Shawn Baird, the president of Cambridge, Ont.-headquartered Sharp Transportation Systems, has passed away at the age of 57 while in the care of Hospice Wellington.
The lifelong trucker began driving trucks at Baird Moving Systems when he was in his late teens, but ultimately began building a fleet of his own.
“I was driving for my great uncle’s company and then I was fired,” he once shared with TruckNews.com. “I slighted him a little bit. But I’ve always been a worker, so I didn’t like the sensation of being fired, so I started Sharp on my own in the basement of my house. We started off with just one truck in 1998.”
The fleet eventually established terminals in Cambridge, Montreal, Calgary, and Holland, Mich.
Baird himself supported an array of industry associations over the years, and used fleet graphics to support several causes. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fleet shipped a load of hand sanitizer – then difficult to source – to B.C. at no cost. Another recent trailer was designed to promote awareness about human trafficking.
Transportation management and HR specialist Roy Craigen referred to Baird as an amazing man and the best owner he ever knew.
“Shawn Baird started Sharp Transportation Systems Inc. from concept, and built it into the most respected and admired fleet in North America,” Craigen wrote in a LinkedIn post. “He put staff and customers ahead of himself and he loved his professional drivers.”
Baird was predeceased by his wife, Donna, and survived by his daughter, Cassandra Long.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 4-7 pm on Dec. 16 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home in Kitchener, Ont. In lieu of flowers, donors are encouraged to support Hospice Wellington.
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