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AMTA crowns Royal

CALGARY, Alta. - The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) has concluded a lengthy search for a new executive director, and United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) veteran Kim Royal now finds himself on ...

CALGARY, Alta. – The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) has concluded a lengthy search for a new executive director, and United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) veteran Kim Royal now finds himself on the throne.

Royal took over the reins on Jan. 21 after the AMTA board of directors wrapped up another round of interviews. Consultant Sharon Johnson has held the position on an interim basis since popular leader Lane Kranenburg stepped aside for health reasons last summer.

Although she agreed to occupy the position until June, she urged the AMTA to find a permanent replacement as soon as possible.

“Sharon said we should really start the executive search process early to make sure that we could have the transition done by June,” says AMTA president John Finn. “Kim is now able to get immersed in the issues that are affecting the association…and Sharon can be in the background getting policy and procedure things done.”

Finn says Royal’s quiet disposition will help bring some balance to the boardroom table when the not-so-quiet board members meet.

“He can appear a little quiet, but as we said at our last board meeting, there’s more than enough noisy ones around and he can be an excellent counterfoil to those of us who aren’t afraid to stand up and make some noise,” jokes Finn. “He certainly is able to do things and certainly understands the role that we want him to fill as director.”

Royal, whose most recent post at UFA was manager, petroleum marketing and administration, is eager to take on the challenging position.

“The transportation industry is a very exciting industry,” says Royal. “There are going to be changes happening in the transportation industry – we’re going to experience a lot of growth.”

Although he may not have a lengthy career piloting iron behind him, Royal is no stranger to the trucking industry. He dealt with carriers regularly during his 12-year stint with the UFA.

“At UFA, basically truckers were my customers,” says Royal, who was active on government task forces on fuel taxes. Royal was also director of the Alberta Used Oil Management Association, giving him some insight into the functionality of associations.

He lists among his top priorities as executive director, taking the association forward, bringing initiatives already in progress through to fruition, as well as improving truck safety, which is among his top concerns.

“I’d say the main priorities will be to work with the various organizations to improve safety and reduce the instances of injury in the industry,” says Royal. “We will be focusing on the board agenda and making progress on some of the initiatives that are already under way.”

While some Alberta-based truckers are still surprised to learn they are automatically members of the AMTA (membership dues are collected through Workers’ Compensation Board premiums), Royal encourages anyone working in trucking to take advantage of the benefits available to them.

“As long as they put trucking as their industry, they are a member of the AMTA,” he reminds drivers.

Finn says the latest appointment for the AMTA will offer some welcomed stability, enabling the association to continue moving forward towards fulfilling its mandate.

The association thought they had chosen the ideal man for the job last summer, but background checks turned up some information that their candidate had neglected to mention in interviews. It ultimately cost him his shot at the position.

Royal, however, came highly recommended and is already familiarizing himself with the various organizations and political leaders he will be working with over his term.

“There is always a steep learning curve and I’m in the early process of that learning curve,” says Royal.

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