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This episode of ‘Celebrating Small Family Businesses’ features Chris and Ed Farrell of Alternative Transportation Systems in Arlington, Massachusetts, providing an in-depth look into their journey and success as a multi-generational family business.

2024 marks the 20th anniversary of their transportation business, which Chris has helped grow from a driver to his current role as general manager.

From its origins in the 1940s in the heating oil sector to its expansion into auto repair, retail, and transportation, the Farrells detail the evolution of their business, emphasizing the importance of leveraging individual family members’ strengths and mixing business savvy with passion.

Chris shares his experience starting as a driver and working up to general manager, underscoring the value of understanding every aspect of the business.

The Farrells also delve into the challenges and adaptations required during the pandemic, highlighting their commitment to safe and quality transport services.

The discussion covers the uniqueness of a family-run business, the significance of internal culture, and the balance between professional growth and maintaining core values.

The episode is a testament to the resilience, innovation, and familial solidarity that have defined Alternative Transportation Systems for decades.

Learn more or schedule a ride on their website at https://www.ridewithats.com/

Follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AlternativeTransportationSystems/

Connect with Ed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ed-farrell-56b20924/

Connect with Chris on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-farrell-mba-03472098/

00:00 Welcome to Celebrating Small Family Businesses!

00:32 The Origins and Evolution of a Family Business

01:53 Diving Deep into the Transportation Business

02:15 Chris’s Journey from Driver to General Manager

04:41 Unique Aspects of the Business Model

08:43 Embracing Technology and Enhancing Human Interaction

10:40 The Importance of Training and Safety Measures

11:16 Mission and Culture: The Heart of the Business

16:10 Challenges and Triumphs: Navigating the Pandemic

24:12 Learning and Growing in a Family Business

30:01 Community Engagement and Networking

31:41 Expanding Reach and Accessibility

36:05 A Heartfelt Conclusion and Future Outlook

Transcript
Speaker:

John and Connie: Hi and welcome

Speaker:

to another episode of Celebrating

Speaker:

Small Family Businesses.

Speaker:

Today we are celebrating Alternative

Speaker:

Transportation Systems in

Speaker:

Arlington, Massachusetts and we

Speaker:

have with us Chris and Ed Farrell.

Speaker:

Hi Chris.

Speaker:

Hi Ed.

Chris Farrell:

Hello,

Chris Farrell:

Hey, how are you doing?

Chris Farrell:

Nice to meet you.

Chris Farrell:

Thanks for having us on.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: It's a pleasure.

Chris Farrell:

It's a pleasure.

Chris Farrell:

I had the pleasure of speaking to Chris

Chris Farrell:

a little bit before and learn a little

Chris Farrell:

bit about the company and I'm looking.

Chris Farrell:

I'm excited to hear more and to share

Chris Farrell:

that your story with our our listeners.

Chris Farrell:

So I recall that you said

Chris Farrell:

that this was a multi general.

Chris Farrell:

Your website says it's a multi

Chris Farrell:

generation family business.

Chris Farrell:

I think you said it

Chris Farrell:

started like in the 1930s.

Chris Farrell:

Ed, you don't look old enough

Chris Farrell:

to have been the

Ed Farrell:

It started

Ed Farrell:

basically, , here in Arlington,

Ed Farrell:

there was different, different

Ed Farrell:

businesses, , same piece of land.

Ed Farrell:

Um, my grandfather started in the forties

Ed Farrell:

was in the heating oil business , and

Ed Farrell:

then as it could, as that business grew,

Ed Farrell:

we morphed into different businesses.

Ed Farrell:

Um, Kind of developed things for

Ed Farrell:

different family members to get into

Ed Farrell:

that they were interested in that You

Ed Farrell:

know keep everybody kind of separated

Ed Farrell:

but still in the family business.

Ed Farrell:

We have the transportation business.

Ed Farrell:

We have a retail store

Ed Farrell:

that sells barbecue stuff.

Ed Farrell:

There's a lot of different things that

Ed Farrell:

our family has gotten into over the years.

