SALABERRY-de-VALLEYFIELD, Que. — In trucking, there’s no shortage of father-son stories. What’s rare are father-daughter stories.
But a noteworthy and special father-daughter tale is the one that belongs to Quebec’s Andy Transport.
Ilie Crisan started Andy Transport with just one truck in 2001. Today, the trucking company boasts over 350 tractors and 800 trailers. And while Crisan grew the company, his own daughter, Andreea, was growing right along side of it.
Andreea herself began working for Andy as soon as she could as a pre-teen. When her father added a second driver she was in charge of payroll. Then, as he was out on the road more, she began to help pay the bills. From there, her responsibilities increased with the company as she gained an understanding of the business and the trucking industry.
Eventually, when it came time for Andreea to pursue post-secondary education, she decided to go to law school at the University of Ottawa. She was the first in her family to graduate university, and now has a law degree to show for it.
“I never had the intention of being a lawyer necessarily … but some people said I should go to law school because anything you learn there will be applicable to life one way or another,” she says. “At the time, I already had the experiences with Andy, and building and growing the company with my father. Really, what I was looking forward to in university was grasping all the experiences and opportunities that were available to me. Which is why, at University of Ottawa, I did the co-op program. So I did two internships in law. And I got to work with a judge in New York City, and then I got to work for a law firm in China. That gave me exposure to the law profession.”
At the same time she was studying law around the globe, she was also working with Andy Transport during her down time, helping her father and the executive team with bids, contracts, and other projects.
This balancing act, she said, helped her decide between continuing to work for Andy and practicing law permanently.
“By the last year of law school, I told my father I would like to join the company and take my job to the next level,” she said.
Today Andreea is chief operating officer and executive vice-president of Andy Transport, and is a large part of why the fleet is so successful today. The business has been in the news several times over the last year announcing new terminal spaces, a new power-only fleet, and a new maintenance center business. Most recently, the company also announced a new scholarship program for its employees’ children, something that Andreea holds very close to her heart.
“It’s a project that I’ve been thinking about for many years,” she said. “I was the first person in my entire family to graduate university. And in my first year, I got by with a scholarship and it was a big help for me. School is so expensive these days, so I’ve been thinking about giving back that way for a long time. So internally we have a committee and everyone has been able to contribute and put this program in place and I’m very excited about it.”
Giving back is a way for Andreea to thank the employees who play such an important role in Andy’s success.
“One of the reasons we keep growing is because we hire people with a lot of potential and we promote them,” she says. “Whenever we hire someone, we are clear that they can start as a driver and they can become a director one day. And that day won’t come in 10 years when someone retires. It could be as quick as they want, and show us. We don’t hire people to drive trucks. We buy trucks to hire and grow our people.”
In the future, Andreea is optimistic that Andy will continue on its path of success and growth. And she hopes that more of the new hires are women, too.
“My hope is that I can inspire other women and girls to consider trucking when thinking about their career options,” she said. “Trucking is an industry that’s changing, and it’s moving at a fast pace. It’s a great career choice for someone young who is willing to make a name for themselves.”
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