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Monday, November 28, 2022

Women In Trucking Association Announces Canadian Image Team



Canada has its first all-female Image Team. Women In Trucking Association (WIT) made the announcement of the 2018 Canadian Image Team at the Salute to Women Behind the Wheel at Truck World in Mississauga, Ontario on Saturday.

The event is organized by WIT to honour female commercial drivers. The Owner-Operator’s Business Association of Canada (OBAC) is a hosting partner of the event. There were approximately 100 people in attendance to celebrate these women and recognize their years of service to the industry.

The mission of WIT is to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women in the industry. The purpose of the Image Team is to represent these goals, and to heighten awareness of the need for more female in the trucking industry and the challenges they face working in a male-dominated environment.

Members of the Image Team will be the face of WIT, demonstrating by example the wide-ranging and diverse careers that are available in trucking. They will be attending trucking industry events, giving media interviews, serving as speakers or panelists, and conducting ride-alongs. They will inspire and encourage the next generation to join the trucking industry, and provide a deeper understanding of the obstacles they face on the road or generally, in the industry. These women will also serve as mentors for future Image Team members.

“We are excited for the newly formed WIT Canadian Image Team,” said Ellen Voie, WIT president and CEO. “With the help of our Canadian members and colleagues, the initiative is now a reality.”

Two of the Canadian women who were instrumental in the implementation of the initiative in Canada were Joanne Ritchie, executive director, OBAC and Andreea Crisan, COO, Andy Transport, Inc.

“WIT’s goals are shared by many organizations in Canada, and we need to support each others’ efforts to break down barriers and create interest in trucking careers,” said Ritchie. “If we want women to get excited about transportation as a career choice, we have to show them women out there working and succeeding in the industry, and that’s what WIT’s Image Team is all about.”

Candidates for the Image Team went through a rigorous multi-step selection process and were chosen as much for their fresh and enthusiastic voices as for the breadth and depth of their experience and passion for the trucking industry.

To qualify for the WIT Image Team, the applicant must be a member of WIT and submit an application, including an essay from the nominator and the nominee to explain why she should be chosen for the Image Team. Questions regarding their safety records, previous awards or recognition, volunteer service, and community involvement were included in the selection process. Women working in all positions in the trucking industry were considered.   

Top scoring applicants advanced to the next round of the selection process, which required an interview with the judging panel. The panel was comprised of five independent judges from the Canadian transportation industry.

The 2018 Canadian WIT Image Team is:

Barb Duncan, Alliston, ON, professional driver and trainer with Warren Gibson Ltd. 

Bernedette Wilson, Brantford, ON, vice president and professional driver with Hood Motor Freight

Erin Tallieu, Nanaimo, BC, managing partner of Motherload Transport 

Joanne Millen Mackenzie, Brockville, ON, professional driver with Highland Transport 

Jo-Anne Phillips, Irishtown, NB, operations director of Jeramand Trucking 

Margaret Levesque, Bothwell, ON, professional driver with SM Freight 

Michele Joslin, Alliston, ON, director of training and compliance with Justified Diligence Inc. Susie De Ridder, Fredericton, NB, professional driver with Armour Transport 

Treana Moniz, Kitchener, ON, professional driver with Bison Transport 

The newly formed Image Team will begin training over the next few weeks. Once training is complete, they will be ready to accept assignments. Requests for Image Team opportunities can be made through wit@womenintrucking.org or by calling 1-888-464-9482.