Ed Farrell:

You know different people run

Ed Farrell:

different things different talents.

Ed Farrell:

Um, let's say And that's

Ed Farrell:

how we that's how we run.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Nice.

Ed Farrell:

Well, that's, that's one of the things

Ed Farrell:

that, you know, we, we encourage

Ed Farrell:

family businesses to, to focus on is

Ed Farrell:

immediately finding their strengths,

Ed Farrell:

you know, and, and where their, where

Ed Farrell:

their talents and their strengths lie,

Ed Farrell:

and then let, put the right people

Ed Farrell:

in the right seats, you know, get

Ed Farrell:

everybody working with their strengths.

Ed Farrell:

And

Ed Farrell:

that's where people

Ed Farrell:

seem to be the happiest.

Ed Farrell:

So it sounds like you guys did that

Ed Farrell:

just naturally from the beginning.

Ed Farrell:

Yeah, right

Ed Farrell:

from the beginning.

Ed Farrell:

And we've started the

Ed Farrell:

transportation business.

Ed Farrell:

It's the newest of the businesses.

Ed Farrell:

This is our 20th year.

Ed Farrell:

You blink and it's 20 years, that's it.

Ed Farrell:

That's a new business to us.

Ed Farrell:

It's grown quite a bit from its inception.

Ed Farrell:

We've been fortunate enough to, uh, Well,

Ed Farrell:

Chris has entered the business, is really

Ed Farrell:

enjoying it and taken to it very well.

Ed Farrell:

So , it's with his help,

Ed Farrell:

we've, we've made it grow.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Chris, I think

Ed Farrell:

I remember you said you came in

Ed Farrell:

and basically started at the bottom

Ed Farrell:

and worked your way up, uh, maybe

Ed Farrell:

starting in dispatching, was it?

Chris Farrell:

That would

Chris Farrell:

have been nice dispatching.

Chris Farrell:

No, um, I actually came into

Chris Farrell:

it right out of college.

Chris Farrell:

I began as a driver on the road.

Chris Farrell:

So, you know, interacting with our

Chris Farrell:

clients, um, visiting the various

Chris Farrell:

facilities , kind of identifying.

Chris Farrell:

pain points.

Chris Farrell:

And I was a new grad and, you know,

Chris Farrell:

just kind of exploring options

Chris Farrell:

being a criminal justice major.

Chris Farrell:

And, you know, a lot of the folks that

Chris Farrell:

we transport, I saw an opportunity

Chris Farrell:

to provide that valuable and quality

Chris Farrell:

transport, um, day to day from driving

Chris Farrell:

and kind of leaned into it at that point.

Chris Farrell:

And throughout the years went from

Chris Farrell:

driving to dispatching, scheduling, And

Chris Farrell:

so, uh, my current position now is a

Chris Farrell:

general manager and I think that, you

Chris Farrell:

know, having those interactions along

Chris Farrell:

the way, um, makes both your leadership

Chris Farrell:

relatable and credible when, you know,

Chris Farrell:

working and leading your employees.

Chris Farrell:

They know that you've been out there

Chris Farrell:

and touched the things that they've

Chris Farrell:

touched and seen what they've seen.

Chris Farrell:

And I think that carries a lot of weight,

Chris Farrell:

um, and provides, you know, value to

Chris Farrell:

the employees and continued value to

Chris Farrell:

the, to the clients and the passengers.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: Totally.

Chris Farrell:

Totally..

Chris Farrell:

You just reminded me of something,

Chris Farrell:

you know, my father said many,

Chris Farrell:

many years ago was, you know, never

Chris Farrell:

ask somebody to do something you

Chris Farrell:

aren't willing to do yourself.

Chris Farrell:

So, you know, starting as a driver

Chris Farrell:

there with the contact, yeah, that

Chris Farrell:

gives you not only credibility, but a

Chris Farrell:

lot of information, a lot of experience

Chris Farrell:

that you can bring, you know, then

Chris Farrell:

to the, uh, to the later stages.

