This past Friday, OCtober 25th, 2019, was the STA AGM Gala Awards Banquet presented by SGI Canada. It was a full day, packed with panels, meetings, presentations, and then the Gala Awards Banquet in the evening.
The morning began with breakfast, a chance for Members to meet and network before getting down to business with the Annual General Meeting. The AGM covered old business, such as the financials of the past year, as well as looking at new business, such as welcoming new board members to the STA Board of Directors.
Later in the morning, there was a panel moderated by Derek Clouthier of Newcom Business Media Inc., entitled: “All Roads Lead to Safety: Industry Standards and Government Oversight in Saskatchewan’s New Era of Trucking”.

The panel: (Left to right) Derek Clouthier, Kwei Quaye, Earl Driedger, Mario Da Silva, Ron Foord

The panelists were:
  • Kwei Quaye, who is the Vice President of Traffic Safety, Driver and Support Services at SGI
  • Earl Driedger, owner of Maximum Training for the Trucking Industry
  • Mario Da Silva, Corporate Risk, Safety & Security Manager at Manitoulin Transport
  • Ron Foord, Director of Carrier & Vehicle Safety Services at SGI
During the panel, subjects were discussed that included MELT being entry level and that driver training must be an ongoing process. It was also discussed that driver testing needs to be reflective of the environments that drivers will operate in. If a student fails a test in a major center but passes in a small rural area, that driver is not as prepared to hit the road.
After the panel, lunch was accompanied by a presentation by Craig Peterson of the Missing Children Society of Canada on how the trucking industry can help in terms of public safety and community engagement when it comes to children who have gone missing. Peterson presented statistics on missing children and talked about how public engagement can help quickly locate children who have disappeared.
Watch this informative video about the Missing Children Society of Canada’s new web app, Rescu, that can be used to help with the effort to locate and recover missing children.
Afterwards, Angela Splinter of Trucking HR Canada introduced David Coletto, the CEO of Abacus Data, who presented his keynote speech on Attracting Millennials in the Trucking Industry.
Coletto spoke about several key concepts that can help attract Millennials to the trucking industry, as well as how to reframe thinking on the part of employers to better understand the Millennials they employ and/or are aiming to employ.
Coletto reminded the audience that Millennials are not children, that the oldest Millennials are in their 30s. Many are finishing or have already finished their post-secondary education and are considering what to do for a career, or are currently considering switching careers. This makes the trucking industry a viable option for Millennials. But, is the trucking industry Millennial friendly? David Coletto says “yes”.
The ability to set your own hours and be your own boss in trucking appeals to Millennials. The fact that a truck operator is not stuck behind a desk is also appealing. However, trucking has an image issue that the industry must overcome if it is going to attract previously untapped labour markets to bring new employees into the industry.
To see a live-tweet thread of David Coletto’s keynote speech and see all of the subjects Coletto touched on during the presentation, visit the STA twitter page here.

David Coletto, Susan Ewart, Angela Splinter

The evening portion, the Gala Awards Banquet, included the STA Industry Awards and wrapped up with entertainment and a set by comedian Kelly Taylor: “Saskatchewan’s second best export after wheat.”
This part of the evening was hosted by STA Board First Chair Brett Marcoux and Second Chair Heather Day.

Brett Marcoux and Heather Day

The recipient of Driver of the Year was DJ Bennett of Bison Transport. The award was presented by Aaron Bartoshewski of Sterling Truck and Trailer Sales on behalf of Volvo Canada.

DJ Bennett and Aaron Bartoshewski

Volvo Canada’s Driver of the Year video
The recipient of the Service to Industry Award was Andy Cipwynyk of the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure. The award was presented by Riley Gurr of Omnitracs Canada. Unfortunately, Andy was unable to attend and the award was accepted on his behalf by Fred Antunes, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure.

Fred Antunes

The evening ended with games and entertainment. There was a candy bar where guests could mix and match their favourite treats to take home. There was air hockey, ping pong, hoops, and a mini putting challenge.
The highlight was a set by comedian Kelly Taylor who had the whole crowd laughing.

Kelly Taylor

The STA would like to thank all event sponsors once again for their contributions to the STA AGM Gala Awards Banquet: SGI Canada, Northern Resource Trucking, Manitoulin Transport, Hornoi Leasing, Sterling Truck & Trailer Sales, Isaac Instruments Inc., AFI Distribution, Inland (Custom Truck Sales), Q-Line Trucking, GroupHealth, Cervus Equipment Peterbilt, C.S. Day Transport, Siemens Transportation Group, Virtus Group, Redhead Equipment, Volvo Trucks Canada, Omnitracs Canada, HAL Insurance and Canadian Sports Insurance Brokers.

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