Trucking association awards industry’s finest

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WINNIPEG, Man. — The Manitoba Trucking Association held its fifth annual awards banquet on Oct. 29 to recognize excellence among the people in the industry. Individuals are selected for four different accolades: the RBC Royal Bank/MTA Service to Industry Award, the Volvo Canada/MTA Manitoba Driver of the Year Award, the Shaw Tracking/MTA Dispatcher of the Year Award, and the Payne Transportation LP/MTA Associate of the Year Award.


The Service to Industry award is given to an MTA member who has worked to further the development of the trucking industry. Candidates are nominated by the MTA’s membership. This year’s winner is Clayton Gording of YRC Reimer. Canadian-born Gording began his career in trucking with a minor clerical position, working his way up through sales representative and terminal manager of a series of ever-larger terminals before becoming a vice-president of terminal operations in 2001 and ultimately president of YRC Reimer in 2007.


The MTA said that Gording and YRC Reimer have supported them for years with time and resources. The association also praised YRC Reimer’s participation in the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council’s steering committees and working groups, saying it shows a commitment to human resources issues.


This year’s Driver of the Year is Dennis Barkman of Penner International. The selection committee said that Barkman, with 27 years of driving experience and fantastic safety and community service records, was an easy choice. Barkman has driven almost every kind of truck, but has been a long-haul driver for more than 20 years. The committee also said Barkman takes the time to be a department leader at a Sunday school and has worked at a children’s camp for 10 years – four as director. The driver of the year is selected from the 12 drivers of the month, recognized for commitment to the industry, to safety, for customer service and outstanding acts.


Dale Bjorklund of Payne Transportation is 2009’s Dispatcher of the Year, his nomination supported by a sea of letters written by co-workers and colleagues, including one letter from Tom Payne Jr., the president of Payne Transportation. The award is given to a dispatcher who not only excels in customer service, safety, driver well-being and teamwork, but also in community or volunteer work. The MTA said that Bjorklund has organized runs for charity, Christmas hampers and company barbecues at Payne.


The MTA also recognizes one of its members who has worked towards the growth of the association, and is esteemed by the other members. This year Grote Industries’ Roger Gagne has been granted the title of Associate of the Year. Manitoba-born Gagne, who worked his way up through the industry from shipping and receiving to accounts manager, has also worked for over eight years on the executive committee of the MTA’s associated trades division. MTA also said he was instrumental in the staging of several MTA event dinners and golf tournaments, acting as co-chair.

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