Chris Farrell:

You ever go out and drive,

Chris Farrell:

drive a route once in a while

Chris Farrell:

now just to keep your hand in?

Chris Farrell:

Absolutely.

Chris Farrell:

Absolutely.

Chris Farrell:

On busy days, I'll, you know, head into

Chris Farrell:

Boston and do one of the shuttle routes

Chris Farrell:

and, you know, wear the driver uniform

Chris Farrell:

and kind of blend right in and, you know,

Chris Farrell:

the people who work here are shocked to

Chris Farrell:

see me out there, but I think that's,

Chris Farrell:

you know, holds value and to be able to

Chris Farrell:

keep your finger on the heartbeat of the

Chris Farrell:

business and hear the things that the

Chris Farrell:

passengers are hearing on the shuttle

Chris Farrell:

or the chair car is, um, is important.

Chris Farrell:

Kind of invaluable information and

Chris Farrell:

it carries a lot of, uh, value to

Chris Farrell:

the company to get that feedback

Chris Farrell:

directly from the passengers.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: Yeah, sort of your own

Chris Farrell:

little version of undercover boss there.

Chris Farrell:

I like that.

Chris Farrell:

It is, it is.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: How did the

Chris Farrell:

transportation business come out

Chris Farrell:

of the, of the other businesses?

Chris Farrell:

Was it a natural outgrowth or, or

Chris Farrell:

was it just, "Hey, we see an the

Chris Farrell:

opportunity, we're going to try this"?

Ed Farrell:

Well, transportation,

Ed Farrell:

originates always from

Ed Farrell:

the vehicles, correct?

Ed Farrell:

And we do have an automotive

Ed Farrell:

repair shop that we own, , that

Ed Farrell:

maintains the vehicles.

Ed Farrell:

And we're, um, Chris and

Ed Farrell:

I are both vehicle people.

Ed Farrell:

We love cars, we love trucks.

Ed Farrell:

We're into vehicles, , and if it moves

Ed Farrell:

we, , we have our finger on it and, um,

Ed Farrell:

there's a certain amount of vertical

Ed Farrell:

integration when you have the ability to

Ed Farrell:

repair, maintain, and take care of the

Ed Farrell:

vehicles that you use on a daily basis.

Ed Farrell:

Um, I think that's a very, very important

Ed Farrell:

part of a transportation business, and

Ed Farrell:

we pay a lot of attention to it and that

Ed Farrell:

has, proven to work out very well for us.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: I'm really

Ed Farrell:

glad you brought that up.

Ed Farrell:

I saw that on your website.

Ed Farrell:

And, you know, one of my questions is

Ed Farrell:

like, you know, what's your USP or, you

Ed Farrell:

know, what kind of sets you apart from,

Ed Farrell:

and I'm ignorant about the transportation

Ed Farrell:

industry, but I'm suspecting that

Ed Farrell:

that right there that you were just

Ed Farrell:

talking about; owning your own is...

Ed Farrell:

starting actually with a car repair and

Ed Farrell:

then, but owning your own repair facility

Ed Farrell:

and doing all your own maintenance is

Ed Farrell:

probably not common in your industry.

Ed Farrell:

Is that accurate?

Ed Farrell:

That's, that's correct.

Ed Farrell:

And you know, um, if you know the

Ed Farrell:

vehicles, that's your biggest, can be

Ed Farrell:

your biggest, uh, besides the labor costs.

Ed Farrell:

It can be your biggest expense.

Ed Farrell:

You can think of trying to take

Ed Farrell:

care of you and your wife's cars and

Ed Farrell:

keeping up on all the maintenance.

Ed Farrell:

And you probably drive maybe

Ed Farrell:

15 - 20,000 miles a year.

Ed Farrell:

Well, our vehicles, they travel 50

Ed Farrell:

to 60,000 miles a year, each one.

Ed Farrell:

And there's over a hundred of them now,

Ed Farrell:

uh, to try to keep up on that maintenance.

Ed Farrell:

To keep, make sure you don't lose an

Ed Farrell:

engine or transmission or, um, you don't

Ed Farrell:

grind the brakes and, and to keep it safe.

