BANFF, Alta. — Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) presented its Service to the Industry Award to a popular and humble past-president at the AMTA convention this past weekend..
Henry VanSteenbergen began in the industry as a youth with his father’s company, Western Alberta Produce, while he tried to decide about post-secondary studies, according to Tom Prochinsky of Trailmobile, who presented the award.
“Well, he never did pursue that university program and the Alberta trucking industry is the better for it,” he said.
In the mid-1980s, VanSteenbergen and his father discussed succession, but in 1987, Lilydale Inc. made a generous offer which the younger VanSteenbergen couldn’t resist, according to Prochinksy. After the sale went through, VanSteenbergen worked for Lilydale, but eventually bought Legal Transport, a one-truck operation that hauled eggs for Lilydale. He changed the name to Legal Freight Services and in just over 17 years, grew the company to 50 tractors and trailers. Prochinsky noted that VanSteenbergen decided to sell a year ago, but signed a one-year contract to stay on in an advisory capacity.
“That one-year contract is up shortly and Henry will be leaving Legal Freight,” he said. “Fortunately, he won’t be leaving the industry. After completing his last few courses, he intends to conduct COR auditing for the WCB PIR (partners in injury reduction) program.”
On his involvement with the AMTA, VanSteenbergen has indicated that he was lucky in that his term as president wasn’t faced with any of the monumental issues that confronted a number of his predecessors. The only criticism VanSteenbergen has for the AMTA, according to Prochinsky, is that it doesn’t “toot its own horn,” well enough. “He feels more people should know about the good work and the many accomplishments of the AMTA. He adds that he has been blessed with a career in this wonderful industry and it was an honour to volunteer his time to the service of it through the AMTA.”
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