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Eighth Annual Lee Crittenden Memorial Award Presented to Lana R. Batts
The Professional Truck Driver Institute, Inc. (PTDI) presented the eighth annual Lee J. Crittenden Memorial Award to Lana R. Batts, Managing Partner of Transport Capital Partners, during the March 14 General Session at the Truckload Carriers Association's (TCA's) Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.
The award is given to the person who has done the most to advance the ideals and goals of the Professional Truck Driver Institute, Inc., of which Lee Crittenden was a staunch supporter until his death in April 1998.
Batts has almost three decades of experience in the trucking industry, most notably as president of the Truckload Carriers Association and senior vice president of government affairs for the American Trucking Associations. Batts is currently a managing partner at Transport Capital Partners where she provides capital sourcing, merger & acquisition, and financial advisory services to the transportation industry. She also serves on the board of directors of several companies including PeopleNet Communication Company, IdleAire Technologies Corporation, Transportation Costing Group, and SeaBridge International.
While leading TCA Batts was responsible for the revitalization of PTDI. She was ardent that PTDI was crucial to the industry and agreed to manage it under TCA. When TCA assumed management of the institute in 1996 there were 19 schools with certified courses. Batts immediately began working to strengthen the program and brought in new stakeholders including the schools, trucking companies, insurance companies, driver funding organizations and regulatory organizations. She believed that the importance of entry-level training and standards had to rise to a national level and held forums and public hearings to accomplish that goal. By the time Batts resigned her TCA post there were 71 schools with certified courses, marking a 274% increase during her four years of leadership.
Ray Haight, Executive Director of MacKinnon Transport, Inc., Chairman of PTDI, and presenter of the award, stated: "Lana Batts was committed to the mission of PTDI and more importantly she knew how to make things happen. Her passion breathed new life into the institute and we have her to thank for the continued growth of PTDI today."
The presentation of this annual award will keep the memory of Lee Crittenden alive and serve as inspiration to others who get involved with truck driver issues. Mr. 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 the 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 served as the finance chairman during the years of the Institute's infancy. Mr. Crittenden worked for CitiCapital and that company was instrumental in creating this award with TCA.
PTDI has certified entry-level training courses at 59 schools in 27 states and Canada, and one driver-finishing program.
PTDI is a national, nonprofit organization sponsored by the nation's trucking industry to advance truck driver training, proficiency, safety, and professionalism. PTDI is based in Alexandria, Virginia.