Professional Driver with Gardewine,who is Celebrating his 50th Year on the Road
When Micheal Chudobiak initially joined the team at Gardewine, he had planned to work there for a couple of weeks to a month while the company worked on recruiting new drivers. 50 years later and Micheal is still proudly driving for Gardewine and serving communities throughout South Central Manitoba.
Throughout his 50-year career, Micheal watched the company grow and industry evolve around him. He recalls how Gardewine naturally expanded into northern Manitoba and beyond through acquisitions; how every pick-up and delivery was done hand-to-hand (forklifts or power jacks hadn’t been invented yet); and that every document was written by hand and processed in Winnipeg.
Throughout his career with Gardewine, Micheal wore ‘many hats.’ He explains, “I did odd jobs as a carpenter, electrician, and mechanic; helped the manager with dispatching, printing bills, and office stuff; and was never afraid of the broom, but I liked being out on the open road and with the people.”
Micheal says that the communities he serves are ‘family’ and that his children grew up with their children. “Each year would go by, and you’d get to know a lot of people in small communities,” says Micheal. “You visit with them, and you become family with them. Customers would always ask about my two children and share stories of their two children. Their children are now married with children and mine are married with children, so we would compare stories on what all our children have accomplished. It’s a family.”
Originally from Gilbert Plains, MB, Micheal grew up on a farm and with a strong work ethic – to tend to the farm and help those around him. Micheal’s deep-rooted values are bestowed into everything he does and person he helps today. His genuine sense of pride towards his work family – in the office and throughout the community – shines brightly with his clean, well-maintained truck and trailer and meticulate deliveries. Micheal treats every piece of equipment and delivery as if it's his own and is well taken care of.
“When [Gardewine] gave me a new tractor, I treated it like it was my own. I kept it clean and respected it,” says Micheal. “If you look after your equipment and they see a clean, good, efficient truck/trailer, the company and customer know that I will look after your stuff. With deliveries, same thing –I always approached it as mine and delivered the items in perfect condition. So, the next time a customer orders something, the supplier is going to ask how they want it delivered and they’ll respond, “Gardewine,” because they know it’s going to be looked after.”
Micheal and his wife Judy live in Dauphin, MB. Their daughter Dori lives in Winnipeg with her husband TJ. Their son Derek and his wife, Ashleigh, live in Dauphin with their two children, Blake (5) and Connor (1). Micheal is looking forward to the summer, spending family time at their family cabin in Clear Lake and enjoying the outdoors/all the park has to offer.