WATERLOO, Ont. — The Transportation Maintenance & Technology Association (TMTA) has installed its first-ever female president, Brenda Alderson.
Alderson will lead the Waterloo chapter, after accepting the reins from outgoing president Jake Francis at the group’s monthly meeting last week. She is the first female president of any of the group’s chapters. TMTA also operates chapters in Windsor-Chatham, Sudbury and London, Ont., bringing together professionals in the truck maintenance field for networking and educational events. Alderson has worked for Erb Transport for 18 years and currently serves in a fleet maintenance support capacity.
Her job involves everything from managing parts inventory, auditing work orders, office administration in the shop and managing breakdowns. As president of TMTA, Alderson told Truck News one of her priorities will be to engage the membership and get them more involved.
“For non-profit organizations that are volunteer-run, it’s very, very hard to get people to come out and take part,” she explained. “Nobody minds coming to have a meal and learn something but when it actually comes to doing an extra meeting or maybe a little extra work during the month, it becomes another issue. I’m a firm believer that everybody should take their turn at the helm and put in a little extra work and find out exactly just what the association is all about. That’s why I came onto the board, just to give back to the organization.”
Alderson will serve a two-year term as president. The TMTA’s Waterloo chapter is vibrant, boasting about 200 members with a regular monthly turnout of about 100 for the networking dinners. Alderson said she is particularly encouraged by the growing number of women who attend.
“When I first came here in 2008 there were very few women,” she said. “Now, you will regularly see six to 12 women here every month.”
Alderson said there are many benefits to membership in TMTA, which she hopes to promote to bring in new members.
“When I first came, I came because I wanted to know more about the issues in trucking,” she explained. “I wanted to learn more about the workings of the truck and also my boss works very long hours and is unable to come, so it was a way for me to get the knowledge, do the networking and be able to take it back to my company. Those are all good reasons to join.”
Alderson also wants to promote opportunities in the industry to women.
“I would highly recommend it,” she said of a career in the trucking industry, noting there are many opportunities in the shop beyond turning wrenches, including becoming a parts manager.
“It’s probably going to be a whole lot easier now to get into the industry (as a woman) than it was 18 years ago,” she said, “because there is less skepticism that you can do it.”
For more information about TMTA’s Waterloo region, visit www.TMTA.co.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies