Jeff Tetzloff has been to a lot of places in his 34 years as a truck driver, 27 of those with the Crete Carrier Corporation. He’s earned awards for more than 3.5 million safe miles. But he never expected that his trucking career would take him to the White House. Tetzloff joined Crete Carrier Chairman and CEO Tonn Ostergard and Tonn’s wife, Crete Carrier Vice Chair Holly Ostergard, on a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2018. The occasion was an event at the White House Rose Garden highlighting benefits of tax cuts for American workers and businesses.
“I started to get nervous,” Jeff said about the moment he got a call from Tonn asking if he’d represent Crete drivers at the event. “But I was overwhelmed and thankful for the opportunity.” There wasn’t much time to prepare. He found out just about a week before the trip.
The big day began with an early morning flight to Washington, D.C., then a drive through the city to the American Trucking Associations headquarters just blocks from the White House. There they joined other representatives of the trucking industry for lunch and a little advice.
“The people at ATA said to take a lot of pictures,” Jeff said. And he did. He texted photos back to his wife and daughters throughout the day.
The weather turned warm and sunny as they arrived at the White House where they sat in the Rose Garden just a few rows away from President Trump as he began his remarks. Other guests from businesses throughout the country shared their stories of how the tax law has benefitted them. Soon it was over, but the best was yet to come for Jeff. You see, Vice President Mike Pence happens to be from Jeff’s home state of Indiana. As Jeff tells it, Tonn made sure Jeff met and got a photo with, Vice President Pence.
“He (Tonn) right away got over there by Pence,” Jeff said. “That’s how I got my picture. I was overwhelmed.”
But the Indiana connections didn’t stop there. The group stopped to meet with Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas, and Jeff noticed a Texas Tech item in the office. He asked Sessions if he happened to be a fan of Bobby Knight, the former Texas Tech and Indiana basketball coach. That led to a photo of Jeff with Sessions, holding a photo of Bobby Knight. Another personal high point of an incredible day.
It was a fast, fun and fulfilling trip he’ll always remember. And when the day was done he was grateful for the opportunity to represent the drivers of Crete Carrier.