Gary Lebold, as a young man embarking on his career at Steed Standard Transport c.1962. Photo provided by Steed Standard Transport

Steed Standard Transport and OTA Education Foundation have partnered to establish a new scholarship that honours the life and legacy of Gary Lebold, a professional driver who worked for the Stratford-based trucking company for more than 50 years. Gary passed away in 2021.

The scholarship will be managed and offered through the OTA Education Foundation and awarded annually using criteria established by the Foundation in conjunction with Steed Standard Transport.

“Gary worked for us from 1964 until he retired in 2018”, said James Steed, president of Steed Standard Transport, and vice-chair of the OTA Education Foundation, adding that he started driving when he was only 18 years old and continued to drive with Steed Standard Transport until his early seventies, spanning three generations of Steed family members. “Gary will be remembered as a kind-hearted and generous soul who was a mentor and leader,” continued Steed, and we are “honoured to establish this scholarship in memory of someone who was such a vital member of the Steed Standard family.”

Steed Standard Transport is just one of thirteen organizations to endow a scholarship with the OTA Education Foundation, according to Betsy Sharples, the charity’s executive director, stating that “this scholarship embodies one of the key purposes for endowing a scholarship, and is a wonderful way to recognize and acknowledge the memory of someone who was so committed to both the trucking industry and the company he was employed with for decades.”

The scholarship will be awarded annually to a third-year student who is enrolled in the business program Supply Chain and Operations Management  at Conestoga College. The OTA Education Foundation’s Endowed Scholarship program is funded entirely by one-time contributions by the organizations for which the scholarships are named. The eligibility and assessment criteria are determined jointly between the endowed fund contributors and the Foundation, who also administers the scholarship program.