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Merritt’s Shelley Stewart is the latest recipient of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for her work with SRS Trucking.
“It means a lot to me and it means a lot to my husband as well, because he’s very much a part of this business,” Stewart said.
Stewart, 28, accepted the award last month at a gala in Vancouver, presented by the BC Aboriginal Business Awards, with her husband and business partner Rob, their two young children, and her mother.
Stewart and her husband began their trucking business in 2003 when they hauled burnt wood from the McGillivary fire outside Chase.
Having grown up in the Merritt area (she’s from Douglas Lake) with a father who was a trucker, the industry was not unknown to Stewart.
“Logging’s always been close to home, and ranching as well, and my husband, who was then my boyfriend, was working in logging camps and we just thought it would be good to get into a business where we could work for ourselves and have him home every night, rather than away in logging towns,” she said on the decision to start the business.
Though Stewart accepted the award, she said she owes a large part of her success to her husband, drivers, and contractors.
“All the contractors that we work for in this town have been really good to us,” she said. “For that, I’m really grateful to the whole industry.”
In true entrepreneurial spirit, Stewart said she’s looking forward to expanding her business even more.
“I’m still interested in expanding, whether in logging or in a different business, and I’m always looking for opportunity. If you want a reward, you have to take a risk,” she said.