REGINA, Sask. – Like many industry outsiders, Al Rosseker was awestruck when he took a few moments to step back and analyze how integral the trucking industry is to the economy.
Now, as the new executive director of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA), Rosseker is eager to pass on the message to the general public in an effort to bring positive attention to the industry and the association.
“Trucking is an economic driver of great proportion,” said Rosseker. “A lot of people look at trucks as slowing them down in traffic, but they don’t think about what’s inside the trailer, it could be food or medical equipment in there. It’s a hugely important industry and we don’t think about trucks enough.”
Rosseker began his employment with the STA at the beginning of September. He was first in contact with the STA in July about the executive director position and it was during the interview process that Rosseker began to realize the extent of the trucking industry’s involvement in commerce.
“Basically when I got more into it, even during the interview process, I started realizing what a crucial mainstay the industry is to the economy of North America,” Rosseker told Truck West.
“I didn’t realize the vast amount of goods that are shipped by truck. Where the rubber really meets the road is delivering produce, big screen televisions and fuel; I hadn’t looked at it in the big picture.”
Raising the profile of the trucking industry in the general public is one of the initial tasks the STA Board of Directors has mandated for Rosseker.
“I’m pleased that our association has brought Al onto the STA team,” stated Denis Prud’homme, president of the STA. “Working in conjunction with our Board of Directors and members, we believe he will provide added leadership and innovation in these changing times for the trucking industry.”
Saskatchewan born and raised, Rosseker’s work expertise has centered on communications, business consulting and information technology.
Most recently, Rosseker worked as the executive director of the Saskatchewan Architectural Society, for the past four and a half years. He expects the work he did while heading up the provincial society will aid in his transition into his executive director role with the STA.
“It is a provincial cultural organization, so there were a lot of the same issues as the trucking association, in regards to provincial membership, government liaison, and national issues,” explained Rosseker.
A former city editor of the Regina Leader-Post, Rosseker moved into the IT side of the daily newspaper, before branching out on his own and starting a management consulting company.
Through his company, Rosseker worked in partnership with numerous clients including ISM Saskatchewan, IBM Global Services, IBM World Trade, the University of Saskatchewan, Trinity Communications and, most recently, the Saskatchewan Architectural Heritage Society.
“With the STA, I’ve taken this role on as a full-time position and have parked my company; and I’m having a good time doing it,” added Rosseker.
With specialization in quality management systems, business processes and change management, Rosseker will oversee the STA’s provincial operations.
“Like so many other sectors, the trucking industry is facing various challenges, including driver shortages, fuel costs, emission standards and such,” said Prud’homme.
“Al Rosseker will help us to establish processes and best practices to deal effectively with these challenges. We welcome him to this exciting industry.”
Now in its 70th year of operation, the STA is a not-for-profit, non-political trade association representing the trucking industry.
“Looking at the STA itself, I just see a wealth of potential. We’re 70-years-old and obviously the past boards – and this board – have had a vision,” noted Rosseker. “I’m here for the duration as a full-time employee and serve at the command of the board.”
As well as raising the profile of the trucking industry, Rosseker has also been tasked with a few other commitments during his first year as the executive director for the STA.
The STA provides driver training to the industry through Commercial Truck Services.
“Last year we trained 1,200 and I think there’s room for expansion there,” explained Rosseker. “We’ll make a business case for expansion and training of more drivers.”
Rosseker will also focus on developing a new province-wide safety program for the STA.
“The idea has been around for about a year now, but we’re really going to move forward on it now,” commented Rosseker.
“Those are the two major issues, as well as putting together a communications plan to raise the profile of the STA. We’ll be looking for new memberships and new partnerships to help raise the credibility of the STA.”
By bringing more attention to the trucking industry, Rosseker and the STA are hoping to make the public aware of the industry’s contribution to the economic structure and economic well-being of the province, and North America.
“That’s the major thrust of the next 12 months,” said Rosseker. “I’m fresh to the organization and it’s a learning curve; and I’m confident I’ll be able to do this with my background in management consulting. I really hope to contribute on a national level and international level through the American Trucking Associations.”