After 35 years of service to Capital Area Transit and seven awards/acknowledgements, JoAnn Satterwhite is finally ready to retire. JoAnn was the first female city transit driver in this area. She was chosen over 110 other applicants to be a Capital Area Bus Operator. She drove buses for 15 years, and later was promoted to Transit Supervisor, holding that position for 12 years. Once JoAnn decided to come off the road, she was once again promoted to Dispatch Supervisor and has been working this position for the past 8 years. JoAnn retired on August 31.
JoAnn was born in Fuquay-Varina on August 30, 1950 and resided there for 22 years. Raised on a farm, JoAnn learned how to operate a farm tractor. Her brother drove an 18 wheeler truck and he would let her drive it sometimes. This was the beginning of many years ahead operating heavy equipment for JoAnn.
After graduating high school, JoAnn attended WWHolding Technical Institute which is now Wake Technical Community College. She studied Secretarial Science. JoAnn then spent time traveling with her ex-husband overseas. She returned to the States to live in Raleigh for five years, and has been living in Garner for the past 30 years. JoAnn has one son, Derrick Moore and one grandson, Derrick Moore, Jr.
“At the time I was hired it was not such a great thing to me,” JoAnn said. “The public made me feel special as a female handling this big bus. Even though, I must say I was proud to have been chosen from 110 applicants.”
JoAnn’s attributes her success at Capital Area Transit to her understanding that any job can be a challenge. Drivers need to fully concentrate on their driving and smile, keep a schedule, handle the public and love people.
“Not everybody can do all this at the same time,” JoAnn proudly stated.
For any female drivers, JoAnn advises to always show up for work on time, keep smiling and have a positive attitude. Also, she explains how important it is to not complain about what bus or route to drive and be kind to all passengers on board. The women drivers now have nice new buses with air conditioning and heat with plenty of mirrors to aid them. When JoAnn first started working for Capital Area Transit, the buses were very old. They froze in the winter and burnt up in the summer with only one mirror to aid the driver’s vision. There were also no women’s restrooms.
“I know what my drivers go through each day. I’ve been there and done that. You are faced with Mr. Mean and Mr. Good, Miss Complainer and Mrs. Grouchy throughout the day. That’s why I try to make their day at CAT special each day.” JoAnn said, “I get to work and fix coffee and play music and have my big smile ready. It sort of perks them up and jump starts their day.”
JoAnn’s goals after retirement are to sleep late, relax, travel and write a book. She also wants to work harder to help her church. As you can see, whether JoAnn is on the road or off the road she still will be striving towards success.