PMTC & CPC LOGISTICS CANADA ANNOUNCES RECEIPIENT OF THE 2023 RICK AUSTIN MEMORIAL DISPATCHER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The PMTC and CPC Logistics Canada announced the recipient of The Rick Austin Memorial Dispatcher of the Year Award on June 22nd as part of the PMTC's 2023 Annual Conference. This award was established in 2018 to honor the memory of one of CPC's Fleet Dispatchers, Rick Austin, who passed away suddenly on March 15th of 2017.Rick began his career in the Transportation Industry right out of high school, starting with a dry wall company loading, tarping and strapping trucks. Rick decided to move behind the wheel and would eventually become an owner operator. Rick joined the John Deere Canadian Fleet on November 25, 1991 and quickly developed a reputation as a dependable driver with a great work ethic. Rick earned his Million Mile Award and started to train to provide relief dispatch, and then moved into the full-time dispatch role in 2000.
For a time, Rick dispatched all units in both Grimsby and Regina. As the fleet grew and it was discovered the kind of effort that Rick was dedicating to his role, the Dispatch office was expanded, and Rick received the CPC Logistics President's Award in recognition of his exceptional loyalty, service and dedication.
Because of his years on the road, Rick fully understood the demands and strains on a long-haul driver, and became not just a Dispatcher, but a good friend and wise council to many drivers over the years. Rick understood that the job needed to be done, but also wanted the drivers running safe and legal at all times. Whether he had the time or not, he always took the time to communicate with the drivers and tried to make sure that they kept life in balance.
This award is designed to help recognize the exceptional and often under-appreciated efforts of Dispatchers who have made an outstanding contribution to their company over their career.
The 2023 Rick Austin Memorial Dispatcher of the year award went to Wallace Green of Gray Ridge Eggs.
Information and Background for Wallace
In October of 1977 Wally got a call from the then plant manager of Gray Ridge Eggs asking if he could come in and take over Shipping. He started on November 21st, 1977. In the small town of Strathroy – many people knew Wally for being a get'r done guy, who would work till the job was done. Someone you wanted in your company. He had worked at Gray Ridge part time in the summer. Now he worked alongside the owner, Bill Gray, building the business. He quickly became the go to guy for where the eggs go and come from. Back then, it was nothing to stay overnight on a couch waiting for the eggs to come in.
Wally got his AZ license shortly after that and found he had a talent for knowing how the routes would go together efficiently or which driver would suit a customer best. Problem solving and communication was the only way to make this work. Wally called the driver on the phone, and he made time to talk face to face with the driver, by waiting till they got back.
As a driver, Wally was aware of the issues a driver faces and the safety measures that must be taken. Wally believes in the values of Gray Ridge and making sure all drivers come home to their families every night.
Wally never let a driver do something he wouldn't do, and he would run the routes to make sure it was workable and safe. To this day his memory rivals anyone. He ran trucks, drivers, and made sure production could make enough product to satisfy the needs of shipping – which he was running too, since he was asked in1986 to take on the additional role of plant manager.
Many a night a driver would call Wally for issues that came up – no portable on-call phone back then! One early morning adventure had Wally taking off from home at 3 am to rescue a driver at Putnam where he had had a breakdown and was very stranded and cold. Once he got him back to Strathroy off the driver went again to deliver the eggs and Wally stayed to start his day.
Wally has been married to Dollie for the past 48 years and have raised 3 successful boys with 4 grandkids. Born in Bath, New Brunswick and moved to Ontario when he was 5. Growing up on a farm prepared him for the work ethic he has shown his entire career.
Every night before he goes home every driver is called and given his route, Wally answers any questions and makes sure the driver has all the info he needs to be successful the next day. He has done this for 40 years. It is appreciated by drivers more now that it is a real person to talk to and not just a text.
Wally navigated the transportation division of Gray Ridge Eggs from 4 trucks when he started, to two terminals, Strathroy and Listowel, and 46 trucks. He kept his drivers due to who he is, some have been with him for 35 years. That kind of loyalty is earned. He runs a tight ship and works towards efficiency with assets and understanding for the rules of the road. Safety for him is a major factor. We have not had a catastrophic accident and if you review the CVOR you will see that the rating is consistently excellent. Wally has a hand in that too.
Being a great dispatcher is not reflected in a day or even a year but his lifetime career is proof that Wally is truly deserving of being recognized and honoured as the Rick Austin Memorial Dispatcher of the year.
For more information, please contact:
Private Motor Truck Council of Canada Tel: 905-827-0587
225 Main Street East, Unit 5 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Milton, Ontario, L9T 1N9 website: www.pmtc.ca