2023 STA AGM Conference and Gala

Oct 24, 2023

Like many members of the STA, I like to throw caution to the wind by challenging lady luck and play cards or roll some dice. I also have been known to have an adult beverage or two, and I might even have been tempted to let down what little hair I have left and enjoy some good old rock and roll. The 2023 STA AGM and Gala was that kind of an event, and everyone was very much impressed with the lineup this year at the gala. It clearly meant to be a nod to Sin City and the STA delivered.

2023 STA AGM Conference and Gala
Women with Drive Panel
Angela Splinter, Prabha Ramaswamy, Stephanie Hnatuk-King, Mackenzie Bell

Not that the day started that way. The program began early with a Women with Drive panel discussion hosted by THRC and had a lineup of professionals to discuss the ever-growing roles that women are filling in the transportation industry. I was impressed with the way every one of the panelists spoke confidently about their futures in industry and provided recommendations to help promote women in trucking. The engagement from the audience was impressive. This was a presentation that every member should have been at. 

During lunch there was time for some quick networking as the afternoon had a full line up of presenters. Topics included information on sleep apnea, a review of how Saskatchewan personnel in trucking compare to the rest of Canada, a shorter version of what the Canadian Trucking Alliance has been up to and last but certainly not least, an address by our new Minister of Highways, the honorable Minister Lori Carr. The Annual General Meeting was a hybrid affair sharing with members a series of full reports from board chair, financial, and governance committees. Other important business was to celebrate three outgoing members, one with over 45 years, as well as warmly welcoming three new members to the STA board. Adjournment concluded and there was time to catch up on emails and phone calls before the evening excitement. 

2023 Award Recipients
(from left to right) Service to the Industry, Brett Marcoux, Dispatcher of the Year, Larry Day, Driver of the Year, Kirt McDougall

It was like we had arrived on the Las Vegas Strip when guests gathered for the networking reception. There were sparkling dresses and suits and ties everywhere. You could choose a cool beverage at the walk-up bar and then wander over for your choice of a multitude of casino games. There was a faint sound of the band setting up in the background and you could tell that everyone was ready to leave the business of the day behind and have some fun. The dinner was an enormous spread that literally had something for everyone. If you left hungry, it was your own fault. There were high end door prizes to purchase tickets to win on and there was a stunning (and well-utilized) photo arch for all the selfies, group shots and the STA award winners. The awards presentations after dinner allowed the industry to honor those that work hard every day to keep the wheels rolling and the economy moving. Hats off to all the award winners. They are only a very small sample of the dedication and commitment that we see day in and day out. The STA is proud to be able to be part of the honor you deserve. 

Never known to be a shy prairie boy, the evening rounded out in true Vegas fashion with a concert by our own home-grown Elvis performer, Rory Allen, and his band. Upbeat and engaging, Rory and his 11-piece band played old favorites and connected with the audience with his own personal experience in the trucking Industry. I am sure everyone sang along to at least one of his songs. 

Rory Allen and the Band

Our ears (and emails) have been ringing off the hook since the AGM and Gala, and we appreciate the positive feedback from members and attendees. The STA staff all worked hard to bring together a cornucopia of related business information and a spot to connect or reconnect with colleagues and friends for an evening. Life throws so many things to distract us during our hectic weekly routines, this was a chance to have a breather. We hope that everyone took the chance to learn something new, unwind and appreciate what the trucking industry is in Saskatchewan. 

One last thought, we are blessed to have very generous and supportive members and we need to acknowledge the sponsorship that was provided. We hope that we continue to be worthy of this generosity in the future as it is appreciated more than we at the STA can express. 

So, until next year’s Gala…. Viva Las Trucking.
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