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Pilot Flying J Surprises TCA with $10,000 Donation to Trucking Image Campaign
Loyal TCA supporter believes that change begins now
Since he was elected the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) chairman at the annual convention this past March, Gary Salisbury of Fikes Truck Line, Inc., Hope, Arkansas, has been busy telling the public about his primary goal for the association this year: To stop talking about the need for improving the trucking industry’s image and take action. Thanks to a generous donation from long-time TCA member Pilot Flying J, that goal is now one step closer to reality.
Pilot Flying J’s surprise announcement that it would give $10,000 to TCA’s public image campaign came on July 15, 2011, during TCA’s Refrigerated Division Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Tamaya Resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gary Salisbury had just wrapped up his chairman’s remarks, in which he stated that the trucking industry must become committed to changing the image of trucking “one person at a time, one trucker at a time, one doctor at a time, one soccer mom at a time.” Public opinion drives public policy, he told the audience, and if the people of trucking want control over their destiny, then everyone from senior managers to receptionists to drivers must make an effort.
After Salisbury spoke, Mark Hazelwood, executive vice president of Pilot Flying J, gave the next presentation, a discussion about diesel fuel and world pricing. When he was finished and about to leave the podium, he stopped and said: “Image is a huge deal; it’s massive. We could just sit back and do nothing about it, but Gary is right – we need a good, strong, healthy image to put the steering wheel back in our hands. That’s why Pilot Flying J will be donating $10,000 to TCA’s extremely important public image campaign.”
Later, Hazelwood reiterated his belief that action is imperative if the trucking industry hopes to influence lawmakers and their constituents. “TCA is doing the right thing, and we wholeheartedly support its efforts,” said Hazelwood, referring to the image tools TCA has used recently, including airing a television commercial that was viewed by millions, promoting a rising country singer who sings several positive trucking songs, and producing an informative, bi-weekly segment on a national radio program.
“We have to show the general public the wonderful things about trucking that all of us in the industry already know,” he said. “I challenge travel centers and others who make their living through the trucking industry to match or beat Pilot Flying J’s contribution.”
Salisbury was thrilled when he heard about the donation. “Together, with backers like Pilot Flying J, we can intensify public support for trucking and generate the ‘muscle’ needed to enact legislation that is favorable to trucking. Our ultimate goal is to become a full partner in shaping our operating environment,” he said.
For more information about TCA’s public image campaign or to make a donation, please visit www.truckload.org/image.