For the first time in its 73-year history, the Truck Loggers Association has elected a female president — a first for any logging association in B.C.

But for Jacqui Beban of Qualicum Beach, getting elected on Jan. 14 was a natural fit as she has deep roots in the industry.

Her great-grandfather, grandfather and father all owned logging companies, as well as her grandfather on her mother's side of the family.

"It was a huge part of my life," Beban, 40, told On the Coast host Gloria Macarenko.

"At six weeks old I took my first trip to a logging camp. Those were our summer vacations, we were at the logging camp," she said.

When she graduated from high school at 18 she took a job in an office of a logging company.

As she took on more responsibility and began understanding the operations of work camps, she remembered her fondness for them.

"I didn't realize how fortunate I was to grow up in this industry. Everybody knew everyone, they looked out for you, and you just had a little more freedom to go and explore things that you can't do in cities and lot of kids don't have opportunity to do."

Jacqui Beban

Jacqui Beban (centre) sits amongst some of her colleagues at the B.C. Truck Loggers Association. She was elected president of the industry group on January 14. (B.C. Truck Loggers Association)

At just 24-years-old she became the general manager of her family's company, Frank Beban Logging, after starting as the "parts girl." 

She is currently a partner at Nootka Sound Timber, a company she co-founded in 2011.

Beban was previously the vice-president of the B.C. Truck Loggers Association, and said everyone has been supportive of her taking on the helm.

"I think the TLA is really embracing change in a lot of the things they're doing right now, and having a woman as their president is one of the things that they're embracing. It's exciting to be in the industry right now."

For her two-year term Beban said she wants to continue the association's emphasis on building relationships with Indigenous peoples.

To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled: BC Truck Loggers Association elects first female president