Twenty-Five Students to Receive Truckload Carriers Association Scholarships


Alexandria, Virginia:

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to announce it has selected 25 college scholarship recipients for 2008-2009.

“Scholarships this year are going to students who will be studying everything from nursing to business to chemical engineering,” said Don Orr, chairman of the TCA’s Scholarship Fund and President of MEI of Central Refrigerated Service, Inc. in Phoenix, Ariz. “However, each has a strong connection to trucking and hopes to someday give back to the industry that has supported them and their families so well.”

To qualify for the TCA Scholarship program individuals must be a junior or senior attending an accredited four-year college or university. In addition, the individual must be one of the following: the child, grandchild or spouse of an employee; an employee of a trucking company; the child, grandchild or spouse of an independent contractor; or, an independent contractor affiliated with a trucking company.

Scholarship recipients must also demonstrate financial need and have earned a minimum of 3.3 cumulative GPA in their freshman and sophomore years. In addition, they must have maintained full-time student status, and proven that they are individuals of high character and integrity. Special consideration is given to those students pursuing transportation and business degrees.

Applications for the 2009-10 scholarships will be due in May 2009. For more details about TCA’s Scholarship Fund, please visit

The 25 TCA scholarship recipients for 2008-2009 are listed below with details regarding their various awards:

Barry Wertz, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Kinard Trucking, Inc.
Mac McCormick Memorial Scholarship ($5,000)

After partially completing college, Wertz spent 12 years in retail management before deciding to return to his childhood love, trucking. He earned his CDL and spent ten years as a truck driver. Now, he works as a dispatcher for Kinard Trucking. He wants to finish the degree he started 25 years ago so he can become a leader in the trucking industry.

Theodore Terry, Spartanburg, South Carolina
U.S. Xpress
Thomas Welby Scholarship ($3,000)

Terry has held a variety of positions with U.S. Xpress, beginning as a truck driver and then driver trainer. Moving into an office environment, he served as a load planner and then account manager, managing 60 drivers and eight staff members. The TCA scholarship will help Terry learn more about the business side of transportation.

William Besser, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota
Anderson Trucking Service, Inc.
Kai Norris Scholarship ($3,000)

Besser has been exposed to trucks and machinery all his life, from his mother working at ATS since before he was born, to his father, who taught him how to restore cars and engines. He has worked on a farm and in a hardware store, and is currently involved in a college project designing a vehicle and its parts. Ideally, he would like to pursue a career designing vehicles that will increase fuel efficiency or run on alternative power sources.

Sandra Boydston, Las Vegas, Nevada
Truck Writers Scholarship ($2,500)

Boydston served in the U.S. Marines as a transport operator and was certified for both single trailers and doubles. When she returned home, her success as a driver inspired her mother to leave a computer job she hated and pursue truck driving herself. Now Boydston is the one with the office job and her mother is the truck driver, but they both have enjoyed-and continue to love-the trucking industry.

Whitney Meek, Columbia, South Carolina
G & P Trucking Company
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Just after she turned three, Meek’s father died, leaving her mother alone to raise four children. Previously a housewife, her mother was forced to find a job and eventually came to work for G & P Trucking. Seventeen years later, she still works for G & P, a company her daughter credits with providing the financial and emotional stability that kept her family afloat during the hard times.

Virginia Pliska, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Pliska’s father is a long-haul truck driver who spends most of the week driving for Wal-Mart. When he returns home, he does not rest, but works hard on home remodeling projects or helping others in the family. He never complains, says Pliska, but does whatever is necessary to get the job done. His work ethic has inspired Pliska to work hard and apply herself 100% to everything she does in life.

Elizabeth Brosious, Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Mack Trucks, Inc.
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

While in college, Brosious’ father worked in a Mack Trucks assembly line, and after graduation, he spent the next 30 years with the company in various capacities. Most recently, he has been in the Parts OE Aftermarket Division, a position which requires him to stay one step ahead of the demand for Mack parts. Brosious respects how the trucking industry sets high standards for excellence, dependability and quality, and strives to set these same standards for herself in her own teaching and performing career.

Melissa Martin, Goldthwaite, Texas
WVT of Texas
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Martin’s husband is a truck driver for WVT of Texas. His job has provided financial security to support their family of five children and allow Martin to attend college.

Rob Pick, Ankeny, Iowa
Johnsrud Transport
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Pick’s interest in economics and financial markets has been strongly influenced by two individuals at Johnsrud Transport: his father, the vice president of finance, who shared with Pick a keen interest in the business side of trucking, and Leon Johnsrud, the company’s CEO and founder, whose success in growing the company from one truck into a large fleet inspired Pick to be aggressive in his own career. Pick has been so aggressive, in fact, that he will be graduating with three degrees in just four years of college.

Steven Rubinas, Traverse City, Michigan
Schmuckal Oil Co.
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Rubinas grew up with a father who worked in the trucking industry for 35 years. Although Rubinas got his CDL and wanted to be just like his father, he met a 40-year-old trucker “wanna be” who could not pursue his dreams of driving because he could not read or write. Rubinas spent two years mentoring this man until he was finally able to obtain his CDL, and now he has realized that teaching others is the career he wants to pursue with his TCA scholarship.

