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To celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’re featuring our incredibly talented APA-identifying team members. Asian Pacific American Heritage month is a time to reflect, celebrate and recognize the incredible influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans in our history, culture and achievements. At USA Truck, we celebrate our Asian American and Pacific Islander employees and the role they play not only in our organization, but in the world.
We’re excited to spotlight Tommi Vorabouth, Driver Manager at USA Truck.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? (Hometown, College, Hobbies)
A: Well, a little bit about myself: I was born in Akron, OH, grew up in Canyon, TX, and currently live in Fort Smith, AR. I graduated with my Associates degree in General Studies at the University of Arkansas -Fort Smith. My favorite hobbies that I love to do are sports & cooking! I’m in a couple of sports leagues in Fort Smith, including Flag Football, Ultimate Frisbee and some Pickleball. I’m also a big Seahawks fan (Go Hawks!).
Q: What’s your role at USA Truck? How long have you been with the company?
A: I am currently the Driver Manager for one of the load board fleets, Fleet 42! I’ve been with the company for three years, I started off in Customer Service and worked there for about a year and seven months, then I was selected to be an extended coverage Driver manager in Operations. Six months, later I got my own fleet and took over Fleet 42. I absolutely love what I do. I love my drivers and the people I work with. I’m blessed to work with some amazing people here at USAT and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else but here.
Q: What’s a fun fact about you—personal and/or professional—most people at USA Truck don’t know?
A: Personal fun fact…I was born on the same day, same city & hospital as Steph Curry. Just different years and he has the talents. #GoDubs
Q: Can you tell us what Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month means to you?
A: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month means a lot to me. I came from a family that was sponsored to come live in America by a church in a town called Canyon, TX, a little bit outside of Amarillo, during the Vietnam War. From the stories my grandparents told me growing up, it was difficult for our family for a while due to the language barrier and adjusting to America. My grandmother was a janitor at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and my grandfather was a janitor at West Texas A&M University which was right beside the museum.
For 34 years, though they endured many difficulties, they were able to make such an impact in the community, just living the American Dream with positivity and kindness, that the administration of the museum saw fit to honor them by hanging my family’s picture up on the wall near the entrance. This is a fact I’ve always been really proud of because I feel like it illustrates the perseverance and grit of mine and other’s immigrant families, as well as the best of American culture in embracing and integrating our family into the community.
Q. What is your favorite cultural tradition?
A: Lao New Years! We celebrate our new years at the end of April and it’s a whole weekend long celebration at the temple. We have food vendors out there, music, etc. People from different communities also come to celebrate this weekend long event with us and it’s a great time.
Q. What do you hope to see for the Asian community in the future?
A: I hope that the acceptance and support that I feel as a part of USA Truck is enjoyed by Asian communities across America. Hope that all communities in America, including Asian communities, see an end to violence and hate.
Q: What is one activity or dish that you think everyone should try?
A: One dish I absolutely love, and I think everyone should try it is sticky rice, Laotian BBQ brisket, and Tum Mak Hoong (papaya salad). Warning…the papaya salad is spicy.
Q: Do you have a role model in your life? If so, who are they and how have they helped you in your journey?
A: I have two role models in my life, God and my mother. I would not be in the current position where I’m right now if it wasn’t for Him. The same can be said for my mother. A lot of people here at USAT would know her, Vinnie Thrift, she worked here for about 7 years. She has been one of my biggest role models in my life. At a young age, she taught me what it means to work hard at everything that you do, with positivity. My mom worked 2 jobs for 17 years just to provide for my sister and me. A lot of days I would be at work with her until she got off. The one thing that I noticed is that there was not a single day I didn’t see her without a smile on her face. She told me whatever problem you may be going through, go through it with a smile and a positive attitude. The stuff that we are going through is just temporary and it will eventually get better, just got to have faith that you’ll make it through it. You never know, you might be a light in someone’s life. My mom has always been my backbone since the start and is reason why I am who I am today.
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