The Couple from Canada

At the Truckload Carriers Association’s Annual Conference in Nashville this year, I had the privilege of meeting a couple of individuals who struck a chord with me. Isn’t it funny how sometimes fate puts you right in the path to learn something cool or meet someone you might not have otherwise?

I arrived one morning to the breakfast that goes on before the meetings begin, and as is often the case, the tables were largely full and I had to strategically angle to nab a chair. I ended up seated, along with colleagues, at a table that was already occupied by two folks unbeknownst to me. They were gracious enough to offer up the seats, and we were appreciative.

We struck up polite conversation with the couple, a husband and wife that were in from Canada. Upon further chatting, we discovered that the man was there for the conference because he was one of three gentlemen nominated for the TCA Company Driver of the Year Award.

The more we spoke to them, the more we learned about them and it took no time at all to see why he was nominated. Murray Manuliak is much more than an OTR driver for Bison Transport—he’s among the safest in the fleet with a kind heart and supportive words for his fellow drivers. But he and his wife Heather use their spare time to do so much more.

The couple have a pair of special needs grandchildren, and through them and their participation in the Special Olympics, began to do volunteer work for the wonderful organization. The couple have participated in charity rides, and then saw that they could do more to raise funds and began reaching into their own pocket to host BBQs at various events, with proceeds from sales all donated to the Special Olympics.

I don’t want to spoil the details that you can check out on page 44 of this issue, but I will tell you that when Murray was announced at the banquet as the winner of the TCA Company Driver of the Year Award, I was not surprised in the least, and was among the loudest screaming for him. What a cool man and an amazing lady by his side to boot. I was thrilled for him…for them both. How well deserved.

Volunteering is an amazing contribution we can all make. Whether it’s for kids, for animals, for your neighbor, an elderly relative or other person who could use some kindness or aid, I’m convinced that giving to others (of your time, your help, your money) delivers rewards back to you tenfold. Thanks, Murray and Heather, for reminding me of that and exemplifying amazing human spirit.