REGINA, Sask. – Following the departure of former executive director Al Rosseker, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) has brought on Susan Ewart to fill those shoes, who brings with a glut of experience in the insurance world and an entrepreneurial spirit to her new leadership role.
“With a 30-year career in insurance, it has given me the opportunity to develop successful relationships with both customers and industry partners,” Ewart said, adding that she was a manager and business owner of an insurance brokerage for many years. “The STA is a business, and I hope to bring those aspects of entrepreneurship and ‘thinking outside of the box’ to the executive director position.”
STA board chairman Graham Newton said they had identified several potential candidates for the executive director position, but Ewart’s experience within the association’s group of companies put her ahead of the pack.
“She has a proven track record in management and demonstrates solid leadership values,” Newton said. “Susan’s broad knowledge of insurance services, particularly in the transport sector, will ease her transition into the truck transportation world.”
Ewart served as director of insurance services for Hal Insurance, a subsidiary company for the STA, for the past four years.
Bringing passion to the work she does, Ewart said she has a knack for building and cultivating relationships, but admits that when it comes to what initiative she intends to tackle during her reign with the STA, everything right now is still relatively new.
“A lot of investigation is ongoing as to why we do the things we do,” she said. “We will be looking at ways to grow our association and bring value to our existing members and potential new ones. I will also be working on building on existing relationships with our western associations, our national association and ensuring the STA voice is heard at all government and association levels.”
One thing Ewart keenly pointed out, is the fact that not many women hold positions within the trucking industry, and that the sector is often referred to as an ‘old boys club.’
Ewart did say that more women are starting to enter the industry, and that she hopes this will soon change that perception.
“Women definitely have a different skill set from men and the ability to communicate, provide leadership and multi-task are usually at the forefront for us,” Ewart said, adding that she hopes to carry these skills over to her executive director position. “By mentoring and leading other women, I believe that we can create future truck transport leaders in women.”
Ewart highlighted that she feels the STA currently employs one of these future leaders, someone she called a ‘very passionate young woman,’ referring to membership liaison Nicole Sinclair.
“You will be hearing and seeing a lot more from Nicole of the STA,” Ewart said. “She is a valuable resource to our members and the industry.”
Ewart said she believes the STA has done an excellent job at establishing itself as the voice of the trucking industry to other sectors in the province, and that various organizations look to them for guidance and input when it comes to their involvement in the trucking industry.
“We have worked behind the scenes for a very long time and we need to create more visibility and awareness from the public sector,” she said.
Ewart attended Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s business administration program, and holds a Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker designation. She served on the board of the Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan, the Regina Women’s Network and was president of the Regina Association of Insurance Women. She was also the recent recipient of the 2015 Women of Influence for the insurance industry. But she is ready to take on the new challenge of leading the STA into the future.
“I know I have taken on a role in a nontraditional industry for females,” Ewart said, “but we are slowly changing those barriers and stereotypes and I hope to be an example of what can be accomplished through hard work and a passion for making a difference.”
The STA’s former executive director, Rosseker, will move into a senior advisor position for the association.
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