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Alex Clark: Straight Forward in Service

BY ANGELA E. THOMAS Contributing Writer

Alex Clark has made a living doing what

he loves: helping others. Clark serves as business development manager for Open Road Drivers Plan in Overland, Kansas. The company, founded in 1989, provides legal services for professional truck drivers through their carriers. Clark joined Open Road in May 2011. As business development manager, he oversees sales representatives and speaks with safety department representatives and members of upper management “offering their services as a voluntary benefit to their drivers, who in turn pay for their memberships.” “We contract with local attorneys

throughout the United States and Canada to help drivers when they have traffic violations,” Clark said. “For [about $40] per month, we find, pay for and cover the attorney’s fees for commercial drivers.” He offered the following example: If an Arkansas-based truck driver gets a ticket in Washington, chances are he doesn’t know anyone there. The drivers, unlike others, cannot simply pay the ticket. It could result in job loss. “We’d provide him with a local,

experienced CDL attorney who would then go to court on his behalf,” Clark said. “Ninety-five percent of the drivers covered by Open Road Drivers Plans don’t have to appear in court. This is especially good for carriers. They don’t have to reroute their drivers, and the drivers don’t lose drive time.” Providing a much-needed service for

drivers and carriers falls right in line with Clark’s personality. He earned a business


degree from the University of Kansas. Prior to joining Open Road, he worked in the mortgage industry. “Honestly, I liked the personal

interaction [working with customers to secure home loans],” Clark said. “Basically, I was an advisor and counsellor for my clients for 30 to 90 days. I really liked that. I was a good fit. I’m also a numbers guy.” He recalls one young lady who,

through a set of bad circumstances, had “really bad credit”; however, Clark was able to help her navigate through the process and fix her credit to secure a home loan. “She became a close of friend. She, my

wife and I have been friends for 15 years,” Clark said. Clark’s interest in Open Road was piqued

when he was approached by a fellow church member during a Kiwanis Club event. Clark served with the organization, helping to raise money for various charities. He said, “My first thought was: would I

want to pay money to have an attorney to be at my side if I got a ticket? As I heard more about the drivers, that they can targets of law enforcement as well as the statistics about their health, I realized, yes, I would.” “Imagine being alone 24/7 and, in the

case of some drivers, for months at a time. Our service lends the drivers peace of mind, especially in a catastrophic event,” he said. “One bad ticket could spell the end of a driver’s career.” Clark likes that he is part of helping the

drivers gain that peace of mind. “They know they’ll have legal representation as needed. It’s one thing they don’t have to deal with, if they have our service.”


“Soon after I started with the company,

a safety director called me and said he had a driver who had been with his company for 20 years. He said the driver had been clocked at 22 miles over the speed limit when he was stopped. ‘He’s one of our best drivers. We’ve had no issues from him, and his loss would be major for our company,’” Clark said, recalling the incident. “If the driver was found guilty and had points added to his driving record, the company was going to have to let him go. This guy was a wreck, just thinking about the situation. We were able to contact an attorney, get the offense reduced to a non-major violation, and the driver kept his job.” Clark said believing in the service Open

Road provides makes his job easy, and recent changes to federal regulations have helped the company in its efforts to assist carriers in maintaining longtime drivers. It’s a win-win situation.

He’s also found what so many others say

of the individuals who work in the trucking industry to be true: they’re just good people. Clark said he has found the business full of people who work hard to benefit others. “It may sound contrived, but I love this

industry and the people in it. They’re good- hearted, hard-working people,” Clark said.


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