CAA is a lifestyle brand about life’s small moments and big adventures. In 2022, CAA was named Canada’s Most Trusted Brand by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria; this wouldn’t be possible without our all-star staff.
Meet Jeff Woznow, affectionally known as ‘Woz,’ the club’s Business Development Manager who has worked for CAA for 33 years! Woz takes the club into the community, including parks, festivals and sporting events, so why not get to know him?
Before CAA, you had a whole other career – what did you do and why did you come to CAA?
I joined the Canadian Airforce as a full-time reservist and was involved in fleet operations, including passenger, cargo movements and airfield ambulance duties. I served during the Cold War at CFB Cold Lake Alberta and later transferred to the Army reserve in Ottawa. Part of the job was booking flights using the same system as civilian travel agencies.
In 1989, I took a travel course and applied for a Co-op with CAA Ottawa at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre. I was then hired at the first expansion store of CAA Ottawa, and my career with CAA began. CAA handles fleet operations and the movement of people, so I felt right at home, coming from a similar background in military logistics. Ironically, our military safe driving manuals were published by CAA here in Ottawa. It was meant to be!
You have a lot of passions outside of the energy you bring to work?
My pursuits outside of work are volunteer activities with youth and veterans. I have volunteered with the cadet movement since 2005 and I’m an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion. Currently, I volunteer on the board of a veteran’s support program. Our program offers animal therapy, gardening and art therapy in support of Women and LGBTQ2S+ veterans living with Post Traumatic Syndrome (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
In 2013 I was invested in the Order of St. George and Knighted as a Chevalier in recognition of my work in the Cadet and Veteran Sectors.
What is the main driver in being a community builder and advocate?
With three children, we could not afford expensive programs like hockey, and the cadet programs were free and only asked for parents to volunteer. Over the years, I saw firsthand how we changed the lives of hundreds of children and families who may otherwise not have an organized program to participate in. Children on the spectrum thrive in the structured cadet program, and their performance in school improved. There are too many success stories to count.
Through organizing poppy campaigns with the Cadets, I became increasingly involved with the Legion and other Veteran support programs for homelessness, mental health and suicide prevention.
What is it about working for CAA that attracts you and keeps you engaged?
The best thing about my job is I’m out from behind the desk. I’m out there in the community. I’m engaging our members and our people that just don’t know what CAA is, and it’s a pleasure to go out and educate about everything the club can do for your life.
CAA is a not-for-profit, purpose-driven organization focused on our Members. I thrive on change and innovation, and CAA has continued to evolve and adapt without losing sight of that Member focus. The organization is genuine, and that is a powerful motivator!
How has the club changed in the years you’ve been here?
I first worked for CAA 33 years ago, and we only had one store here in Ottawa. All this time later, our Club territory has expanded to include borders that begin in Cornwall and ends at the Manitoba border!
What are you most proud of when it comes to your work?
We get people home. I come from the Club’s Travel Agency business line, and I have lost count of getting people home in a pinch. We traditionally have done that from the roadside as an auto club but there is so much more that we offer for peace of mind.
If you were asked, ‘why should I become a Member,’ what would you say in one sentence?
That one is easy! If our Membership benefits are engaged to the fullest, the membership will pay you!