LEADERS: John Foss on the Toronto Transportation Club 100th anniversary
November 11, 2013
TORONTO, Ont. – The Toronto Transportation Club this year celebrates its 100th anniversary. Trailcon Leasing’s John Foss is serving as president during this, the club’s milestone year. Editorial director and publisher Lou...
TORONTO, Ont. – The Toronto Transportation Club this year celebrates its 100th anniversary. Trailcon Leasing’s John Foss is serving as president during this, the club’s milestone year. Editorial director and publisher Lou Smyrlis caught up with Foss recently, to talk about how the organization is planning to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the benefits of belonging and the importance of being inclusive.
In this first part of the series John discusses the TTC’s historic milestone.
Q. The Toronto Transportation Club is celebrating a very significant milestone with its 100th anniversary this year. A lot of clubs have come and gone over the past century. What’s the secret to success for TTC? How has it survived for so long?
Foss: The Club throughout its history has always held great events. Industry wide there have been a lot of people who have relied on the Club’s social events to keep in touch with people from all different sectors of the industry. The annual dinner especially has been a popular event. People put it in their schedule right away. They go to the dinner and call up the Club right away to find out the date for next year’s dinner. But I would also say we’ve enjoyed having a broad spectrum of members and with all their support we’ve been able to weather any tough times over the years. We’ve always had members step up during such times to revitalize the club.
Q. I’m sure you belong to a lot of different clubs and associations, as I do, and you find that each has its unique flavor, and as a result you make more time for some than for others. What is it about the TTC that keeps its members coming back?
Foss: I’ve been on the board 7 years now and we’ve gone through changes in venues and entertainment and cancelled some events and changed some events, all to keep things fresh. One of the reasons that can happen is because our board changes on a regular basis, roughly every four to five years. That brings new ideas to the table and that leads to new people coming to events.
Q. What does it mean to you personally to be the president who gets to preside over the 100th year anniversary?
Foss: Initially, when I came to the board, it didn’t even cross my mind. But when it came up, I thought it was awesome. I take it very seriously and very personally to make the club and the 100th anniversary a success. And I think I’m the right man for the job. When I think of everything we’ve done to get ready for the 100th anniversary – the dinner, all the sponsorships, and the entertainment, the venue, all the work — it has almost become a full time job. I’m very fortunate to have my employer, Trailcon Leasing, support me through it all.
Q. What can you tell me about the 100th anniversary celebrations?
Foss: We are planning for an incredible night. We are stepping away from our normal venue for this year and going to the Metro Convention Centre to accommodate a larger crowd. We have Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who is an incredible speaker, and a great band. The room is going to be dressed to the nines. Several member companies have stepped up to help up bring in retirees who are part of the Club’s history. It’s also going to be more interactive than anything we’ve done before. We are going to have live Twitter feeds and video screens. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a great tribute to the TTC. We also have a scholarship trust for members’ children. This year in celebration of the 100th anniversary we will be giving out two scholarships, which we’ve never done before.
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