Gord Box left us on August 13th 2021 passing away peacefully at his home. I didn’t know he had been battling cancer for four years and am sure many in our industry didn’t.
Gord was a peaceful kind of guy. I met Gord like many through industry events and functions, we would chat periodically, he was easy to talk to. He loved the Toronto Maple Leaf’s which always gave us something to talk about, I would always banter with him about how bad they were. He always stuck behind his Leaf’s, a testament to Gord’s personality, he stuck behind what he believed in.
When I was elected as Chairman of the Board of the Ontario Trucking Association’s Allied Trade Division, Gord and I would get a little closer spending a little more time together. Gord would become my mentor as I navigated through the early months and there after in this leadership role. Mentorship comes in many forms and in many ways, it is a gift and a responsibility to be taken seriously with rewards and satisfaction if navigated properly. The day I was elected at the annual conference amongst my peers and industry colleagues Gord made his way over as we tipped a cocktail and he congratulated me. He told me we should meet, discuss the role, the responsibilities, the do’s and do not’s and give me the lay of the land.
A couple of weeks later we met in Milton and he did just that. Quietly, confidentially and a straight shooter Gord gave me a detailed summary of how his term as Chair went at OTA. He told me some of the mistakes he had made, talked about his successes and gave me some solid advice as to how to move forward to be successful. Equally as important he offered up his time, his most valuable resource and it was not just for a couple of hours. When I was leaving he let me know I could call him anytime if I needed his help and direction. I did just that a number of times, he was always available, always helpful with solid direction and guidance.
I remember our first board meeting with all the brass at the table. We are sometimes judged by first impressions and I knew this would be one of those times. I prepared, I was on point, I delivered. I was pretty confident I did a good job leading my first official meeting. It was confirmed at the end when it was all over as the 30 plus industry decision makers were leaving the room, Gord was walking out of the board room, he looked at me with that great smile and give me a thumbs up. It was confirmed I did a good job, he made me feel so good with his vote of confidence.
Gord Box was an influencer to many, a leader and mentor to me and much more along the way I am sure. R.I.P. Gord and thank you for taking the time and effort to helping me become a better person both personally and professionally.