Scott Wowdzia says that if it wasn’t for his mom and dad, he wouldn’t be celebrating ten years with UFA as a Petroleum Agent. “My mom, Wendy, and dad, Bernie, were the UFA Petroleum Agents in Vegreville for over 25 years,” he says. “They are the ones who built a business based on trust with people in the community and I am just lucky to continue building on the foundation that they started.”
Wowdzia remembers coming to the agency as a very young boy, his parents would let him help around the agency with odd jobs. “I loved coming to the agency. Not only did I get to help out, but I got to spend time with my mom and dad,” he says. “When I was 18 years old, I got my class one drivers license and began making fuel deliveries, something I really enjoyed and that I continue doing today.”
“I drove truck for the next few years and began getting more involved with the agency to the point where my mom and dad thought it was a good time for them to step back and for me to take over,” says Wowdzia. “It was a great opportunity that my parents presented me with, and they were looking forward to working on more of a part-time basis, although today their hours are hardly part-time,” he laughs, “We are so busy that they work a lot more than they planned for.”
Wowdzia says that the secret to their success is built on consistency and trust. “We have long-term customers, some for over 35 years, and throughout that time it’s always been either myself, or my mom or dad, that they have dealt with, and that consistency gives people comfort and peace of mind.”
Wowdzia continued to build on the legacy that his parents started, taking over the Two Hills agency in 2014, followed by the Smoky Lake agency in 2017. Today, this 34-year-old owns and operates all three petroleum agencies along with juggling a young family.
“My wife Stephanie really is the rock for our family, she is a huge support and she keeps things rolling smoothly at home,” he says. Despite having a busy household with three young boys; Nixon, 6, Hudson, 3 and Hayes, 1, the Wowdzia’s still make being involved in the community a priority. “We have strong roots in our community and it’s important to give back to ensure that communities like ours continue to thrive. It’s one the reasons why we believe the community investment initiatives at UFA are so important,” adds Wowdzia.
From coaching and sponsoring minor hockey to providing materials to build a bridge at the local golf course, Scott and his family find ways throughout the year to give back to the community that has given them so much. In fact, in honour of Scott’s ten-year anniversary he has chosen to give donations totalling $1,000.00 back to the community. The donations will be split amongst Vegreville Kidsport, Two Hills Family and Community Support Services and Smoky Lake Minor Hockey.
However, when congratulated on his ten-year milestone, Wowdzia is quick to shift the credit where he believes it’s deserved most. “Without my parents and all their hard work, we would have never been in this situation, it was easy to take over and build the business because they worked for so many years establishing trust in the community,” he says. “Also, I have an amazing staff who make my life easier; Harvey, Ryan, Dylan in Vegreville, Dale in Two Hills, and Jessie and Donna in Smokey Lake. I couldn’t do this without them.”
Wowdzia also says that the relationship he has with the UFA Delegate and Director in the area makes a big difference. “As a co-operative, I know that the delegate and the directors are listening to their members, because I’m one of them. I’ve seen first-hand how they carry the voice of UFA members to the decision-making table and that matters.”
Today, Wowdzia’s boys are following in their father’s, and grandparents’, footsteps.
“The boys love coming to the agency and helping, spending time with family and the customers, who have become like extended family,” he says. “UFA has been in my blood for as long as I can remember. The people in our communities see the benefit of dealing with UFA as their co-operative, but also with us, as their neighbours. Being a UFA Petroleum Agent truly is a family affair and one that I’m so proud to be part of.”
Scott Wowdzia, thank you for all you do and congratulations on 10 years as a UFA Petroleum Agent!