Trucker Buddy Chris Jones, his wife Brenda (back row, left) and teacher Janet Blackwell (back row, right) with the second grade class at Simsboro High School in Simsboro, La., during the 2005-06 school year.
WAUPACA, Wis. — Trucker Buddy International has selected Chris Jones as Novembers Trucker Buddy of the Month for his professionalism, his compassion and his outstanding contributions to the program.
Jones joined the Trucker Buddy program in 2002, matched with a special needs class in New York. For the past two years he has been matched with Janet Blackwell’s second grade class at Simsboro High School in Simsboro, La., and Jones is matched again with Blackwell’s class for the current year.
Every year, Jones has made class visits to Blackwell’s class, sometimes accompanied by his wife, Brenda. And, in addition to sending regular correspondence and pictures as part of the Trucker Buddy program, Jones has also provided classroom supplies.
“Chris has supported our class at every turn,” wrote Blackwell in her nomination. “He always keeps in touch to make sure we have everything our class needs to be successful. I appreciate this program so much. As a teacher, I receive $42 for the entire year to provide for my students. This program has allowed me to budget my meager amount a bit more successfully.”
A driver for Wal-Mart Transportation, Jones’s volunteer and community work doesn’t stop with Trucker Buddy.
“Chris is also a champion in other ways,” said Tom Whitaker, executive director of the Kansas Motor Carriers Association, noting that Jones took first place in the five-axle tank truck class in KMCA’s Professional Truck Driving Championships. “Chris’s safety record is almost unbelievable. He has driven for almost 18 years and travelled over 1.9 million miles with zero accidents.”
Jones is a 2006 Captain of the KMCA’s Road Team, and in December 2002, he was KMCA’s Driver of the Month. He also has participated in KMCA’s State Driving Championships since 2001, taking third place in the Tank class in 2004 and second place in the Tank class in 2005. This year’s first place in the Tank class took him on to the National Driving Championships in August. Jones is also a member of the Highway Watch program and OOIDA.
Participation in these events and organizations affords Jones the opportunity to speak to numerous people about the trucking industry and the driving profession, which is a passion for him.
“Chris really loves his job,” Blackwell said. “He stresses how important trucks are to the economy. He is always safety conscious. He reminds us to be aware of trucks on the road. He reminds the children to buckle up and to tell their parents to do the same. He deserves to be recognized.”
“Chris is a caring and compassionate person. This shows in his work with his Trucker Buddy class and with the Kansas Road Team,” said Kelly Kile, safety manager, Wal-Mart Transportation. “I have found Chris to be outstanding both as an individual, and as a professional driver. He has accumulated a record of accomplishments that puts him at the top of his profession. He always goes above and beyond what is expected of him and truly deserves the title ‘Professional Truck Driver’ for his performance and accomplishments.”
Jones, who has been driving for Wal-Mart for the past 11 years, lives with his wife in Ottawa, Kan.
For more information on the program visit www.truckerbuddy.org.
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