Ed Farrell:

safe and, and keep it, uh, desirable

Ed Farrell:

for people to ride with you.

Ed Farrell:

It's still all about the ride.

Ed Farrell:

Transportation is still

Ed Farrell:

all about the ride.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Ha, I get that.

Ed Farrell:

We didn't talk about this, Chris, but

Ed Farrell:

part of my family business, where I

Ed Farrell:

started, was working at an egg farm.

Ed Farrell:

We had an egg farm.

Ed Farrell:

And so I was driving a delivery route

Ed Farrell:

for, you know, several years of that.

Ed Farrell:

And so, yeah, I was, I had passengers

Ed Farrell:

that didn't talk, but boy, if I

Ed Farrell:

hit a bump too hard or took a turn

Ed Farrell:

too fast, I had a mess to clean up.

Ed Farrell:

And I remember a time.

Ed Farrell:

We didn't maintain our own vehicles,

Ed Farrell:

I remember a time I was out and the,

Ed Farrell:

uh, I think the clutch went out on

Ed Farrell:

the, the, it was a big Step Van,

Ed Farrell:

like, you know, like UPS drives.

Ed Farrell:

And, um, clutch went out and,

Ed Farrell:

they were telling me, well, just

Ed Farrell:

drive it without the clutch.

Ed Farrell:

I didn't know how.

Ed Farrell:

So, I sort of

Ed Farrell:

feel

Chris Farrell:

to, uh,

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: the vehicle maintenance.

Chris Farrell:

We'll

Chris Farrell:

have to

Chris Farrell:

get an egg test going, have a, uh, part

Chris Farrell:

of the driver evaluation, put an egg on

Chris Farrell:

the dashboard and make sure it doesn't

Chris Farrell:

roll off and, uh, and hit the floor.

Chris Farrell:

Find out if they're a good driver or not.

Chris Farrell:

Yeah.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: Bingo

Chris Farrell:

But, um, yeah, compounding

Chris Farrell:

it's, , it's very important to have

Chris Farrell:

a safe and quality vehicle and, you

Chris Farrell:

know, the turnaround on the vehicle

Chris Farrell:

is expedited because of our own repair

Chris Farrell:

shop and we know who's fixing it, right?

Chris Farrell:

It's Ed, it's our fleet of mechanics

Chris Farrell:

to make sure that everything is

Chris Farrell:

safe and sound and it really goes

Chris Farrell:

back to, you know, the safety of

Chris Farrell:

the clients and we like to say that

Chris Farrell:

cleanliness is safety's best friend.

Chris Farrell:

And if somebody doesn't believe a vehicle

Chris Farrell:

is, is clean, it arrives, it's dirty.

Chris Farrell:

They're not going to believe

Chris Farrell:

that it's, it's safe to get into.

Chris Farrell:

It just kind of feeds, feeds into itself.

Chris Farrell:

So the maintenance of the vehicle,

Chris Farrell:

the cleanliness of the vehicle, and

Chris Farrell:

then obviously the, the quality of

Chris Farrell:

the person you're putting behind the

Chris Farrell:

wheel is, is very important to us.

Chris Farrell:

And that's what really separated us

Chris Farrell:

from the pack in the beginning when

Chris Farrell:

we got started about 20 years ago.

Chris Farrell:

And As you grow, you don't want

Chris Farrell:

to, you know, as Ed stated, we

Chris Farrell:

have over 100 vehicles and equal

Chris Farrell:

amount of drivers and office staff.

Chris Farrell:

You don't want to grow away from what

Chris Farrell:

made you special in the first place.

Chris Farrell:

Um, so we found it helpful to

Chris Farrell:

deploy technology to enhance human

Chris Farrell:

interaction rather than replace it.

Chris Farrell:

Um, I think a lot of companies say,

Chris Farrell:

Oh, you know, we can use this item

Chris Farrell:

and that'll save us money here,

Chris Farrell:

or we can eliminate this position.

Chris Farrell:

That's never been Ed's goal or vision.

