History and Leadership

In November, 1992, a professional truck driver, Gary King, contacted a grade school in Williams Bay, WI and asked the principal for permission to write to a class of students as "pen-pals." One fourth grade teacher quickly agreed, and King began writing postcards and short letters every week. The students eagerly wrote back and asked him questions about driving and the sights he saw. The teacher quickly recognized the value of the letters in stimulating the children's interest in reading, writing and other subjects, and integrated them into her teaching routine. When other drivers saw King writing his postcards and letters at the many truckstops he visited across the country, they, too, became interested in the program and wanted their own pen-pals.

The Trucker Buddy program became incorporated on July 1, 1992. Within the first year of operation, Trucker Buddy grew to almost 1,000 driver-teacher matches. Now the program has over 2,000 matches and almost 60,000 students per year. The Board of Directors was expanded to include active drivers and one teacher. Screening and back ground checks were added to ensure the safety of the children. These are performed on each new and renewed driver. Even the Board of Directors must pass the same test. Trucker Buddies enrich the lives of tens of thousands of school children and places a face behind the steering wheel of trucks across the country.

Management & Directors

Executive Director

Alan Welborn - alan@truckerbuddy.org


Membership Coordinator 

Anna Myers - info@truckerbuddy.org




Linda Caffee

Landstar Express 

Vice President

Ed Novoa

OTR Group of Companies


Ed Novoa

OTR Group of Companies


Kate Miller

Blue Edge Media

Board Members

  • Linda Caffee - Landstar Express
  • Kate Miller - Blue Edge Marketing
  • Krista Sohm - Meritor
  • Henry Albert - Albert Transport
  • Dennis Day - Conway Transportation
  • Heather DeBaille, Cat Scale
  • Gary Darnell - Walmart Transportation
  • Dick Pingel - OOIDA
  • Dave Huneryager - Tennessee Trucking Association
  • Dirk Kupar - TruckRight
  • Bryan Coyne - PeopleNet Communications
  • Ed Novoa - Over The Road Canada
  • Randy Obermeyer - Batesville Logistics
  • Drew Mitrisin- American Trucking Associations
  • Justin Miller- HDT
  • Jeana Hysell- JJ Keller
  • Kimberly Biback- Sharp Transportation

Advisory Council

  • Elisabeth Barna - American Trucking Association
  • K.C. Brau - Crete Carriers
  • Jill Buhl, Transport America
  • Don Darden - Bridgestone Americas
  • Eric Harley, Red Eye Radio Network
  • Peter Charboneau - Over The Road Canada
  • Matt Hart - Illionsis Trucking Association
  • Don Nehring, FedEx Ground, Past President
  • Mark Reddig - OOIDA
  • Robert Rothstein, Attorney, Seaton & Husk, L.P
  • Mike Ryan - Ryan Motor Sports
  • Steve Sichterman - Conversion Interactive Agency
  • Greg Shipman, Vertical Alliance Group
  • Mark Taylor - Walmart Transportation
  • Randy Schwartzenburg

This letter is to thank you for an absolutely wonderful experience. Trucker Don is the best pen pal we could have asked for. The children learned map skills, directions, can identify some of the states, and letter writing skills.


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