Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) has appointed Heather Mewhinney, director of human resources at Kriska Transportation Group, as the first chairwoman of the newly formed TAT Canada Committee (TCC).
Caroline Blais, recruiting manager at Kriska, will co-chair the panel, TAT Canada announced Monday.
TAT is an international non-profit working with the trucking, bus and energy industries to fight human trafficking.
The TCC will expand TAT Canada’s reach by activating its volunteer networks, resources and expertise, the organization said.
TCC members will commit to implementing TAT Canada action steps within their organizations, it said.
They will also encourage TAT partnerships as speakers at conferences and events, and within their professional networks.
“The goal of the TCC is to be a growth accelerator for TAT Canada across the nation so that every CDL holder understands the role they can play in discovering and disrupting human trafficking networks,” said Kendis Paris, TAT executive director.
“Heather and Caroline are excellent choices, and we’re extremely pleased to have them lead the group.”
Mewhinney has more than 20 years of experience in the industry.
TAT, which was founded in 2009, expanded to Canada in September 2019. It also operates in Mexico.
TAT-trained truck drivers help law enforcement to rescue victims. As of Jan. 25, there were more than 1 million certified truckers in the U.S. alone.
TAT data also show that 2,692 calls were made into the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline – this does not include those made to local authorities or 911.
These calls have generated 798 cases of human trafficking, and identified 1,296 victims.
TAT’s key Canadian initiatives include working with the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) to educate commercial truck driving students to recognize the signs of human trafficking and with the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) to promote TAT Canada to their membership.
Currently, 15 Canadian companies have provided TAT training and certification to their employees. An additional 24 have committed to implement training in 2021, TAT Canada said.
Here’s the full list of TAT Canada Committee members:
Caroline Blais, Kriska; Tom Boehler, Erb Group of Companies; Charlie Charalambous, Infrastructure Health and Safety Association; Lynda Crickmore, Challenger Motor Freight; Jim Dimech, Praxair Canada; Julia Drydyk, Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking; Jake Elovirta, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance; Stephanie Fensom, Bison Transport; Esther Goetsch TAT; Kelly Henderson, Trucking Human Resource Sector Council of Atlantic Canada; Kathy Koras, Newcom Media; Clint Lawrence, Pilot Company; Bonnie Learn, Fleet Safety Council; Mathieu Leger, Midland Transport; Angie Lucarini, Purolator; Heather Mewhinney, Kriska; Mike Millian, PMTC; Alero Okujagu, Trucking HR Canada; Rosanna Preston, Rosedale; Leanne Quail, Paul Quail Transport; Kim Richardson, TTSAO; Lisa Richardson, The Rearview Mirror; Donavan Shepherd, FedEx Freight Canada; Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada; Steve Vitale, UPS Canada; Liz Williamson, TAT; Kerri Wirachowsky, CVSA and Kelly Welch, Schneider National Carriers.
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