A glimpse at the CEO side

By Land Line staff

There's a side of OOIDA's longtime executive leader that most truckers never see. Along with his job as president of the largest and most influential organization of professional truckers in North America, Jim is the force behind the business side of OOIDA. That's the part that pays for the lobbying efforts for fair laws and regulations and for the lawsuits that fight for the rights of truckers.

The insurance program was OOIDA's first member benefit. In the early years, truck insurance for owner-operators was expensive and hard to obtain. OOIDA formed its own in-house insurance agency wholly owned by the Association and staffed with people truly concerned with and dedicated to servicing members. Owner-Operator Services Inc. was incorporated in 1985. Separating the statistical loss experience from the rest of the industry proved that owner-operators are better insurance risks than the industry in general. The proof of that success is the fact there are now many others attempting to duplicate the concept of group owner-operator insurance programs and many insurers who vigorously compete for this type of business.

Under Jim's executive management, OOIDA's Risk Retention Group was formed in 1995. Known as an RRG, a risk retention group is a type of insurance company that's unlike a traditional company. RRGs are self-insured, composed of members who have similar types of business and liability insurance needs. Also, RRGs are formed under federal laws instead of state laws.

All of the Association's insurance operations are handled at OOIDA's headquarters in Grain Valley, Mo., and are recognized by the insurance industry as one of the most successful RR groups.

Offering a full line of insurance products to members is one of the reasons that OOIDA has survived when other startup associations in trucking failed. Not only do the insurance and other benefit programs that have thrived under OOIDA's CEO provide business solutions for members, but every dime of profit goes to giving truck drivers a voice in an industry beset with big government and giant motor carriers. LL