Chris Farrell:

He, he wants to employ people.

Chris Farrell:

He wants to employ quality folks

Chris Farrell:

and, you know, provide them with, you

Chris Farrell:

know, an above average of living wage

Chris Farrell:

and use those systems such as, you

Chris Farrell:

know, the driver passenger feedback

Chris Farrell:

portals we have on our tablet.

Chris Farrell:

When, you know, Jose or Jim Santos or

Chris Farrell:

Steven go to pick up a client and is

Chris Farrell:

ringing the front doorbell, well, the

Chris Farrell:

passenger likes to be picked up around the

Chris Farrell:

side of their house by the blue dumpster.

Chris Farrell:

So we've already kind of.

Chris Farrell:

We've kind of expended some

Chris Farrell:

time figuring that out at once.

Chris Farrell:

We can now have the driver push

Chris Farrell:

that information into the office.

Chris Farrell:

We can update that client's profile

Chris Farrell:

so when the next driver goes, they're

Chris Farrell:

not wasting time on site and they're

Chris Farrell:

able to tailor that experience for that

Chris Farrell:

client and make sure that we can get

Chris Farrell:

them picked up in an expeditious manner,

Chris Farrell:

brought to their appointment on time,

Chris Farrell:

which is pivotal in transportation.

Chris Farrell:

It's really, you know,

Chris Farrell:

our promise to the client.

Chris Farrell:

And, um, by utilizing those

Chris Farrell:

systems, like I said, we're able

Chris Farrell:

to enhance the experience and

Chris Farrell:

enhance the value to the client.

Chris Farrell:

So, a bit of a little summary

Chris Farrell:

there as far as the major moving

Chris Farrell:

parts, although there are many.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: I think you also

Chris Farrell:

have cameras inside the vehicles

Chris Farrell:

that record everything, I guess.

Chris Farrell:

So that if you need to

Chris Farrell:

review something, right.

Chris Farrell:

That's, that's also available to you.

Ed Farrell:

Tracking cameras.

Ed Farrell:

We know where the

Ed Farrell:

vehicles are at all times.

Ed Farrell:

We know what's going on in the vehicles.

Ed Farrell:

We know what's going on in the street.

Ed Farrell:

Um, we have a full time person that,

Ed Farrell:

a safety, uh, officer that basically

Ed Farrell:

looks over, make sure everybody's

Ed Farrell:

operating and doing the things that

Ed Farrell:

we taught them to do in training.

Ed Farrell:

Training is a key thing.

Ed Farrell:

We do a lot of training with people.

Ed Farrell:

We do it, you know, on board training,

Ed Farrell:

prior to going out, you know, we just

Ed Farrell:

don't hire a person, put them on the

Ed Farrell:

street, spend a lot of time and a lot

Ed Farrell:

of capital training them properly

Ed Farrell:

to do the job that they need to do.

Ed Farrell:

And, um, and continuous

Ed Farrell:

training, , on a yearly basis.

Ed Farrell:

Sometimes more than just, uh,

Ed Farrell:

once a year, it's several times.

Ed Farrell:

And if we find somebody, um, not

Ed Farrell:

doing it right, we can retrain them.

Ed Farrell:

The, the goal is to foster or,

Ed Farrell:

or guide people and get them

Ed Farrell:

to move in the right direction.

Ed Farrell:

Um, so they're all in step with what

Ed Farrell:

the, what the mission is that we deliver.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Yeah, mission.

Ed Farrell:

That was something I, a note I

Ed Farrell:

remember writing down from , my

Ed Farrell:

conversation with Chris.

Ed Farrell:

Uh, everyone understands the mission.

Ed Farrell:

Can you elaborate on that a little

Ed Farrell:

bit, Chris, or Ed, either one?

Chris Farrell:

Yeah,

Chris Farrell:

absolutely, absolutely.

Chris Farrell:

Um, so I do the majority of the hiring

Chris Farrell:

here and you know, you can come to me

Chris Farrell:

as a driver or potential office staff

Chris Farrell:

and it's, it's more than just the resume.

