AMTA adds new faces to board, honors province’s best

BANFF, Alta. — During the Alberta Motor Transport Association annual general meeting, Richard Warnock of Westfreight Systems took over the reigns as president of the association.

The event was held in Banff, Alta. on April 17 and 18, which also saw Greg Sokil of Sokil Express Lines move from president to past-president. Dean Paisley of Lethbridge Truck Terminals was named by acclamation to the position of president elect.

Past-president Gene Orlick of Orlicks Inc. will stay on with the board of directors as a director-at-large, while the new faces to the board include Darren Smith of Rosenau Transport as the southern regional director and Ed Pierce of Capstan Hauling as the NW regional director.


The affable and former past-president of the AMTA, Gene Orlick of Orlicks, Inc. was honored with the AMTA Service to the Industry Award, sponsored by Dalton Timmins Insurance. Orlick grew up in the trucking industry, cutting his teeth at his uncle’s company – Orlick’s Transport – alongside his father. In 1995, Orlick partnered with his wife Nancy to launch their own venture and keep the family name going strong in Alberta’s trucking community. At the insistence and with the guidance of the late John Tessier, Orlick has made safety a focal point of the operation.


A focus on safety during his 27-year driving career is partly the reason Pat Thorne of Canadian Freightways was presented with the Driver of the Year Award, sponsored by Volvo Trucks of Canada. Thorne has spent the past 15 years with CF and has driven enough long haul miles to realize he’s a city driver, which allows him to utilize his exceptional people skills. “This industry is called trucking, but it’s customer service,” he likes to say.


Robert Enns of Bison Transport was named this year’s winner of the AMTA/Shaw Tracking Dispatcher of the Year Award. Enns has been in the industry for 15 years and his ability to create a good working environment by balancing client care, safety, drivers’ well-being, courtesy, teamwork, and problem solving, led to the award.


John Tessier, Jatco Transportation Safety, was honored posthumously by the AMTA for his lifelong dedication to safety in the trucking industry. Tessier recently passed away after a short battle with cancer, and as presenter Marie Hubbard of Bow Valley Insurance told the crowd “he will be missed, but his safety lessons will be remembered always.”


Phil Walton of Phil Walton Enterprise Haulings was honored by the Alberta Chapter of the American Historical Truck Society for his decades of hard work and innovative service. Unofficially, Walton’s trucking career began when he was 14, but it officially began in 1956 when he purchased his first truck. In the decades since then he has hauled everything from logs, asphalt, bagged cement and drill rigs. In the oilfield Walton really made his mark by constructing specialty vehicles to help move heavy objects through previously impassable terrain.


Dwayne Warawa the branch manager with Ocean Trailer in Edmonton was awarded the Associate Trades Award from the AMTA for his dedication and extensive involvement with industry events.

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