TravelCenters of America Names 2022 Citizen Driver Award Honorees

Susie Deridder and Douglas Ralph Smith have a combined 95 years of experience hauling freight across the nation.
TA Citizen Driver Award 2022 winners

WESTLAKE, Ohio — TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA) is celebrating the winners of its annual Citizen Driver Award.

Susie Deridder of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, and Douglas Ralph Smith of Bountiful, Utah, were chosen from nearly 200 nominations. The professional drivers have a combined 95 years of hauling freight across the nation, with more than 8 million accident-free miles.

"Each year, our Citizen Driver Program honors those who go above and beyond to serve others. Their commitment to delivering our nation's goods, no matter the circumstances, is critical for our country's economy," said Barry Richards, president of TA. "We are committed to continuing to share these drivers' stories and demonstrate why they deserve respect and recognition year-round."

As a Citizen Driver Award recipient, drivers may choose a TA, Petro or TA Express location to be dedicated in their honor. To celebrate their career and contributions, a bronze historical marker with the driver's image and story is installed on the front of the building, and a dedication ceremony is held with dozens of their closest family and friends. By dedicating a location in their name and displaying their accomplishments at the site, TA allows the drivers' stories to be heard by all travelers that pass through, according to the company.

Deridder has chosen the TA in Barstow, Calif., to be dedicated in her name. She is giving her $2,500 donation to Truckers Final Mile. Smith has chosen the TA in Tooele, Utah, to be dedicated in his name, and he will split his $2,500 donation among three charities: the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, Tunnel to Towers and Truckers Final Mile.

TA launched the Citizen Driver program in 2013 with the intention of recognizing the professional drivers who keep America moving. Winners are chosen based on their background and involvement in initiatives, including community involvement, safety, health and wellness, and leadership. 

Based in Westlake, TravelCenters of America is the nation's largest publicly traded full-service travel center network. It operates more than 275 locations in 44 states, principally under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands. The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022.