Chris Farrell:

Resumes are helpful.

Chris Farrell:

They're a starting point.

Chris Farrell:

Um, but when I, you know, interview

Chris Farrell:

people and speak with them, we start

Chris Farrell:

there, but we move on to, you know,

Chris Farrell:

what are your goals, what are your

Chris Farrell:

aspirations, what are your hobbies?

Chris Farrell:

And you can glean a lot of information and

Chris Farrell:

substance about who that person really is.

Chris Farrell:

And we, we, take that into a large

Chris Farrell:

consideration when onboarding people and

Chris Farrell:

I give everybody all of the information.

Chris Farrell:

Probably too much when I onboard

Chris Farrell:

them and say this is what we are, you

Chris Farrell:

know We are a top quality value based

Chris Farrell:

transportation business If it's in

Chris Farrell:

your mind that you're going to drive

Chris Farrell:

around and you know not pick up the

Chris Farrell:

phone or not get out of the van and not

Chris Farrell:

greet our passengers help them to the

Chris Farrell:

vehicle, help them with their seatbelts,

Chris Farrell:

secure them safely in their wheelchair.

Chris Farrell:

If that's not something that you're

Chris Farrell:

willing to do, you saw something you're

Chris Farrell:

excited to do, please don't work here.

Chris Farrell:

That's fine.

Chris Farrell:

It's okay.

Chris Farrell:

We're not mad.

Chris Farrell:

You know, we have a 90 day

Chris Farrell:

probationary period because you

Chris Farrell:

may start to think you like it.

Chris Farrell:

And then about three months in,

Chris Farrell:

the varnish starts to wear off

Chris Farrell:

when you're stuck in traffic on 93.

Chris Farrell:

If you're not liking it,

Chris Farrell:

please don't work here.

Chris Farrell:

It's okay, right?

Chris Farrell:

Because we want to be able to hire and

Chris Farrell:

retain the best quality individuals and

Chris Farrell:

you either have it or you don't, right?

Chris Farrell:

You're either a caring person

Chris Farrell:

who drives well or, you know,

Chris Farrell:

maybe this isn't for you.

Chris Farrell:

So the people that kind of do make

Chris Farrell:

it through the onboarding process and

Chris Farrell:

do make it through the probationary

Chris Farrell:

period stay here for quite a long time.

Chris Farrell:

We have, you know, folks who

Chris Farrell:

have been here as drivers.

Chris Farrell:

Handful, about 15 years, many more

Chris Farrell:

of them over 10 years, and people

Chris Farrell:

really care about the mission, what

Chris Farrell:

we're doing here, and what we're

Chris Farrell:

doing is essentially providing

Chris Farrell:

freedom to accessible transportation.

Chris Farrell:

Um, everybody has a right to move about

Chris Farrell:

freely, and we want to provide that

Chris Farrell:

bridge to people's care through chair

Chris Farrell:

car transportation to their appointments.

Chris Farrell:

We want to provide that bridge to going

Chris Farrell:

to the supermarket, to, Going up to New

Chris Farrell:

Hampshire for an afternoon to see the

Chris Farrell:

Leaves because, you know, they've been in

Chris Farrell:

a nursing home or something similar for,

Chris Farrell:

you know, several months and we want to

Chris Farrell:

get them out and we want them to have fun.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: And, and that brings

Chris Farrell:

us to the, to the family aspect

Chris Farrell:

again, and on two sides, you know,

Chris Farrell:

you're, you're transporting people

Chris Farrell:

who, who's oftentimes their family

Chris Farrell:

can't do for them what they want to.

Chris Farrell:

And so they're trusting you to do it.

Chris Farrell:

But so there's that family aspect.

Chris Farrell:

And, but you're also a family business

Chris Farrell:

and you guys are working together.

Chris Farrell:

Um, what do you love most about

Chris Farrell:

working with family in the business?

Chris Farrell:

Working together.