Cory D’Amato, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey
J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

D’Amato has been profoundly influenced by her father, an employee for J.B. Hunt Transport. She would like to pursue a finance career that will allow her to work from home (like her father does) and be a part of a lucrative and successful industry like trucking.

Dustin Tardiff, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
CRST International
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Over the past six years, Tardiff’s father has held various positions with several trucking companies, requiring the family to move from Illinois to Pennsylvania to Iowa. Although each relocation brought dramatic changes to Tardiff’s life, he has enjoyed the moves and the new opportunities that resulted from each one.

Lindsay Cole, Walla Walla, Washington
Heitco Transportation, LLC
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

One of Cole’s first jobs in high school was working in the offices of Heitco Transportation, where she saw first-hand how gas, insurance, supplies and empty miles can affect a trucking company’s bottom line. Now pursuing a degree in business administration, Cole hopes to apply the lessons she learned at Heitco to opening her own small business someday.

Joshua Boudreaux, Santa Fe Springs, California
J.B. Hunt Transport
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Boudreaux’s mother has worked for J.B. Hunt Transport for over a decade, and he has come to appreciate the company as much more than just the provider of a paycheck. He will never forget how supportive the company was when his brother was killed in 2000. The company and the industry have truly become Boudreaux’s “family” over the years.

Zachary Barrus, Aberdeen, Idaho
Schows, Inc.
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Barrus has gained knowledge of trucking through his experience living on a potato farm, through his father’s 18 years of employment as a truck mechanic, and through his experience selling truck parts to the local farmers. Recognizing that ground transportation will always be necessary, even in a failing economy, Barrus would like to learn more about trucking and possibly get involved with the industry someday.

Nora Keifer, Belvidere, New Jersey
Odyssey Overland, LLC
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Keifer is pursuing a degree in music education. In her scholarship essay, she compared music to trucking.”Music and transportation are quite universal,” she wrote.”Without transportation, the world as we know it would cease to exist. If goods were not delivered, all commerce would stop and people would go hungry. Similarly, music serves as a means for communication in an aesthetic sense. When a composer writes a piece of music, he or she is writing it in essence, to the world.”

Robert Dillinger, Farmington, Arkansas
JB Hunt Transport, Inc.
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Dillinger is pursuing a business management degree and admires the ethics of the trucking industry. The ethics of the trucking industry has given him real life material for his in-class presentations and projects.

Nicholas Ferenchak, Catasauqua, Pennsylvania
Mack Trucks
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Ferenchak’s experience with the trucking industry stems from a production line job at a Mack Trucks plant and his father’s employment at the same plant as a maintenance manager. He has learned much about the value of education and how it is vital to the position he hopes to have later in life.

Chad Martin, Morgantown, Pennsylvania
Brubacher Excavating, Inc.
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Martin has learned much from his father, who has worked for Brubacher Excavating for more than 25 years. His father’s calmness and patience in stressful situations has made a big impression on Martin, who hopes to apply some of these characteristics when he someday becomes a civil engineer.

Rebecca Udermann, Rosemount, Minnesota
Master’s Logistics
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Since childhood, Udermann has been exposed to the trucking industry through her father, who has held various trucking-related jobs over the years. But now that she plans to become a nurse, she finally realizes the significant tie between the trucking and healthcare industries: without trucks, none of the medications, equipment or supplies would get to the patients who desperately need them.

Amanda Purchase, Tacoma, Washington
Don Hummer Trucking
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Purchase’s mother recently began working at Don Hummer Trucking, so she still has much to learn about the industry. However, the employees she has met so far have been supportive and kind-qualities she hopes to emulate as a teacher.

David Hunt, Ithaca, Nebraska
Wise Mack, Inc.
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Hunt, a diesel technician for a Mack Truck dealer, is about to return to college as a junior after a fourteen-year break. He loves the industry, but is ready to make an upward career move. By obtaining a business degree, he hopes to someday work in logistics with trucking companies.

Matthew Ritter, Pennsburg, Pennsylvania
Indian Valley Bulk Carriers
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Ritter’s father is a truck driver, and trucking has supported his family over the years. Now that he has decided to pursue a degree in chemical engineering, he hopes to give back to the trucking industry by working to improve plastic, metal and rubber components, all of which are critical materials for building trucks and trailers.

Michael Blackstock, Albany, Georgia
Schilli Transportation
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Blackstock’s father has handled operations and account management within the trucking industry for more than 25 years. Always interested in his dad’s career, Blackstock now envisions himself working in transportation and logistics when he graduates from the University of Georgia.

Jimmy-Maurice Morris, Cartersville, Georgia
Kennesaw Transportation
TCA Scholarship ($2,000)

Morris will be a junior at Shorter College, where he plays on the varsity baseball team. Upon graduation, he would like to continue his education with a master’s degree in business administration. His life has been impacted by the unexpected death of his father, who worked as an accountant for a trucking company and taught his son that “in the game of life, you will only reap the rewards that you sow.”