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Monty Oakes Retires from Active Duty in the Pallet Industry
Monty Oakes Retires from Active Duty in the Pallet Industry

By Staff
Date Posted: 11/1/2010

After 40 years in the pallet and container business, Monty Oakes is retiring from active duty. He started his pallet business in the fall of 1970 in Kitchener, Ontario and over the years grew it to four locations in southwestern Ontario.

Shur-Way has been an active member of the CWPCA since 1972 and the NWPCA since 1984. Monty served as a director of the CWPCA for over 30 years and was president for two terms. He served as a director of the NWPCA for four years.

Monty said, "The relationships formed with fellow manufacturers were valued and important to me. Together we laid a good foundation that helped the industry face challenges in changing manufacturing practices and weathering economic storms.

"Over the years, under Gord Hughes' leadership, we visited facilities from Ontario to California as well as touring plants in Australia, New Zealand, and several European countries. We constantly challenged each other and enjoyed a lot of good times. I will always look back to those days as a special and unique time in our industry and my life."

Readers who were fortunate enough to have attended association functions with Monte, in particular the visits to pallet plants around the world, will remember fondly the times we shared with Monte and his lovely wife Bonnie. Those times will be cherished.

Monte continued, "Today's technology, rapidly changing economic environments, and globalization bring challenges for a new group of manufacturers. So, in effect, I am passing the torch. Effective October 1, 2010, the Shur-Way Group of companies has been sold to a local group of investors.

The new president will be Jeremy Bloemberg. Jeremy brings to Shur-way new vitality, familiarity with modern technology, and most importantly management skills that have been honed by working his way from the factory floor to plant manager. I am pleased that all my long term employees and experienced management staff will remain to work for the new company. I will continue to work in the Ayr facility during the transition. My own personal challenge will be to adapt to a more leisurely lifestyle."

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