Happy 50th Anniversary! Anonymous Donor Agrees to Match Industry Donations (2008-11-20)

Toronto – The OTA Education Foundation announced today that any donations received from industry or individuals will be matched – up to $50,000 – by an anonymous donor. The fifty-thousand dollar announcement marks the 50th anniversary of the Foundation, which was established in 1958 by a group of trucking industry visionaries who founded the charitable organization to provide financial assistance to Ontario post-secondary students...

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“Recently, the Foundation was approached by someone with an affiliation to the Ontario trucking industry who sees a great deal of value in what the Foundation is doing in Ontario”, said Scott Smith, chairman of the OTA Education Foundation in a speech to Ontario Trucking Association convention delegates today. “So much so that the Foundation recently accepted an offer from this donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, to match donations – up to $50,000 – that we receive between now and March 31 of next year”.

“The 50-50 Challenge celebrates 50 years of assisting Ontario college and university students” said Betsy Sharples, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “At the same time it encourages the industry to support its education foundation which has become more relevant to the trucking industry as a result of a restructuring effort that was recently completed”.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for the Foundation”, continued Smith. “In spite of the difficult economic environment, we are hopeful that the industry will step up to the challenge so that we can take advantage full matching amount that is being offered. It is during these challenging times that students need the financial assistance that our scholarships provide”.

The Foundation also marked the occasion by updating its logo which includes a tag line that reads “Driving Education Since 1958”. Companies or individuals wishing to make a donation under the 50-50 Challenge matching program can do so by downloading a 50-50 Challenge donation commitment form. Charitable receipts will be issued upon request.


OTA Presents Inaugural Driver Memorial Scholarship (2008-11-20)

Toronto – The Ontario Trucking Association awarded its first Professional Driver Memorial Scholarship today to David Lafferty (junior), a first year student of the University of Guelph where he is studying for his Bachelor of Commerce degree. The scholarship was presented by Debbie Virgoe, widow of the Ontario truck driver whose tragic death in June 2007 was one of the guiding factors leading OTA to establish the scholarship. The annual scholarship also recognizes the professionalism of all Ontario truck drivers who safely share the road with the general motoring public every day...

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David’s father, David Lafferty (senior) had been involved in a tractor-trailer upset while employed as a driver for the then All-Ontario Transport Limited, where he had been a recipient of the company’s safe driving award in each year of his employment. Mr. Lafferty was severely injured when the contents of an improperly loaded and sealed ocean container shifted, ultimately leaving him a paraplegic. Mr. Lafferty has not been able to return to work since the incident. “The Ontario trucking industry is blessed with a solid foundation of professional drivers who are often the unsung heroes of Ontario’s roadways and whose dedication keeps the goods that we need and use each and every day moving”, says OTA president David Bradley. “Mr. Lafferty exemplifies why this scholarship was created and is just one example of an individual who has been injured on-the-job through no fault of his own. We are extremely pleased to be able to provide some financial assistance to his son as he embarks on his university education”.

The OTA Professional Driver Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually and funded by an endowed fund established by OTA and administered by the OTA Education Foundation, Inc.


J.O. Goodman Scholarship Winner sets Sights on Career in Medicine (2008-11-17)

Toronto –The OTA Education Foundation awarded the J. O. Goodman Award last month to Kirsten Seibel, a Hamilton-based student headed to The University of Western Ontario in London and enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program. Kirsten was chosen as the outstanding first-year university applicant by the OTA Education Foundation’s Selection Committee. J. O. Goodman applicants are assessed on their secondary school academic achievement, service to community and volunteer work, extra-curricular activities, as well as an essay on the trucking industry...

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“Once again this year we saw a very strong showing of applications for the J. O. Goodman Scholarship” says long-term selection committee member Harold Gilbert a former Deputy Minister for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications. “It is very encouraging to see so many students – all of whom have a parental connection with the trucking industry with such strong academic and extra-curricular achievements”.

