Leading by Example
You could say David Steele’s name is his calling.
A Hamilton boy, he started his career at Parkdale International, a steel distributor in the east end of the city. Paddock Transportation was Parkdale’s sole carrier, trucking the coils of grey gold across the border, and David remembers Paddock founders Earl and Lorne fondly.
After 15 years in operations management at Parkdale, David decided to try his hand outside the industrial sector, managing everything from a courier company to a sports photography biz. He was ready to spring from a job at a mattress company when Paddock came knocking.
It was 2010.
“Scott and Mac had bought a property that had a massive warehouse,” recalls Dave. “Naturally they needed a warehouse manager.”
And that’s how Dave came home. To warehousing. And steel.
He loves the family atmosphere at Paddock. “It’s a lot different from the corporate world where there’s a lot of red tape that gets in your way,” he admits. Always an early bird, Dave is in the office every day by 5 or 5:30 a.m. (No one minds at Paddock. But Dave admits he’s a bit of a liability at a campground.) “I’m extremely hands-on,” he says. “It’s not unusual for me to operate a forklift or a crane myself to get things done right. That’s the way we all are.”
The diversity of the job is a big plus. “We’re always doing something new and it all has to be done yesterday. Like the first time we stored large aircraft parts—they’re big and cumbersome and we’re moving them around with forklifts and all I could think of was the money involved.”
Ask him what he’s most proud of and he’ll tell you it’s Paddock’s reputation with customers. “Carriers love coming here to be loaded or unloaded. Truckers have a million stories and they’re often treated poorly at other facilities. We’re friendly and fast. When they find out they’re going into EP Terminals, they’re happy.”