Chris Farrell:

Um, well, for me, you

Chris Farrell:

know, life is short and we spend the

Chris Farrell:

majority of our lives working and

Chris Farrell:

it's just so fantastic and I'm so

Chris Farrell:

lucky to be able to spend so much

Chris Farrell:

time with my family, with Ed, with

Chris Farrell:

Cynthia, my mother, , you know, my wife

Chris Farrell:

works, works as part of the business.

Chris Farrell:

So just so fortunate to be, you

Chris Farrell:

know, around family and, you know,

Chris Farrell:

enjoying the work that we do.

Chris Farrell:

A lot of people see family

Chris Farrell:

business and they kind of

Chris Farrell:

think oil in the water, right?

Chris Farrell:

But, you know, here it's kind of,

Chris Farrell:

you know, oil and gasoline, um,

Chris Farrell:

and an engine driving forward.

Chris Farrell:

So we work together very, very well.

Chris Farrell:

And the, you know, the strength

Chris Farrell:

of relationships is important, um,

Chris Farrell:

both in family and in business.

Chris Farrell:

And those things feed into one another.

Chris Farrell:

If you have strong family relationships,

Chris Farrell:

you know, if you have strong

Chris Farrell:

business relationships, you can

Chris Farrell:

learn from both sides of that coin.

Ed Farrell:

And you can't do, you can't

Ed Farrell:

do everything yourself, um, in, in a

Ed Farrell:

business, um, To have someone that you

Ed Farrell:

can rely on that's going to be there that

Ed Farrell:

has the same values, the same, shares

Ed Farrell:

the same passions, it's very helpful.

Ed Farrell:

Hopefully has the same

Ed Farrell:

values you've raised them.

Ed Farrell:

Working with, , a family member, there's

Ed Farrell:

different aspects of, um, of family

Ed Farrell:

businesses and we've had, you know,

Ed Farrell:

we've worked together, Chris and I very

Ed Farrell:

well in the transportation business,

Ed Farrell:

but I also have siblings that I work

Ed Farrell:

with that are siblings So it's there's

Ed Farrell:

a different relationship there between

Ed Farrell:

siblings and family members that are

Ed Farrell:

direct blood to you, We've learned over

Ed Farrell:

the years where where the boundaries

Ed Farrell:

lie and how to manage their time and

Ed Farrell:

manage the um the time spent in business

Ed Farrell:

and time spent at home, uh, very well.

Ed Farrell:

it's important to, , separate the

Ed Farrell:

two at some point and, , we've

Ed Farrell:

learned how to do that.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Okay.

Ed Farrell:

Is there a particular challenge that you

Ed Farrell:

did overcome that, that is, that, that

Ed Farrell:

you'd want to share, that, that other

Ed Farrell:

family businesses might learn from?

Ed Farrell:

Our biggest

Ed Farrell:

challenge was the pandemic.

Ed Farrell:

That was our biggest

Ed Farrell:

challenge in this business.

Ed Farrell:

Um, you know, keeping it together I think

Ed Farrell:

back to when we had the pandemic and you

Ed Farrell:

can remember when you, you know, you got

Ed Farrell:

the Lysol out and sprayed your vegetables.

Ed Farrell:

Well, We, continued to work through

Ed Farrell:

the pandemic because the people we

Ed Farrell:

transport for dialysis and medical

Ed Farrell:

care, things like that, they can't,

Ed Farrell:

pandemic or no pandemic, they still

Ed Farrell:

have to go and we were all scared.

Ed Farrell:

And, , you know, we

Ed Farrell:

didn't know what to do.

Ed Farrell:

And we have photos of, um, we got these

Ed Farrell:

machines, these foggers, and in between

Ed Farrell:

every trip, we would have to fog the

Ed Farrell:

vehicle with this special chemical

Ed Farrell:

that kills everything, you know, um.

Ed Farrell:

any viruses or whatever and Well,

Ed Farrell:

that's a huge undertaking With so

Ed Farrell:

many vehicles on the road or whatever

Ed Farrell:

and it was Chris was doing it.

Ed Farrell:

I had my daughter Jessica doing it

Ed Farrell:

That was my son my son Edward was here

Ed Farrell:

helping so it was all hands on deck.