“What really stood out with Kirsten’s application was her essay on the trucking industry” added Michael Burke, president and CEO of the Transportation Health and Safety Association (THSAO) and fellow member of the Foundation’s selection committee. “It’s great to see that these young people who are applying for these scholarships have taken the time to learn at least a little about the importance of trucking”. Kirsten’s application was sponsored by TST Overland, where her father works in the IT department.

Kirsten is a graduate of Sherwood Secondary School in Hamilton where she achieved honors in each of her four years of high school. Kirsten held down a part-time job while continuing to volunteer on her school’s Graduation Committee and Student Council. She was also her school’s runner-up Valedictorian, and competed on the school’s track and cross country teams. She also volunteered at a local retirement facility, and hopes to start volunteering at the children’s hospital, in part to help her prepare for a career in medicine. “I have dreamed of being a doctor form the young age of seven and I am determined to succeed in this field of study” Kirsten wrote in her letter to the Selection Committee. She also made time to volunteer at another school and at her church, where she organized and ran a summer bible camp.

The J. O. Goodman Scholarship Award winner is selected each year from all qualifying scholarship applications from students who are entering their first year post-secondary studies at a recognized university.


C. V. Hoar Scholarship Winner pursuing Business Administration (2008-11-17)

Toronto – The OTA Education Foundation awarded the C. V. Hoar Award last month to Jake Forde, a former student of Barrie North Collegiate in Barrie. Jake is now attending Georgian College in Barrie, where he is pursuing a diploma in business administration. Jake’s application was sponsored by TST Overland Express, where Jake’s father has been employed in sales for 11 years...

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Jake was chosen as the outstanding first-year college applicant by the OTA Education Foundation’s Selection Committee. C.V. Hoar applicants are assessed on their secondary school academic achievement, service to community and volunteer work, extra-curricular activities, as well as an essay on the trucking industry.

“Jake’s application is a good example of what these awards represent” says committee member Doug Switzer, vice president of public affairs for the Ontario Trucking Association. “Jake’s academic performance remained strong throughout high school even though he was very active in several school and extracurricular sports”.

Jake participated on several school teams including basketball and badminton in addition to playing both ice and ball hockey. He is also an avid alpine skier, and hits the local slopes as often as he can. He also volunteered at community events such as Celebrate Barrie and was a leader-in-training for three years with the City of Barrie. Jake hopes to become a real-estate agent following completion of his business program at Georgian College.

The C. V. Hoar Scholarship Award winner is selected each year from all qualifying scholarship applications from students who are entering their first year post-secondary studies at a recognized college.


OTA Education Foundation Announces Scholarship Winners (2008-11-15)

Toronto – The OTA Education Foundation handed out nearly $30,000 in scholarships to university and college students last month. Fifteen Ontario based students who have parents who work in Ontario’s trucking industry each received funding to go towards their post-secondary education tuition fees and related academic expenses. In addition, the Foundation awarded five endowed scholarships to students who met the criteria established by the endowed scholarship donors...

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“We had some very impressive applications come in this year” says the Foundation’s executive director, Betsy Sharples. “We would have liked to hand out at least a dozen more scholarships – there were certainly many deserving students this year”. Applicants are asked to submit an essay that answers a question about the trucking industry in addition to providing an academic transcript for their most recent academic year.

“With its recent restructuring complete, I believe that the Foundation has become even more relevant to the Ontario trucking industry”, says Scott Smith, chairman of the OTA Education Foundation. “While we don’t necessarily restrict our scholarships to students who plan to work in the industry, we certainly meet our objective of enlightening and educating them about the importance of a strong trucking industry”.

All scholarship applications had to be sponsored by an Ontario trucking or allied product/service company that employs (or contracts) one of the student’s parents in order to be considered for an award. In addition, one outstanding student entering university from high school was awarded the J. O. Goodman Award, and one outstanding student entering college from high school was awarded the C. V. Hoar Award (see separate releases). These annual general scholarships are funded by annual donations by companies and/or individuals. The amount of scholarships disbursed each year is dependent on the amount of donations received by the Foundation. Tax receipts are provided.

