Live from The NATSO Show: Bill Sapp Receives the Hall of Fame Award


The NATSO Foundation presented the industry’s Hall of Fame Award to William (Bill) Sapp, the founder of Sapp Bros. Travel Centers Inc.

NATSO Chief Executive Officer Lisa Mullings presented Sapp with the award during the NATSO Show’s kickoff event held Feb. 16 in Las Vegas, Nev., in recognition of Sapp’s participation in his community, the truckstop and travel plaza industry and in NATSO.

Sapp opened the first Sapp Bros. location in Omaha in 1971. Today, the company operates 16 travel centers with locations in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wyoming. Sapp continues to be chairman of the board of Sapp Bros. and is in the office almost every day.  

“Bill has been giving to the industry in so many ways,” said Don Quinn, president of Sapp Bros., adding that before the first Sapp location even opened, Sapp spent time talking with and learning from others in the industry. “So then it was just natural to become involved with NATSO and state associations and marketers.” 

He has been a strong supporter of NATSO, serving on the board of directors from 1993 to 1998, has taken part in the Nebraska Trucking Association and has been active in the Nebraska Petroleum Marketers Association for over 40 years. 

Sapp is always more than willing to share his knowledge with his fellow operators.  “Bill has been very instrumental in guiding us through the years,” said Dave Shoemaker, president of Shoemaker’s Travel Plaza. “I have always looked up to Bill, and in many ways fashioned my life from his, I have laughed until I have cried with him, went door to door campaigning for him when he ran for a state Senate position, and if I have ever had a question, he always made me feel comfortable in calling him and that he had time to talk with me.”

Harley Shoemaker, past president of Shoemaker’s Travel Center and a longtime friend of Bill’s said, “Bill has been a great business man and competitor. “

Not only has Sapp built a successful business, he is a strong supporter of his community and his faith. He personally supports and partners with several ministries to offer services at Sapp Bros.’ facilities, volunteers with a prison ministry, is a member of the Gideons and personally furnishes in excess of 100,000 Bibles and New Testaments each year to missionaries in developing countries.

He has served on numerous community and business boards, including Boys Town Board of Directors and Wells Fargo Business Advisory Board, and supports community organizations financially.

Mullings said, “Our industry, NATSO’s members, the state of Nebraska and the world have benefitted from Bill’s generous nature and wisdom. He truly embodies all that the Hall of Fame Award stands for and I am honored to present him with it.”

Photo Credit: Chuck Fazio/NATSO

Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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