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“BECAUSE YOU’RE SMART, AND THEY KNOW THAT. YOU ARE A GOOD BUSINESS MAN, AND THAT’S WHY THEY WANT YOU.”


–VICKI BERKEMEYER, ON PETIT JEAN STATE BANK AND CENTRAL BAPTIST COLLEGE PUTTING WAYNE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS


ened. And people I knew that worked over there that I grew up with, they all promised me that they wouldn’t do anything to mine. And then, one night, over there at the old place, we had five trucks lined up in a row. And you could tell when they got out of the car… They unloaded the shotgun. “They shot the radiators and the


side of the cab. They just stood there and emptied the gun.” Wayne knew the fight was with the


mill and not him as a vendor, but he had been caught in the middle. Luckily, the man who ran the radiator shop in town heard about the gunfire while listening to the news on his way to Clinton to go deer hunting. He turned around to help. “We had folks pulling radiators out


and helping us. We got them all back together. And the paper mill manager came over to say, ‘whatever you need, we’ll help you.’”


A GOOD TRIP People in his community have had


his back when he needed them, like a friend who gave him business when the corduroy plant, where Wayne had a lot of business, closed in ’85. But Wayne has been giving back on a regular basis as well. He serves on the board of the Petit Jean State Bank and Central Baptist College. That he would even be asked still bewilders him. “I just went to the 10th grade


because we were travelling so much. So I don’t have the education. But when the president of the bank wants you to be on their board, that`s a pretty big deal… I still don’t understand how all that happened,” he muses.


32 Issue 3 2016 | ARKANSAS TRUCKING REPORT “If I’m all they got…” he trails off,


but Vicki responds, “Because you’re smart, and they know that. You are a good business man, and that’s why they want you.” He also serves on the Board of


Directors for the Arkansas Trucking Association and the Board of Trustees for the Self Insurers Fund, since 1993. Wayne is the only original trustee


still serving for the ATA-SIF, which provides workers compensation to its members, mostly made up of smaller carriers. “The Arkansas Trucking Association


and the SIF basically kept us in business because we were paying so much for workman’s comp. That was a good thing and helped lots of people and helped the association… I thought it was good of Steve [Williams] because he was big enough that he was self-insured, but he wanted to get something for the little guys.”


He says it is hard to believe he’s


been a part of the association and the fund for so long because he used to look up to the older members. Now he


calls himself “one of the old rats in the barn,” someone that hopefully younger members can look up to. There is a lot to admire about how


far WST has come in 40 years. From one truck of his own, to the two when he bought the business, to over 100 today, not to mention over 500 trailers. “You look back over the years and


see how things have worked. It’s kind of awesome to me, amazing how that’s your life,” he shakes his head in disbe- lief. “I’ve seen companies, big compa- nies that used to be on the board with the association, and you’d think they were doing everything just right, and they’d be gone. “And here we keep plugging by,


even during the hard times in ’08 and ’09. We still keep our head above water, and it’s just amazing to me how all that works,” he continues. When we return to WST after


another 15 years, what would we find? What legacy is he leaving for Arkansas trucking? For someone who started behind


the wheel, it should come as no surprise that Wayne is working on leaving a legacy for the driver. “I just hope that we did some good.


A lot of times, truckers don’t have too good of a name. When I’m gone, I want to still have a good name and have an honest company. Hopefully, it will keep going.” Since 1976, he continues to give


drivers a good name. “Like I said, it’s been a good trip.” ATR


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