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AMTA overcomes adversity, looks to move forward

EDMONTON, Alta. - There has been plenty of turmoil within the ranks of the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) over the summer, but there's a new leader at the helm and he says it's time to get...


EDMONTON, Alta. – There has been plenty of turmoil within the ranks of the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) over the summer, but there’s a new leader at the helm and he says it’s time to get back to business.

John Finn was named president-elect at the association’s spring elections, but he’s been forced to take over the role of acting president sooner than anticipated.

Out-going president Jurgen Mantei has stepped aside early due to a family situation, and Finn now finds himself leading the charge.

“Jurgen is the president and this should be his year to shine because Jurgen’s done a tremendous amount of work for the association,” says Finn. The unexpected change isn’t the first the AMTA has had to deal with. Earlier this summer, executive director Lane Kranenburg was forced to resign due to health problems.

That led to a lengthy search for a new executive director, which turned out fruitless in the end.

“We actually chose a candidate and things didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, so we did not proceed with getting a new executive director in August,” says Finn.

Instead, Sharon Johnson, who filled Kranenburg’s shoes following his resignation, will continue to fill the role until the end of next June.

Other staff changes have been made as well. General manager Al Smythe has moved on, while Troy Tait joined the AMTA to handle regulatory issues.

But Finn insists that the association is now poised to move forward.

“We’ve looked at the staff that were there and in some cases we’ve made some changes to beef up the positions to the level that we need to go forward,” says Finn. “Sharon (Johnson) will be filling some of the staff positions, hiring people and getting the programs we need up and running and getting the association to the point where we want it to be.”

Because the AMTA has faced a few curveballs over the past few months, Finn admits it’s been difficult at times for the association to stay focused.

“To some extent, we’ve been internally focused and because of that, we haven’t done what we are really here to do and that is to deliver these benefits out to the members,” says Finn. “That’s the biggest change you’re going to see over the next six months. The focus is going to be on getting the benefits out to the members and getting feedback from the members about what they want.”

And while the association readied themselves to get back on-track, they received some positive news in late September. Kranenburg visited Truxpo and reported that he received good news from doctors regarding his health. And Truxpo itself was a success.

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