. Operation Roger TPT is dedicated to the well-being of pets everywhere. You can learn more about Operation Roger TPT with this link: Operation Roger.
Sue’s organizational skills from the corporate world, knowledge of non-profit procedures and governance combined with her devoted faith and commitment to helping others brings much appreciated guidance as we move forward with our mission.
Sue can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers and Founders
Karen Martin is an owner-operator who has studied human resource development and social ethics. She is interested is helping new and seasoned drivers build trucking lifestyle skills. She also keeps bees that make some very yummy honey! Karen is an occasional writer for our blog and newsletter!
Alison offers this advice to new drivers:
“Trucking is a life-style not just a job, many people are misled into this profession because they don’t realize that part of this job/lifestyle is to spend a lot of time away from home, family and loved ones. Life on the road is one of solitude and this can get hard at times.” ~ Alison Morris