Endowed scholarships are entirely funded by companies that have set both eligibility and selection criteria for annual scholarships, and have invested or “endowed” a principal amount of money through the Foundation, the income from which funds the annual scholarships. For the 2008/2009 academic year, the Foundation presented five endowed scholarships on behalf of Bison Transport, The Erb Group of Companies, Grant’s Transport, J. D. Smith and Sons and the Ontario Trucking Association (see separate releases).


J.D. Smith “Leaders of Tomorrow” Scholarship Awarded to Future Paramedic (2008-11-14)

J.D. Smith and Sons awarded its first academic scholarship under the OTA Education Foundation’s endowed scholarship program. The scholarship was awarded to Ms. Veronica Daniel, the daughter of a truck driver employed by Wasteco in Brampton, Ontario. Veronica is embarking on a 2-year diploma program at Algonquin College to become a primary care paramedic. She recently completed a 4-year undergraduate program at the University of Waterloo where she obtained her degree in Kinesiology...

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“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 scholarship 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”.

“Overall, the Selection Committee was very impressed with Veronica’s application” says Mike Burke, president and CEO of the Transportation Health and Safety Association and the Foundation’s Selection Committee. “Veronica has been very active in many areas throughout her high school and university years, and is very deserving of this award”.

In high school, Veronica ran a student human rights group called “Students without Borders” which focused on providing educational support to children in Sierra Leone. While in university, she volunteered with “Well-Fit” a cancer out-reach program that provides patients with a safe and fun environment to exercise. She also taught swimming and first aid while she worked as a lifeguard. Veronica recently elected to pursue a career as a paramedic because she felt it would provide her with a better opportunity to help her community at large than a career in physiotherapy would.

The J. D. Smith and Sons “Leaders of Tomorrow” Scholarship Award is awarded annually and funded by an endowed fund established by J. D. Smith and Sons and administered by the OTA Education Foundation, Inc.


Gord Box joins Foundation’s Board of Directors (2008-11-13)

Scott Smith, chairman of the OTA Education Foundation is pleased to announce that Gord Box, president of Provincial Trailer Rentals in Mississauga, ON has been approved as member of the Foundation’s board of directors. “We’re really excited about adding Gord to our board” says Smith. “Gord brings with him a great deal of industry experience and dedication to the Foundation, and I know that he has along-term approach in dealing with industry issues. Just as importantly, Gord understands the importance and the role of qualified people in the trucking industry”...

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Mr. Box has spent more than 30 years in the transportation industry, serving in a variety of senior executive positions. 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.

Mr. Box is also a director for the OTA Allied Trades Division as well as the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) based in Ottawa.


Bison Transport Scholarship Awarded to Business Student (2008-11-05)

Bison Transport Inc. awarded its first academic scholarship under the OTA Education Foundation’s endowed scholarship program. The scholarship was awarded to Mr. Terry Aitken of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Terry is embarking on a 3-year degree program at the University of Winnipeg. He recently completed a business administration program at Red River College in Winnipeg...

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“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.”

“Terry submitted a very impressive application” says Doug Switzer, vice president of public affairs with the Ontario Trucking Association and member of the Foundation’s Selection Committee. “Terry 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”.

Indeed, Terry expressed interest in the human resources field, in large part because he enjoys working with people. After he obtains his Bachelor of Business and Administration degree, Terry plans to obtain his CHRP (Canadian Human Resources Practitioner) designation.

Terry believes that community work is an essential part of a healthy life. Some of his community service includes volunteering with the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and participating in the Dragon Boat races for cancer research.

The Bison Transport Scholarship is awarded annually and funded by an endowed fund administered by the OTA Education Foundation, Inc.


Erb Group “Service to Community” Scholarship Awarded to Future Teacher (2008-11-04)

The Erb Group of Companies awarded its first academic scholarship under the OTA Education Foundation’s endowed scholarship program. The scholarship was awarded to Ms. Stephanie Roberts of Whitby, Ontario. Stephanie is embarking on a 4-year degree program in arts at York University as a first step in her plans to become a kindergarten teacher...

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“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”.

“Stephanie’s application was very impressive” says Mike Burke, president and CEO of the Transportation Health and Safety Association and the Foundation’s Selection Committee. “I’m sure that the Erb Group of Companies will be very pleased with the charitable and selfless efforts that the winner of the first annual Erb scholarship embodies”.

