Meet the people who are bringing energy, tech smarts and, fresh ideas to the trucking industry
20 under 40
By Melanie Hamel
I am on assignment. I have been entrusted with putting together the introduction for this year’s 20 under 40. I was given a sneak peek at a handful of the articles you are about to read. These young people from across Canada are dynamic, driven, and have a passion for the trucking industry. There are a few points from this year’s profiles that resonate with me. I agree with Brian Easson from Kentville, NS about the gratification that comes with meeting other young people at association events. I just completed the final module of the Ontario Trucking Association’s (OTA) Next Generation Leadership program where I had the opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills alongside a passionate group of individuals. At last year’s OTA Convention, I met many of my fellow 20 Under 40’s and it was refreshing to speak to other young people who are in this same business. Like Geoffrey Joseph (fellow Next Gen class of 2015) who was dropping off his kids at swimming lessons while being interviewed for his profile — they too are juggling their careers and young families. It is an exciting time in the trucking industry. Our generation is learning so much about this business from the previous generation, but they too are learning from us. You will read about young people who have the energy, technology-smarts and fresh ideas to change the way we do business.
Bob Hancik’s story was the profile that reminded me most of my family’s business. Hancik started out as a one-truck operation and today, his three sons are involved in all areas. I can relate as my father, Bob Gauthier, started Seaway Express with a single truck and I have been part of the team since my first summer in University — 10 years ago. In June, we celebrated our 25th anniversary so it is fair to say the trucking business has been a big part of our family. I cannot vouch for the Hancik boys, but our family has had many dinner table “shop talks” and has spent the odd Saturday mornings at the warehouse. Whether this year’s group of 20 has grown up in the trucking business or not, the common values of integrity and hard work can be found in these profiles. After reading this year’s 20 under 40, you will be assured that the future of our industry is in good hands. Something tells me that trucking may already be in my one-year-old son’s blood. When I ask him to back up so I can put his shoes on — he moves backwards while saying “Beep … beep … beep.” Should he choose to join this business and be a part of Today’s Trucking’s 20 under 40 in year 2039, I could not be more proud.
Melanie Hamel who graduated from Carleton University with a degree in Journalism, is General Manager at Seaway Express of Cornwall, ON. Profiles, unless otherwise indicated were produced by Today’s Trucking Staff.