EDMONTON, Alta. — Lorraine Card has decided to retire after three years as president of the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA).
Card devoted her time with the AMTA lobbying for safer highways for both commercial drivers and the general public, as well as working to create a more streamlined process for various industry issues.
During her time with the ATMA, Card was involved in such initiatives as the approval of single wide-base tires on provincial highways, pushing for improved rest stops for drivers, working toward mandatory entry level training in Alberta, and continued input into an electronic logging device mandate.
Prior to joining the AMTA, Card spent 22 years with Greyhound Canada, where she departed the company as director of safety. She also spent time with the Alberta Government working on driver programs and licensing and carrier services.
Card will remain in her position with the AMTA until the end of April. The association aims to find her replacement by January.
The outgoing AMTA president chatted with Truck West about her choice to retire, her time with the AMTA, and where she’d like to see the industry go in the future.
TW: You spent three years as president of the AMTA and have now chosen to retire. What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time with the association and why?
Card: I’m most proud of the world-class building and training track we’re currently constructing in Edmonton. This facility will allow drivers to train in a safe, controlled environment, and the Edmonton International Airport location makes it easily accessible to users across North America.
I’m also proud of the strengthened relationship the AMTA has made with government, and of course the approval of new generation wide-base single tires on provincial highways.
Also worth noting, is the success of our safety conferences and trade shows over the last three years. And, lastly, the successful rebrand of both the AMTA and Partners in Compliance (PIC) program. The new AMTA and PIC logos and identities provide further momentum to the AMTA’s continued promotion of member engagement and safety.
TW: Is there something you wish you would have seen come to fruition during your time with the AMTA?
Card: I’d like to see single wide-base tires approved on municipal roadways so carriers have access to all Alberta roadways, reducing barriers to transportation. I’d also like to see mandatory entry level training (MELT) move forward to reflect positively on driver professionalism in Alberta.
TW: Tell us the difference between Lorrain Card on Day 1 leading the AMTA and Lorraine Card today. How did you evolve as the association’s president?
Card: We’ve built a much stronger team here at the AMTA that has worked hard to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for the future of the association. I’ve also taken advantage of the opportunity to meet with industry representatives and government to have a better understanding of issues affecting the industry, including regularly scheduled communication with the Canadian Trucking Alliance and other provincial associations.
TW: Is there a particular issue facing the industry that you feel most passionate about?
Card: Commercial rest stops.
TW: Why are rest stops so important to you?
Card: When we see rest stops removed from Alberta highways, we need to start seeing new rest stops in their place. It’s important that drivers, particularly women drivers, have somewhere to safely stop and park instead of isolated roadsides. The safety and security of our drivers is paramount.
It is also important to note that with the introduction of electronic logging devices (ELDs), drivers will be forced to stop to obtain rest, which will increase the number of trucks parked on ramps or roadsides.
TW: Being a woman in the industry, what are your thoughts on diversity in the workplace and what strides, or lack thereof, have been taken to attract more women into trucking?
Card: With only 3% of women represented in the transportation and warehousing industries, we partnered with Trucking HR Canada for the Western Women With Drive Leadership Conference earlier this year, and have another planned for May 2018 – to identify career opportunities within the industry. We’ve also partnered with Women Building Futures for its Class 1 driving course – sponsored by Westcan Bulk and Caron Transportation – and I was pleased to attend the graduation of the program’s first 12 women drivers.
Trucking as a whole needs more support when it comes to women in the industry and we continue to work with Trucking HR Canada on an 18-month project on ‘Bridging the Gap in Alberta’s Trucking and Logistics Labor Market.’ The purpose of the project is to address workforce gaps by supporting employers in reaching out to underrepresented groups, while at the same time educating individuals and organizations that work with these groups on the vast array of career options in the transportation industry.
TW: What surprised you most about the industry?
Card: I’ve been fortunate to work in the transportation industry for almost 30 years. While my career has mainly been in busing, I was familiar with trucking issues from my time with government, so no surprises, just determining a path to prioritize and engage stakeholders. It’s encouraging to work with so many passionate and committed members in our industry.
TW: What are the Top 3 issues the next AMTA president will have to address during their tenure?
Card: Enhancing the AMTA’s role as a provincially-licensed driver training school through development of programs to reduce workplace injuries and on-road incidents is one.
The completion of the Edmonton facility and driver training track, as well as the partnership and opportunities created to promote safe driving practices collectively.
And continuing to meet the expectations of our stakeholders through our efforts to work on priority issues, such as single wide-base tires, MELT and the introduction of ELDs.
TW: If we were to ask your coworkers what they are going to miss most about having you around the office, what do you think their answer would be?
Card: Well, after consulting with the staff, they say I am someone who is dedicated to seeing the organization thrive. That I’m very hands-on, engaged with association projects to ensure their successful completion, and that I’m a strong female role model in an industry where women leaders aren’t prominent.
TW: Now that retirement is just around the corner, what does the average day in the life of Lorraine Card look like in 2018?
Card: This is an industry I truly love and will miss, so I hope to remain engaged. Stay tuned.