Ever since Stephanie was 11 years old, she has been volunteering in the church, at school and around here community. She has been a Kid’s Camp Counselor for 5 years and a Vacation Bible School worker for 4 years. She has also helped out with a Senior Citizens program for 3 years, and even organized and taught a seminar on “Creativity in the Classroom”. Perhaps most impressive, Stephanie served on 2 missions to the inner city of Los Angeles where she served food to homeless people, participated in children’s events, loaded trucks and served the less fortunate “with a smile on her face”.

The Erb Group of Companies “Service to Community” Scholarship Award is awarded annually and funded by an endowed fund administered by the OTA Education Foundation, Inc.


OTA Allied Trades Division Announces Annual Scholarships (2008-09-29)

Toronto – The OTA Allied Trades Division is the latest to announce annual scholarships to assist two Ontario students enrolled in full-time studies in a recognized university or college. Each year one university student will be awarded up to $1,250, and one college student will be awarded up to $750 to go towards post-secondary tuition and related fees...

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“The Allied Trades Division feels very fortunate to be able to offer two scholarships each year to students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to their post-secondary studies”, says Allied Trades Division chairman Ray Carey. “As a division, we recognize the importance of pursuing education in both a university and college setting, so we felt that it was very important that we recognize two students each year who have opted to further their education in each learning stream”.

The OTA Allied Trades Division scholarship will be awarded to students who have already completed at least one year of full-time studies in a recognized college or university, and is funded by an endowed fund administered by the OTA Education Foundation, Inc. The scholarship application form is available at: link removed.

The OTA Allied Trades Division also made a donation, which will assist as many as 5 postsecondary students with their tuition and related fees for the 2008/2009 academic year, to help fund the Foundation’s general scholarship program.

Donations to support the Foundation’s general scholarship program (under which as many as 40 to 60 college and university students receive scholarships annually) are welcome at any time.


Grant’s Transport Scholarship Winner Sets Sights on Medical School (2008-09-18)

Grant’s Transport of New Liskeard, Ontario awarded its second annual academic scholarship under the OTA Education Foundation’s endowed scholarship program. The 2008 winner is Tin Li, a resident of Temagami who received the scholarship in recognition of his academic success in all math courses in his graduating year. The scholarship is awarded annually to the top university-bound math student at Timiskaming District Secondary School, also located in New Liskeard, Ontario...

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Mr. Li will be studying biochemistry at the University of Toronto, and hopes one day to attend medical school to become a doctor. Given the shortage of doctors in more remote areas, he also hopes to provide medical services in northern Ontario.

While Mr. Li is being recognized for his excellence in mathematics, his average mark ingrade 12 for all courses was in the mid-90% range.

“Once again, we are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to a local student who is pursuing a university education” says Gord Grant, president of Grant’s Transport Limited. “We see this as a win-win situation. We are once again assisting a deserving student with his education while at the same time giving back to the community that has contributed to the success of Grant’s Transport for more than 60 years”.

The Grant’s Transport Math Scholarship Award is awarded annually and funded by an endowed fund administered by the OTA Education Foundation, Inc.


J.D. Smith and Sons Announces “Leaders of Tomorrow” Scholarship (2008-06-05)

J.D. Smith and Sons Limited is pleased to sponsor a scholarship which recognizes a student each year who demonstrates a commitment to his/her community, school or other volunteer undertaking through his/her exemplary leadership qualities. The scholarship has been established in the memory of Doug Smith, under whose leadership the current-day integrated third-party distribution and logistics services provider grew from a 2-truck operation to a 100 power-unit industry leader by his retirement in 1994...

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“We feel honored to be able to award this scholarship to one individual each year who has used his or her leadership attributes to attain personal success as well to enhance his/her community or school”, says the third-generation J.D. Smith and Sons president Scott Smith. “My father, Douglas Smith, was respected by many of his contemporaries as an industry leader. Not only was he the president of the company his father founded in 1919 for 40 years, he was instrumental in establishing the current day Toronto Trucking Association and was very involved with the Ontario Trucking Association”.

