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OTA announces Education Foundation scholarship winners

TORONTO, Ont. -- The Ontario Trucking Association’s Education Foundation has announced three new sponsors a...

TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association’s Education Foundation has announced three new sponsors and its endowed scholarship program, and three related scholarship winners.

The J.D. Smith and Sons scholarship has been awarded to Veronica Daniel, the daughter of a truck driver employed by Wasteco in Brampton, Ont. Daniel is embarking on a two-year diploma program at Algonquin College, to become a primary care paramedic, after recently completing a four-year undergraduate program at the University of Waterloo where she obtained her degree in Kinesiology.

“We view this as a great opportunity to provide financial assistance to an Ontario student who demonstrates a commitment to her community, school or other volunteer undertaking through exemplary leadership qualities,” says Scott Smith, president of J. D. Smith and Sons, who announced the first of the company’s OTA scholarships earlier this year. “It also gives us a chance to pay tribute to my late father, Doug Smith, under whose leadership the Ontario trucking industry saw some great benefits. We are so pleased to be able to present this scholarship in his memory.”

Stephanie Roberts of Whitby, Ont., won the Erb Group of Companies scholarship. Roberts is embarking on a four-year degree program in arts at York University, and plans to become a kindergarten teacher.

“We are very happy to be able to help Stephanie with the costs associated with her first year of university” says Vernon Erb, president and chairman of the Erb Group of Companies. “We believe that Stephanie epitomizes what the Erb ‘Service to Community’ Scholarship stands for. At Erb, we believe that giving back to the community is important, and this scholarship provides us with a wonderful opportunity to recognize one student each year who shares our belief.”

Terry Aitken of Winnipeg, Man., won the Bison Transport scholarship. Aitken is embarking on a three-year degree program at the University of Winnipeg, after recently completing a business administration program at Red River College in Winnipeg.

“We are extremely pleased to present our first annual Bison Transport scholarship to Terry,” says Rob Penner, vice-president, operations at Bison Transport. “Bison established this award with the belief that corporate success is more attainable with a strong corporate commitment to its people. This scholarship serves as an extension of our commitment to lifelong learning.”

Aitken plans to pursue a career in human resources, which fits very nicely with Bison’s stated corporate core values, which recognizes the company’s commitment to its workers, adds Doug Switzer, vice-president of public affairs with the OTA and member of the Foundation’s Selection Committee.

In other Education Foundation news, the OTA has announced that Gord Box, president of Provincial Trailer Rentals in Mississauga, has been approved as a member of the Foundation’s board of directors.

“Gord brings with him a great deal of industry experience and dedication to the Foundation, and I know that he has a long-term approach in dealing with industry issues,” says Smith, chairman of the OTA Education Foundation. “Just as importantly, Gord understands the importance and the role of qualified people in the trucking industry.”

Box has spent more than 30 years in the transportation industry, serving in a variety of senior executive positions, according to the OTA. He was employed at Ryder Truck Rental Canada for 25 years, and from 1983 to 1998 served as vice president and general manager for Ryder Canada. He has been the president of Provincial Trailer Rentals for the past seven years, and is a director for the OTA Allied Trades Division, as well as the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) based in Ottawa.

The OTA Education Foundation is a charitable institution devoted to the furtherance of education for Ontario post-secondary students. Established in 1958, the Foundation was founded with the goal of providing assistance to Ontario students with links to the Ontario trucking industry, regardless of their field of study, who have demonstrated a commitment to academic success, personal goals, and community service. 

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