CALEDON, Ont. — Thirteen short years ago an ambitious supposedly clean-living hotshot named Eldrick "Tiger" Woods became the youngest golfer ever to win The Masters.
Also that year, boxer Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear and Jean Chretien won his second majority government.
Meanwhile, an ambitious young man named Jas Shoker decided to get a real job and head out on his own with a single rig.
And compared to all those other 1997 newsmakers, he’s the one who can hold his head highest today.
Earlier this week, Jas, his wife Kiran and their 16-year-old son Harman, after whom the company is named, hosted clients, customers, employees, families and local dignitaries as they celebrated the HGC Transport Group’s move into elaborate new 48,000-sq-ft digs on the outskirts of Brampton.
These days, the Shokers have about 150 trucks, almost 200 trailers, offices in Brampton, Illinois, Grand Bend, Ont., and Windsor, Nova Scotia.
And the growth continues. Even though Shoker made his reputation in the reefer business with clients as far away as Mexico, Kiran, who is the company controller, reports that they’re in the middle of inking an auto-hauling contract.
Plus, Jas mentioned at the opening ceremonies, HGC is also launching an LTL division serving Western Canada.
“Yes,” Shoker told todaystrucking.com at the opening ceremonies, “it’s been a lot of work. Since I started, I took one week off, one year.”
The new real estate includes a 20,000-sq-ft. warehouse; 10,000 sq ft of office space; and about 18,000 sq ft of new shop.
“We are very proud of this,” Kiran said in an interview. “Especially these days with the American dollar going down and fuel going up in price; we are lucky to be surviving.
“We are looking forward to all our new opportunities and we will be hiring more people and more office staff."
Caledon Mayor Marolyn Morrison, after arriving in her canary yellow T-bird convertible and downing some delicious Indian food, took time to help Jas cut the ribbon on the property and welcome the Shokers to town.
Their new place is about 500 giant steps north of Mayfield Road, which is the legal boundary separating Caledon from HGC’s previous home, in Brampton.
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