The origins of Onramp to Health date back to 2008.
As a former member of a group of owner-operators who held weekly conference calls discussing various topics related to the trucking industry, the group realized that many of their discussions were centered around health issues. This motivated the group to take an active roll in improving the health of their fellow drivers and have a positive impact on the communities where their events took place.
In 2010 in partnership with Driver Health Magazine, the Mid America Trucking Show and Randall-Reilly, the group conducted the first of it’s kind (at a trucking show) Health Awareness Walk at the Mid America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY., the Great West Truck Show in Las Vegas, NV. and the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, TX. as well as the Expedite Expo in Wilmington, Oh. The 1.5 mile fun walks were designed to increase awareness to drivers and all those involved in the trucking industry of the need to live a healthier lifestyle.
In 2011 the group began conducting blood drives at these truck shows in order to assist the communities where the shows were being held with their constant need to replenish their blood supply.
In 2014 Bone Marrow Donor Registration drives were added because at that time only 2% of the U.S. population was part of the national registry.
After the Great American Trucking Show (GATS) in 2014, the folks at Randall-Reilly (the operators of the show) were interested in making their show the “truck show destination of choice” of drivers by adding a health pavilion with free health screenings and by offering a wide variety of food, entertainment and health services out at the truck parking lot.
The members of Onramp to Health volunteered to spearhead these two projects and are proud to be working with their partners at Randall-Reilly.
GROUP MEMBER BIOS
Rick is the founding member and creator of “Onramp to Health”.
He is the former Chairman of the Trucking Solutions Group
and is a successful one truck owner operator from Lakewood, Co. Rick has been driving professionally for 29 years and has been recognized on many occasions by his carrier and his insurance company for his safe driving accomplishments. He recently was asked to speak at the first International Conference on Commercial Driver Health and Wellness in Baltimore, Md., presenting topics relating to the health challenges facing owner-operators.
Rick is a two time graduate of the Certified Master Contractor program sponsored by Kevin Rutherford and is also a certified participant in the First Observer program.
He is also a Life Member of OOIDA and a member of Trucker Buddy.
When not driving, Rick enjoys riding his motorcycle, playing golf and gardening.
Rick sits on the Board of Directors at the St. Christopher Fund.
Rick was recently honored by being selected by TravelCenters of America as a recipient of their second annual TA/Petro Citizen Driver Award in 2015. The award is given out annually to drivers for their contributions not only to the trucking industry and their community, but also for their safe driving, leadership and professionalism.
Rick was featured in the USA Today newspaper on August 22, 2012 in an article dealing with Trucker’s Health which chronicled his weight loss while trucking full time.
To see the article click here USA Today.
Rick was one of the featured speakers at the 2012 Trucking Social Media Convention
(http://www.truckingsocialmedia.com/) in Kansas City, Mo. speaking on how to eat healthy and exercise while trucking.
Rick was also a guest blogger for Speedco in the healthy trucking section of their website in January of 2013.
In 2015 Rick organized, in partnership with the folks at Randall-Reilly who operate the Great American Trucking Show annually in Dallas, Tx., a health pavilion within the show offering a wide variety of free health screenings for all attendees of the show. The health pavilion also included a mobile mammogram unit from Baylor Scott and White health and through a public fundraising campaign, provides free mammograms to those in need. The health pavilion and its services continues to be a hugely popular mainstay of the show.
Great American Trucking Show Health Pavilion
Les Willis has been involved in the transportation industry for 25 years. A former plant manager at Chemscope Chemical Corporation specializing in aerosol contract packaging, Les started his career in trucking in 1990 with TexPack Express, Inc. out of Dallas Texas. In 1997, he was the North Texas Regional 3axle Driver Champion while competing in the ATA National Truck Driving Championship. He exceeds the pinnacle in truck driving as a One Million Mile Safe Driving holder, is a staunch advocate for truck driver image and health, holds memberships in Women in Trucking (WIT), North American Trucking Alerts (NATA), Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) and, Trucking Solutions Group (TSG).
He and his wife, Stacie, of 22 years own Godspeed Expediters, LLC which operates a small fleet of trucks with various carriers in the expediting side of the trucking industry. Being entrepreneurs at heart they also own, manage and reside at the Shadowrock Log Cabin Resort in Mena, Arkansas.
Les’ passion is racing – pure and simple. He is a former crew member in the Nascar Busch Grand National Series, ARCA Series and IMCA Modified Divisions. He spends the majority of his spare time traveling the country, wrenching on cars and competing in dirt modified races with his best friend, Jeff Needham.