Doug Smith served as chairman of the Ontario Trucking Association form 1985 to1987, and he was recognized in 1982 when he was awarded the Trailmobile Service to Industry Award, which recognizes one individual each year for his commitment, vision and leadership in the Ontario trucking industry.

This scholarship award is awarded to an Ontario university student who is the son or daughter or a parent employed or contracted on a full-time basis in the trucking industry in the memory of Doug Smith. His contributions to the trucking industry, a result of his vision and leadership, will live forever.

The J.D. Smith and Sons “Leaders of Tomorrow” Scholarship will be awarded annually and is funded by an endowed fund administered by the OTA Education Foundation, Inc.


Applications Now Being Accepted for OTA Professional Driver Memorial Scholarship (2008-05-26)

The OTA Education Foundation is now inviting qualified individuals to apply for a scholarship announced last year by the Ontario Trucking Association to aid one university or college student who is a son or daughter of a professional truck driver who has been killed or seriously injured while driving a commercial vehicle on the job...

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Deadline for applications is August 30. Download a application form and more information at: link removed.

An annual scholarship up to $1,600 is available for an applicant as selected by the OTA Education Foundation. To be considered for the 2008/2009 academic year, applicants must be enrolled in or registered to attend a recognized Canadian university or college on a full-time basis, and be under the age of 25 as of January 1, 2008. The student must also be the child of a professional driver (employee or owner-operator) who has died or been seriously injured as a direct result of his/her driving occupation within the previous four years. The application process also requires the inclusion of letters from both the student applicant as well as the employer/carrier of the applicant’s parent. Details are provided in the application.

Following the tragic death of Ontario truck driver David Virgoe in June 2007, OTA announced it was putting up $40,000 to establish a perpetual scholarship for children of Ontario truck drivers who are killed or seriously injured while driving on the job. Mr. Virgoe was called a hero by OPP officers after taking evasive action to avoid oncoming traffic as a result of a street racing incident.


Bison Transport Announces Annual Scholarship for Canadian University or College Student
(2008-05-22)

Toronto – Bison Transport is pleased to sponsor an annual scholarship of up to $1,000 in conjunction with the OTA Education Foundation. The scholarship will be awarded to a post-secondary student who demonstrates commitment to his/her academic studies and community, and who is enrolled in full-time studies in a Transportation, Logistics, Human Resources, or Business program at a recognized university or college in Canada...

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“At Bison, we believe that corporate success can only be attained with a commitment to people which results in a dedicated, reliable, motivated and skilled work force” says Rob Penner, Vice President, Operations. “Our company-funded Staff Educational Assistance Program is just one example of the priority we put on learning. We view this scholarship as an extension to our commitment to lifelong learning, as expressed in our corporate core values”.

The Bison Transport Scholarship will be awarded annually and is funded by an endowed fund administered by the OTA Education Foundation, Inc.


Erb Group to Honour Student’s Service to Community (2008-05-20)

Toronto – Applications for the Erb Service to Community Scholarship are now available for students headed for their first year of university or college studies, and who would like to be recognized for their community spirit and charitable involvement...

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The scholarship, which is funded by an endowed fund managed by the OTA Education Foundation, was announced in November, 2007 during the Ontario Trucking Association’s convention. It has been established to recognize one student each year who is already an asset to his/her community. “We feel so strongly at Erb about the importance of community service, that it is included in our Mission Statement” says Vernon Erb, president and chairman of the board at the Erb Group of Companies. “We are looking forward to recognizing one deserving student by awarding our first Service to Community scholarship this year”.

The Erb Group has enthusiastically contributed on every level to the progress and well-being of the charitable, sporting, religious and social organizations within the company’s local area. Mr. Erb always felt that by providing service and satisfaction, success would follow naturally in his business – and it has. “We believe that the student who provides service and satisfaction to his/her community will also enjoy success as a result of this commitment”, he continues. The Service to Community Scholarship is available to any student enrolled in his/her first year of post-secondary studies a recognized Canadian university or college.