For the 92nd time in the Ontario Trucking Association’s proud history, trucking’s top business leaders and executives will converge in Toronto to network, get inspired and celebrate the industry.

This year’s OTA’s Executive Conference will once again take place at the Ritz Carlton in Toronto on November 7 and 8. Early bird registration opens May 15 – so circle the date – and will be available until July 31. Details and links to register will follow soon.

The signature awards dinner and reception, which will be co-hosted by award-winning Canadian entertainer Jessica Holmes from Royal Canadian Air Farce, takes place on the Thursday evening. This first-class event includes a series of entertaining video tributes, including the Service to Industry award winner – someone who by their commitment, vision, leadership and dedicated service, has made an outstanding contribution to the development and success of the truck transportation industry. That presentation is followed by tributes for the OTA Truck Driver of the Year award, the Truck Hero award and the announcement of graduates from OTA’s LEAD programs. Space is limited to 380 people so book early. A full table of 10 can be reserved by Team OTA members.

This dinner is like the Oscars of our industry. It’s not just another industry occasion – it’s an event designed to celebrate the most exceptional leaders, drivers and up-and-coming, next generation individuals of our industry. It’s a great opportunity to express pride and honour the wonderful sector we all work in,” said OTA Chair Steve Ondejko.

Not a carrier member and would like to come to the OTA event by special paying member rates? e-mail OTA president Stephen Laskowski ( to discuss your interest.

As always, leading up to the dinner is a lineup of diverse, entertaining and thought-provoking speakers who will engage industry professionals with ideas to take back to the workplace. This year’s lineup features:

Conrad Black

Conrad Black is a Canadian-born British peer, and former publisher of The London Daily Telegraph, The Spectator, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Jerusalem Post, and founder of Canada’s National Post. He is a columnist and regular contributor to several publications, including the National Review Online, The New Criterion, The National Interest, The New York Sun, and the National Post. Lord Black is an experienced financier, was the head of the Argus and Hollinger corporate groups for many years and remains active in this field in a number of private companies. As an acclaimed author and biographer, Lord Black has published comprehensive histories of both Canada and the United States, as well as authoritative biographies of Maurice Duplessis, and presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon. Lord Black is also a television and radio commentator and a regular participant in the current affairs programming of CNN, Fox News, CTV, CBC, BBC, and Radio Canada.

Les Stroud – Survivorman

Stroud is a Canadian Screen Award winning producer, creator and star of the hit TV series Survivorman (OLN Canada, The Science Channel US, Discovery Channel International, City TV (Rogers) Canada. Survivorman is one of the highest rated shows in the history of OLN Canada, the Science Channel US and Discovery Channel US and remains the highest rated repeat show on the Discovery Channel. Stroud has made numerous talk show appearances including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The View, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson, Larry King Live, and The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos (CBC). A proud member of the prestigious Explorers Club, Les received Fellow (highest rank) of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. Les has received both the Distinguished Alumni award and was nominated for the Premieres award for excellence for work in his field. He contributes to dozens of charities and benefits, is an ambassador for Shelterbox, and is an advanced survival trainer for the Canadian Military Armed Forces.

Attendees can expect to be engaged from Les about his tales on his life experiences from the Arctic Circle to the jungles of the Amazon. Les pulls from these experiences lessons of building a career and striving towards success while overcoming obstacles. Les’s main message to his audiences is about passion — passion for life, success and adventure. When Les is not travelling the world and trying to survive an attack from a wild animal or extreme weather conditions he is on stage playing his harmonica with musicians like Slash, Journey, Steven Stills, Randy Bachman and the list goes on.

Don Drummond

If you’re looking for unparalleled insight into the Canadian economy and its future prospects, look no further than Don Drummond, the retired senior vice president and chief economist of TD Financial Group, and current Stauffer-Dunning Fellow and Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the School of Policy Studies at Queens University. At TD, Don led the company in analyzing and forecasting economic performance in Canada and abroad. During the course of his career, Drummond acted at Finance Canada as Assistant Deputy Minister, Fiscal Policy and Economic Analysis; Assistant Deputy Minister, Tax Policy and Legislation; and, most recently, Associate Deputy Minister, where he handled economic analysis, fiscal policy, tax policy, social policy and federal-provincial relations, as well as coordinated the planning of the annual federal budgets. He was also the Chair of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services in 2012.

Stacey Hanke

Stacey helps individuals eliminate the static that plagues communicative delivery – to persuade, sell, influence and communicate face-to-face with a clear message. She has trained over 15,000 people to rid themselves of bad body language habits and choose words wisely. She has delivered over 500 presentations for business leaders, from the financial industry to the healthcare industry to government and everyone in between. Her client list is vast from Coca-Cola, Kohl’s, the United States Army, Navy and Air Force, Leo Burnett, AT&T and the FDA.

The OTA executive conference would not be possible without the support of industry suppliers who make up Team OTA. The association would like to thank:

CP Rail

Durham Truck & Equipment Sales & Service

Envoy Energy

Freightliner Trucks

GroupHealth Benefits Solutions

ISAAC Instruments

Navistar Canada Inc.

Omnitracs Canada

Old Republic Canada Partnering with Polaris Group Captive

Kee Human Resources

The Canadian Transit Company, The Ambassador Bridge

The Guarantee Company of North America

Today’s Trucking

Trailcon Leasing Inc.

Transcore Link Logistics

Truck News

Truck World Show Partnership


Volvo Trucks Canada


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