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SEEC Business Leaders Program

Posted by On 10-11-2022
SEEC Business Leaders Program Team Wills Pic for Post

SEEC Business Leaders Program

When the Ontario Trucking Association called for all Wills Transfer young industry professionals, we knew exactly who to send to the SEEC Business Leaders Program. SEEC refers to the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) at York University in Toronto, ON.

Before we announce who, the Wills Transfer 2022 graduates are let’s take a brief look at the SEEC Business Leaders Program.

First, the Prerequisite

Participants in the SEEC Business Leaders Program must first be a graduate of The Next Generation Program. The Next Generation Program is an intensive leadership course for future leaders in the trucking industry.  Additionally, the program serves to strengthen a leader’s ability to communicate effectively and inspire action in others they work with. It provides ways to connect and build relationships. Delivering networking opportunities with other like-minded individuals all while gaining the valuable tools to improve their leadership communication skills.

Next, the OTA-SEEC Business Leaders Program

The OTA-SEEC Business Leaders Program, in partnership with the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) at York University, focused on the theme of innovation this year. The intention was to create an innovative mindset within leaders and use that experience to drive innovation in the workplace. Specifically looking at how innovation is and can affect change in the trucking industry.

Course Outline

Day 1, Innovation and Thinking Preferences: Participants learned what innovation was and how to define and recognize its many forms. Next, they had to determine the appropriate level and type for their company.

Day 2, The Process, and the Practice: Participants develop ideas and implement, manage and execute processes for innovation strategies.  To accomplish this, they used their learned skills to stimulate change within each of their organizations.

Day 3, Creating a Culture of Innovation: Participants were able to convey what a culture of innovation was and what they did to raise awareness within their organizations. Next, they demonstrated what leaders can do to reinforce or modify culture to accelerate innovation. All this, while understanding why people resist change and how they as leaders can reduce this resistance.

Day 4, Final Innovation Presentation: Each team presented their project solutions to an audience that consisted of their fellow peers/ classmates, SEEC Management, OTA Board Members, and project champions.

SEEC Business Leaders Program, the Projects


Wills’ Team Member, Patrick Gough SEEC Patrick Gough Pic

For truckers, the sight of a truck stop can give a feeling of relief. A place to refuel, shower, and a place to rest. So, Patrick’s team proposed the creation of an APP that would improve a driver’s experience at truck stops.

How? Each truck stop would create and maintain its profile on the APP site which would then be subject to user reviews. The better the trucker’s experience the better the rating.

The information on the APP would include such things as a food and beverage menu, showers, resting stations, and vacancies. All essential for a truck driver. Because a truck stop is more than a fuel stop, it’s a whole experience for a long hauler.

Wills’ Team Member, Calvin SafiolesSEEC Calvin Safioles Pic

Calvin’s team looked at ways to attract more admin staff into the trucking industry. Why? Because right now, the trucking industry is facing a global shortage of both truck drivers and admin staff. And in this industry, you need both to make a successful trip to and from a destination.

You need CSRs to plan client requests and dispatchers to execute the trucker’s trip. Also, in critical need are the mechanics who keep those trucks running smoothly. Careers you might not think about when looking at the industry as a whole.

The team looked at ways to improve the industry branding by showcasing the positive perception and the critical role the trucking industry plays. Just think about how this industry continued to serve us during the pandemic. Next, they looked at how to enhance and entice more hires with group benefits and flex hours. Both are seen as must-haves by today’s workers.

Wills’ Team Member, Tasha SnowdonSEEC Tasha Snowdon Pic

Team Tasha looked at how climate change is and will be affecting the trucking industry as we know it. Specifically, how the Government of Canada has set a mandatory target for all new vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035. And that driving down transportation emissions is critical to achieving the Government’s ambitious climate change commitments.  

The team looked into how the Government of Canada is providing cost-sharing incentives in the trucking industry. Incentives to help with the costs of transitioning from traditional combustion engines to electric ones. Changes that will effectively reduce emissions by 3 million tonnes annually.

The overall theme for Team Tasha’s presentation was, ‘This is Canada’s climate action plan for the trucking industry, and we need to be ready and willing to meet these essential targets.’

Wills’ Team Member, Will DorianSEEC Business Leaders Program Will Dorian Pic

Team Dorian drove into how to recruit and retain drivers in the trucking industry. An industry with constant logistical concerns and an aging workforce. 

Their first thought was, how do we get kids to go from playing with trucks to driving them? Does the industry have a stigma around it that we need to change? Do people think there is no work/ life balance when you’re behind the wheel of a truck? Or why do people have the idea that truck drivers are uneducated?

Next, they looked at the current state of the industry and the challenges older drivers face. Challenges like demanding schedules and driving out of necessity. Coupled with long hours and extended time away from family and friends that can wear on even the most experienced trucker.

Lastly, Team Dorian looked at ways to motivate and attract new drivers. They questioned if a more robust immigration partnership with trucking companies would help. Would adding more women to the industry change the current stereotype of a trucker?

And their final idea to improve the industry as a whole was to promote the mindset that truck driving is a viable career path, especially for those 18-21-year-old.

Indeed, these were four great SEEC Business Leaders Program projects. Because of this, our Wills Transfer young industry professionals are more than worthy of their certificates.


Source – Ontario Trucking Association