TORONTO, Ont. — Richard Gaetz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vitran Corporation, was named the Al Palladini Transportation Person of the Year this morning at the 36th annual National Transportation Week (Ontario) Awards Breakfast in Toronto.
The Al Palladini Transportation Person of the Year Award was named in honour of the former Minister of Transportation and Minister of Economic Development. Vitran Corporation Inc. is a North American group of transportation companies offering less-than-truckload, logistics, truckload, and freight brokerage services.
Rick Gaetz has been working in the transportation and logistics industry for almost 25 years. When he joined Vitran Corporation 15 years ago as COO the company’s annual revenues were about $20 million dollars with most of its business in Ontario and Quebec.
Vitran has evolved into a major company with 15 terminals in Canada and about 55 in the United States. Under Rick’s stewardship the company’s revenues have topped $374 million — and that’s in US dollars. Price per share has increased over $5 in the past year alone.
Last November, the National Post Business magazine named Rick Canada’s top-performing CEO — the first person from the trucking industry to ever receive consideration for such an award. And in 2005 Vitran was ranked among the top three in a ranking of Canada’s biggest Canadian carriers. The National Post characterized Rick as first and foremost “a nice guy”. He is extremely well regarded within the freight transportation industry. As one of his industry colleague’s says, “When Rick has something to say, he not only gets everyone’s attention but he makes his points with clarity and passion. At the same time he always has an open mind and is willing to consider new ideas and new approaches.”
The Nova-Scotia-born father of five holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax and attended the MBA program at Western Washington University. He is a director of both the Canadian Trucking Alliance and Ontario Trucking Association.
Rick is active in a variety of charitable causes. In 1998 he and his wife Barbara Underhill, the former world-champion figure skater, started the Stephanie Gaetz KEEPSAFE Foundation in memory of their late daughter. The Foundation is dedicated to childhood injury prevention and safety education.
In recognition of his dedication to the betterment of Ontario’s transportation industry, the NTW Ontario Committee presented Rick Gaetz with the Al Palladini Transportation Person of the Year Award.
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