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Alberta Motor Transport Association

Graham Nkala of Flying J Canada Transport was named Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) Driver of the Year at the Association’s Annual Award Celebration at the Grey Eagle Event Centre in Calgary on April 18, 2024.

The Awards were the finale of AMTA’s 86th Annual Conference.

As Driver of the Year – sponsored by Volvo – Nkala was among nine award winners recognized at the celebration, which included remarks from Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Alberta Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors Devin Dreeshen.

“We are a province of roads and drivers, and we always will be,” said Smith. “It’s families on their way to hockey tournaments or off to visit grandparents, and of course, it’s commercial drivers carrying groceries to communities from Milk River all the way to Rainbow Lake or hot shotting urgently needed technical components up to the oil sands, and the [AMTA] has played a key role in ensuring they reach their destination safely and efficiently.”

The full award recipient line-up included:

Safety Person of the Year, sponsored by Highstreet Insurance – Dale Howard, Flying J Canada Transport Inc.

Dean Paisley Service to Industry Award, sponsored by BFL Risk and Insurance Services Inc. – Doug Paisley, Lethbridge Truck Terminals

Supplier Award – Harp Powar, Gallagher Canada

Friend to Industry Award – Dan McCormack, Alberta Sheriffs Highway Patrol

Historical Award – Willie Hamel

AMTA Excellence in Member Service Award – Josh Hannaberry, AMTA

AMTA Core Value Award – Terri Johnson, AMTA

In addition, a new award was created and named after its inaugural recipient. The Don Achtemichuk Volunteer Service Award recognizes Achtemichuk and future recipients for their volunteer contributions to AMTA. Achtemichuk was recognized for his long-standing service on AMTA’s Board of Directors and his contributions to various events/committees, such as AMTA’s Professional Truck Driving Championship, Regional Meetings, and more.

“I would like to congratulate our 2024 Award Recipients. We have a group that exemplifies the work it takes to maintain a safe and innovative industry,” said AMTA President Robert Harper. “And congratulations to Don for being the first recipient of the Don Achtemichuk Volunteer Service Award, which was named in his honour. He has given so much to AMTA and industry, and it is nice to honour him in turn.”

The April 16-18 conference included sessions from keynote speakers Spencer Beach and Harnarayan Singh, as well as speakers Kim Richardson (TransRep), Pieter Lambooy (WCB), and Marco Beghetto (CTA). Two panels were included: ‘Diversity in the Workplace’ moderated by AMTA Board Director Laura Lunt (CanGas Propane), with BJ Zoobkoff (XTL Transport), Garth Pitzel (Bison Transport), Heidi Jamieson (Alberta Construction Safety Association), Jennifer Collis (SAIT), and Mandeep Parmar (Light Speed Logistics); and ‘The Future of Industry’ with moderator Terri Johnson (AMTA), Adam Evans (GreenerFleets), Rebecca Goldsack (DTI), and Jared Sayers (Azolla Hydrogen). 

The conference was capped with a live session of AMTA’s Steering Change podcast, hosted by Josh Hannaberry. Nkala was a guest, discussing Driver of the Year and staying safe on the road. 

AMTA’s 87th Annual Conference will be held April 8-10, 2025, at River Cree Resort & Casino in Enoch, Alberta. 



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