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Maintenance Manager of the Year

TORONTO, Ont. - The winner of the 2005 Volvo Fleet Maintenance Manager of the Year award, Bob Gibson, sat humbly unaware that the list of career accomplishments being read during the award's presentat...


TORONTO, Ont. – The winner of the 2005 Volvo Fleet Maintenance Manager of the Year award, Bob Gibson, sat humbly unaware that the list of career accomplishments being read during the award’s presentation at the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminar (CFMS) were his own.

It wasn’t until the announcer mentioned the name of his wife that the veteran of 40 years realized he was about to be named winner.

“I didn’t know that I’d won until they got to my wife, Pat,” said the grandfather of 15.

“I was very surprised because there are so many people that deserve it. It’s still hard to believe.”

The presentation of the award was the grand finale of the CFMS events taking place at the Double Tree Plaza and Hotel in Mississauga, Ont. May 8-11.The winners of the prestigious award are chosen by their peers based on a group of criteria including maintenance and safety, staff supervision and driver training.

Few are more proud of Gibson’s accomplishment than his colleagues at International Freight Systems (IFS) in Oshawa.

“He’s very dedicated to this industry, to the field of transportation and to the company,” said operations manager at IFS, Nick VanderMeer.

“I’m very proud of him and honoured that I could be here too.”

Gibson acknowledged that he couldn’t have gotten to this level in the business if it wasn’t for his co-workers.

“Every one of the workers make my job that much easier. Because that’s what it’s all about. You can’t do it on your own. Everyone plays their part. That’s what gets you to where you are,” he said.

Gibson got started as a driver with IFS back in 1968.

Since that time, he has been highly involved with the company’s operations and took over responsibility for the safety and maintenance of the Oshawa facility seven years ago.

Gibson’s long list of achievements include extensive work as a trainer, with seven years as a registered WHIMS trainer, 15 years as an air brake instructor at Centennial College, 16 years training for the Ontario Safety League and 17 years as a Motor Vehicle Driver Trainer.

As a member of the Free Methodist Church, he has also donated much of his time to his community by transporting young people at the church to different events, excavating the church’s yard using his own resources and even flying to the Dominican Republic to help build churches for the less fortunate.

For Gibson, the award stood as not only the climax of the week’s events, but also his career.

But Gibson says he doesn’t see the honour as the point in his career from which he will steadily decline, but rather a peak of excellence he intends to maintain for years to come.

“When you get (to this level) you can’t back off, because when you back off you can only go downhill,” he said.

“And that’s what you’ve got to be afraid of: that you don’t get on top and fall off. It’s one thing to get there, it’s another thing to keep going and not stop. You’ve got to keep shooting higher.”


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