Kim Richardson Transportation Specialists, Inc. (KRTS) has been in the business of training for over 30 years and as an industry leader that believes in quality education, it is no surprise that one of its long-time employees, Doug DeGrow of Hagersville, was recently named the PayBright/Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) Instructor of the Year.
DeGrow has been with KRTS for almost 15 years.
In his capacity as Master Instructor, he delivers a wide range of education and training offered by the company. This includes truck, in-yard, and in-class student training to individuals seeking commercial licenses, such as AZ, DZ, and F. He also delivers in-field and in-class training for heavy equipment, as well as forklift certification.
Corporate training, which encompasses education, safety, training, and consulting to companies, is also part of DeGrow’s portfolio.
From pre-hire driver evaluations to safety meetings for more than 100 drivers, DeGrow is able to provide all of the KRTS services. He even had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica in 2019, to educate hundreds of individuals from the All Islands Trucking Associations on a range of trucking-related topics.
DeGrow has attained several certifications through his career including LLLC Defensive Driving Instructor from Avatar Fleet and North American Training Management Institute (NATMI) Certified Driver Training (CDT). He also holds a Certified Train the Trainer for the NATMI Certified Driver Training program and a Human Resource Management Certificate from Mohawk College.
Matt Richardson, Sales and Operations Manager at KRTS, describes DeGrow as, “The true definition of a professional instructor. He is always looking for ways to master his craft, often putting in his own time to prepare for educational deliveries or tweak things within programs.”
He further explains that DeGrow is relied upon by the team of instructors and he provides feedback on ideas or situations, giving advice and support without hesitation.
DeGrow is also well respected within the industry. Scott Rea, President of Avatar Fleet, says, “Doug is one of the best I’ve seen in action at using stories and questions to push the adult learner to achieve self-realization of the desired learning outcomes.”
This opinion is shared by Gary Murray, retired Senior Manager with National Resources Canada, who states, “I would recommend Doug DeGrow to any audience who wanted to increase their knowledge and understanding of the trucking industry.”
These accolades are echoed by those who have benefited from DeGrow’s instruction. According to Richardson, who nominated DeGrow for this award, “Over the years we have received thousands of positive comments via feedback forms, emails, or phone calls from students and corporate customers raving about their experiences with Doug. He is a very valuable member of the KRTS team!”
DeGrow also shares his knowledge and experience with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a non-profit organization that trains truck drivers to recognize and report human trafficking. As a passionate advocate and certified trainer for TAT, DeGrow was responsible for ensuring that all individuals pursuing tractor trailer (AZ) training at KRTS also receive the TAT training and certification.
Like so many award recipients, DeGrow is humbled to receive this recognition from his industry. He says, “I’m not sure I can express how honoured and proud I am to have been named the TTSAO’s 2020 Instructor of the Year.”
He is quick to attribute credit to the people he has worked with who shared their knowledge and experiences with him. He explains, “I have borrowed sayings, methods, and techniques from others to pass on to my students. Mostly the support I receive from Kim and Matt Richardson, the backup from our ladies in the office, and the teamwork with the other instructors, past and present, has made this job so satisfying. Every student I train is learning from my mentors, my support system, and from my fellow instructors. It’s definitely not all about me.”
DeGrow’s support system includes his wife, Bridgette, who also works in the transportation industry with her position at Harwil Farms in Hagersville. As he reflects on this award and all that it represents, Doug DeGrow is grateful for the honour and the opportunity to do a job he loves and that he considers to be of infinite importance. He firmly believes that in the times we are living, training new drivers and training them properly is more important than ever. He says, “To be a small part in the improvement in my students’ futures is incredible. I get to play with big trucks, work with a fantastic group of people, have fun – and then I get an award for it? Mind boggling!”