TORONTO, Ont. — Julie Tanguay, president of L.E. Walker Transport, has accepted the reins as the first woman to serve as chairperson of the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA).
Tanguay won an election by board members at the OTA’s annual convention here this week. Tanguay has been helping run the family-owned trucking firm since she was 23 years old, the OTA reports. She has helped grow the company from a fleet of 30 trucks to more than 180 today.
“Trucking has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” says Tanguay. “Still, if you’d asked me a few years back whether I would ever become chair of the Ontario Trucking Association, I’d have said ‘no way’.”
Tanguay has been an active OTA board member, though she admits it was initially intimidating.
“It was pretty intimidating (coming onto the board) at first; there were all these legends of the trucking industry and then there was me, the only woman,” she recalls. “I don’t think I said a word for the first couple of years – I listened and learned – but gradually I became more comfortable, got more involved in the activities of the board, became a member of the executive committee and here I am.”
The OTA says Tanguay has developed a reputation for demanding accountability – from herself and others in the industry and especially from shippers.
“It’s true, I think every company, every person in the supply chain has to take responsibility for their actions and act responsibly, whether its carrier owners, fleet managers, drivers, third parties and intermediaries, shippers or suppliers,” she says. “Unless those who should be taking more responsibility do so, voluntarily or by regulation, we will continue to experience problems in the marketplace. There are still too many people out there trying to make a quick buck off the industry by shirking their responsibility, or by trying to shift the responsibility to someone else. The industry has been preyed upon for too long.”
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