Garth Pitzel, director of safety and driver development for Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been presented with the 2016 Truckload Carriers Association’s Clare C. Casey Safety Professional of the Year Award.
The honour is bestowed upon a recipient whose actions and achievements have had a profound and positive benefit or contribution to better safety on our highways. The award ceremony took place during the organization’s Safety & Security Division Annual Meeting, held this year in Fort Worth, Texas.
Pitzel joined Bison Transport in October 1994 and held various roles within highway and city operations before being promoted to his current position in June 2001. He is responsible for company and driver safety, driver development, and company security. Under his leadership, Bison has established a safety culture that consistently wins awards throughout the trucking industry.
A well-known safety professional, Pitzel actively promotes the industry and furthers transportation and workplace safety initiatives. He appears at a variety of industry-related events as a speaker and presenter. He regularly contributes his expertise and resources to trucking associations and private industry groups, as well as to government and regulatory bodies.
These have included initiatives in promoting and bringing new drivers to the industry, training for private fleets, and harmonization of regulations for long combination vehicles across provinces. Pitzel is currently involved with TCA’s School Committee and has held several leadership roles within the Safety & Security Division. He is a member of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association’s board of directors, Qualcomm’s Safety Advisory Board and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee. He also was inducted to the Manitoba Trucking Association’s Pioneer Club, which recognizes members of the local trucking industry who have been continually employed in the industry for at least 25 years and are actively and directly engaged in the formulation, direction or execution of policy.
According to the application written to nominate Pitzel for the award, he “is an energetic and driven leader who engages and motivates people at all levels. He freely provides his time, direction and resources to partners and competitors on many safety-related issues and initiatives. He believes that safety should be a common goal, which requires collaboration, perseverance, open dialogue and action. Garth is a crusader for our people and our industry, always available and involved, advocating on behalf of safety.”
Nominees for TCA’s award must exemplify leadership and demonstrate the goals of protecting lives and property in the motor transportation industry while serving their company, industry and the motoring public.
The award is named after a safety professional who actively served TCA from 1979 until 1989. He was devoted to ensuring that all truckload safety professionals meet yearly to build the strong safety network this division provides today and was instrumental in forming the first annual Safety & Security Division meeting in 1982. Upon his death in 1989, the first award in his name was presented in 1990.