Margaret (Peg) Wilken, 2018 Hall of Honor Recipient
Margaret (Peg) Wilken began her work in the moving industry in July 1981 as an executive secretary at Stevens Worldwide Van Lines. Prior to that, she had worked as a legal secretary and legal assistant at various law firms in Saginaw, Michigan, and spent three years at an LTL freight company, Branch Motor Express. At Stevens, Ms. Wilken quickly found her niche working in the Government Traffic Department and in 1984 was named agency director. In 1999 she was promoted to Vice President of Government Traffic, a position she held until 2017, when she was named vice president of risk, safety and claims. In 2003, she also became the first woman named to the executive management team at Stevens.
In her various roles at Stevens, Ms. Wilken has been responsible for solicitation of agents to represent Stevens for military business, as well as management of all of Stevens’s domestic military business and General Services Administration administrative management. She also took over management of the claims department in the early 2000s. In these military and claims roles, she proved her ability to analyze difficult situations and articulate solutions, becoming a strong advocate on the national scene not only for Stevens but for the entire moving industry.
Over the years, Ms. Wilken has served on the claims and government traffic committees at both IAM and AMSA. She was elected to the IAM Executive Committee in 2009 and as its Vice Chair the following year. In 2014, she became only the second woman ever elected as Chair—a position she held through 2017.
Ms. Wilken’s passion has been to find common ground on divisive topics between the industry and the U.S. Department of Defense, and within the various industry committees on which she served. She has always strived to find the best way to help express the moving industry’s issues and concerns to DOD and GSA, and to assure the best service possible to military men and women and government employees as they move around the world.
She participated in various working groups created to re-engineer the DOD household goods program, ultimately resulting in DP3. In the ensuing years, she worked to refine the rules and processes of DP3 to make it better serve the military customer. As an advocate for the industry, one of the things Ms. Wilken is most proud of is her efforts while on the IAM Executive Committee to overturn the DOD’s ability to collect unearned transportation charges once full replacement value became the underlying liability principle of the program. She helped the industry in its successful court battle on this issue to save millions of dollars in claims that would certainly have been imposed by the services, on the premise that paying replacement value for goods at destination entitled the service provider to compensation for transportation provided.
As she approaches retirement, Ms. Wilken hopes to spend more time volunteering at her church and with local charitable organizations in the Saginaw area, such as the Ecumenical Food Pantry, which was founded by her mother in the early 1970s. This organization provides food to thousands of poor and needy families each year, and is often the recipient of food collected through the Move For Hunger program.
Peg Wilken is very proud of her many years of work in the moving industry and feels truly blessed to have worked and made friends with people from around the world.