By Marlana Ward
Most young teens with an entrepreneurial spirit begin their careers with a lawn service or paper route.  For one Johnson County teen though, her career is beginning with the purchase of a Peterbilt 389 truck.  This entry into the business world is made even more impressive by the fact that it also benefited thousands of lives at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Channie Herman’s family has been involved in the trucking industry for over 50 years.   Her grandfather, Danny Herman, started Danny Herman Trucking in 1964 and her mother, Kristy Herman, began Triple C Transportation Services in 2006.  It was with the beginning of Triple C that Channie’s interest in the industry grew.  “She loves dealing with people,” said Kristy Herman as she spoke of Channie’s skills. “She can do everything from calling to make appointments for trucks to pick up loads, putting money of fuel cards, payroll billing, and some of what goes on at the shop.”
The company that built and offered a truck for sale to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is Fitzgerald Glider Kits.  Fitzgerald is a company that makes specialized truck cabs and chassis. They are well respected in the trucking community as being a business that stands behind their products.  According to Lisa Van Westing, their decision to do a special build to benefit St. Jude’s was a natural one. “Since building trucks is what we do best, we knew this would be a great idea, she explained. “ Most of our customers are family-owned businesses and we knew they would feel the same about the good work that St. Jude’s does for children.”
Triple C became aware of the St. Jude truck when Kristy Herman was approached about helping raise awareness of the project.  “When Lisa Van Westing asked us to help spread the word about what they were doing and who it would benefit,” Herman shared, “I had no idea that Channie would end up with it.”  Channie’s older sister Courtney has been a truck owner since 2010 and Channie was very excited when she first saw the St. Jude truck go up for bid.  “She has always had a very giving heart and after seeing what St. Jude has done for kids not only in Johnson County but nationwide, it only made sense,” she added.
 The winning bid for the truck was $165,000.  The entire sales price of the truck was donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The money will help the hospital as it furthers the research and treatment of childhood cancer and other serious ailments that face the thousands of children that are patients there.  “St. Jude’s is a wonderful charity to donate to and one of the few that a very high percentage does go directly to the hospital to keep the cost to people in need very minimal or no cost at all.  Their research is like no other,” Channie said.
While Channie will not be personally driving the truck, she will be responsible for the weekly payroll and with some logistics.  She will be leasing the truck to Triple C Transportation Services and has a driving team ready to set out on the road.
The response to the St. Jude project has been so great that Fitzgerald Glider Kits has already began another truck they plan to unveil at the Great American Truck Show in August.  “St. Jude has always been a charity that is close to our hearts,” said Van Westing.  “With every new baby born into the Fitzgerald family, we are reminded of how blessed we are.  We know that if we support St. Jude, this in turn is supporting all the families and children there who need a little help.”
In the future, Channie and her sister Courtney plan to continue in the family business with Triple C.