Chris Antonik, M.Ed., Awarded Professional Truck Driver Institute’s Lee J. Crittenden Memorial Award


2017 award recipient has worked tirelessly to advance truck driver training, proficiency, safety, and professionalism

Nashville, Tennessee:
The Professional Truck Driver Institute, Inc. (PTDI) has presented its highest honor, the Lee J. Crittenden Memorial Award, to Chris Antonik, M.Ed. The award ceremony took place March 28, 2017, at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, during the annual convention of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), the organization that managed PTDI until a few months ago. The award is sponsored by Cengage Learning of New York, New York.
View photos from the awards presentation. Additional images will be available, soon.
Antonik recently retired as the department chair of the Commercial Transportation Program at Delaware Technical Community College. He has been active with PTDI for many years, and is currently serving as PTDI’s certification commission chair, board member, and secretary while the organization undergoes changes in management and governance.
Andrew Ouimet, associate marketing manager at Cengage Learning, bestowed the award. He said, “Mr. Antonik has taken it upon himself to learn every facet of the certification process¾more than any other commissioner ever has. My company supports the training and development of truck drivers, and we are grateful to have someone like him actively committed to quality educational instruction and administration. He is PTDI’s #1 cheerleader!”
Antonik began his career in the trucking industry as a tractor-trailer driver after serving in the U.S. Air Force as a fire protection specialist. He holds a master’s degree in career and technical education and a bachelor’s degree in human resource management. He also holds a CDL class “A” license with passenger, tanker, doubles/triples and hazmat endorsements along with a TWIC. He has personally driven loads for the Wreaths Across America Foundation and has transported the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s Wall That Heals.
Through his involvement with PTDI, Antonik advises, visits, and evaluates other truck driver training programs for standards compliance. Additionally, he served as an advisor to the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Tractor Trailer Training course and was instrumental in helping to achieve national certification for bases in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Germany. He has also served as the state captain and board member for the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools.
PTDI’s chairman, David Money, CDS, CDT, said, “Chris has been invaluable in providing assistance to both prospective, as well as existing schools seeking or renewing certification. His support of PTDI is, and has been, tireless since his initial introduction to the organization, both as an administrator of a public school program with a PTDI-certified course, and as a member and now chairman of the PTDI Certification Commission. He was also instrumental in establishing PTDI’s relationship with and certification of CMV training programs of the United States Air Force.”
The Crittenden Award is given to a person who exemplifies the overall mission of PTDI, for which Lee Crittenden was a staunch supporter until his death in April 1998. The presentation of the annual award keeps Crittenden’s memory alive and serves as inspiration to others who get involved with truck driver issues. Crittenden helped many important industry activities get their start. He was passionate about promoting a positive image of the nation’s professional truck drivers, and was largely responsible for the creation of America’s Road Team. He also initiated a scholarship program for drivers who participate in the National Truck Driving Championships. His greatest industry achievement is largely believed to be his part in founding the Professional Truck Driver Institute, where he served on the board of directors and also as the finance chairman during the Institute’s infancy. Crittenden worked for Associates Commercial (which later became CitiCapital), the company that was instrumental in creating this award along with the Truckload Carriers Association.
PTDI currently has certified entry-level training courses at 57 schools in 19 states, Canada, and Germany.