Mark Johnson Receives PTDI’s Lee J. Crittenden Memorial Award


Las Vegas, Nevada:

Photo:  Mark Johnson and Terry BurnettThe Professional Truck Driver Institute, Inc. (PTDI), an organization whose mission is to raise the quality of truck driver training courses by establishing and promoting minimum training standards, and by certifying courses that meet those standards, has awarded the 12th annual Lee J. Crittenden Memorial Award to Mark Johnson, director, Teamsters national training, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). The ceremony was held March 2 during the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) Annual Convention at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The award is given to a person who exemplifies the overall mission of the Professional Truck Driver Institute, Inc., of which Lee Crittenden was a staunch supporter until his death in April 1998.

Johnson has served on the PTDI Board since 1999, including six terms as vice chairman. He has sat on various committees, including the executive, finance, and nominating committees. Over the past two years, he has guided the Standards Review Task Force, comprising carriers, schools and insurance companies, through a comprehensive review of skill, curriculum, and course certification standards for entry-level CDL driver training. “Mark’s guidance has made the standards not only more current, but also more logical and practical,” said Robert McClanahan, director of transportation and safety education at Central Tech. Johnson has also served on PTDI’s Certification Commission since 2004.

“His is the service that all organizations seek, and have difficulty finding,” said Dave Money, chairman of PTDI’s Certification Commission and technical director-transportation for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Loss Control Advisory Services Group. “In his many roles with PTDI, Mark has always been a source of intelligent, thoughtful and insightful wisdom. Whether serving in a curriculum, standards or legislative role, he has never failed to provide assistance and guidance correctly and in a timely manner. Mark has consistently provided the voice of calm reason on many issues.”

A Teamster since 1965, Johnson has been working in the driver training arena since 1992, when he was assigned as the training director for the Alaska Teamster-Employer Service Training Trust. In 2004, the Teamsters named him as a full time national training director and tasked him with building an alliance between training programs across the country, expanding the program to address the needs of even more workers in a variety of industries, and developing a communication structure to share information about training between locals and other union affiliates. His participation in PTDI has been a natural extension of this mission.

The presentation of the annual Lee J. Crittenden award will keep Crittenden’s memory alive and serve 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 CitiCapital, the company that was instrumental in creating this award along with TCA.

Currently, PTDI has certified entry-level training courses at 68 schools in 25 states and Canada.