Ed Farrell:

It's kind of like You know

Ed Farrell:

with family businesses a farm.

Ed Farrell:

Let's say you you sell pumpkins.

Ed Farrell:

You grow pumpkins Well, everybody

Ed Farrell:

works when it's Halloween and that's

Ed Farrell:

what we did during the pandemic to

Ed Farrell:

keep the fleet and the vehicles on

Ed Farrell:

the road and keep everybody, um,

Ed Farrell:

get to their medical appointments.

Ed Farrell:

And it was a big accomplishment.

Ed Farrell:

I'm very proud of the way everybody

Ed Farrell:

pulled together and got that done.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Wow.

Ed Farrell:

Nice.

Ed Farrell:

Yeah, that, that is, I had not

Ed Farrell:

thought about what, how the pandemic

Ed Farrell:

might have affected you guys.

Ed Farrell:

That's, that had to be huge.

Ed Farrell:

Yeah, because you

Ed Farrell:

can't, well, fortunately

Ed Farrell:

you couldn't stop, right?

Ed Farrell:

You had to keep going, but

Ed Farrell:

you had to really adapt.

Ed Farrell:

You had to get, you know, get

Ed Farrell:

creative with what you did.

Ed Farrell:

Well you couldn't share

Ed Farrell:

vehicles with other people, so

Ed Farrell:

it would have single, single use,

Ed Farrell:

uh, single riders on the vehicles.

Ed Farrell:

Right.

Ed Farrell:

Um, whereas you couldn't, you

Ed Farrell:

know, put two people, you know,

Ed Farrell:

everybody had to be separated.

Ed Farrell:

Um, just, it made a lot of work

Ed Farrell:

and everybody came together and

Ed Farrell:

we got through it pretty well.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie:

Ed Farrell:

Everybody coming together.

Ed Farrell:

That's one of the, I think, the hallmarks

Ed Farrell:

of family business is that, people rise

Ed Farrell:

to the occasion when they're needed,

Ed Farrell:

it's, you know, nobody's, nobody's

Ed Farrell:

saying, well, that's not my job, right?

Ed Farrell:

Because it's like

Ed Farrell:

There's no

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: family,

Ed Farrell:

No such thing.

Ed Farrell:

Yeah.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Exactly.

Ed Farrell:

It's everybody's job.

Ed Farrell:

This is not a corporation

Ed Farrell:

where there's a job description and

Ed Farrell:

people, you know, oh, that's not my,

Ed Farrell:

you know, that's not my role here.

Ed Farrell:

Everybody has a role.

Ed Farrell:

Everybody.

Ed Farrell:

Everybody is a driver first,

Ed Farrell:

and they do what they do second.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Okay.

Ed Farrell:

Cool.

Ed Farrell:

So you know, we were talking about

Ed Farrell:

having the right people in the right

Ed Farrell:

seats and going with strengths.

Ed Farrell:

So, , within the family, the

Ed Farrell:

people that are family that are

Ed Farrell:

working in the business, do you

Ed Farrell:

have a process for figuring out

Ed Farrell:

what roles people need to play?

Ed Farrell:

And is there also multiple role

Ed Farrell:

cross training or, you know, how did,

Ed Farrell:

how did you figure that part out?

Ed Farrell:

It's simple, you start at

Ed Farrell:

the bottom and you work your way up.

Ed Farrell:

Um, you gotta learn every

Ed Farrell:

aspect of the business.

Ed Farrell:

If you, you're not worth

Ed Farrell:

having if you don't know every

Ed Farrell:

little piece of the business.

Ed Farrell:

You have to understand it all.

Ed Farrell:

Um, it's not, it's unlike anything else.

Ed Farrell:

Um, if you don't know, then when

Ed Farrell:

someone tells you a story, you

Ed Farrell:

don't know if it's the truth or not.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Okay.

Ed Farrell:

So cross training is the process.

Chris Farrell:

It is, it is, and I

Chris Farrell:

think to expand upon that as far as, you

Chris Farrell:

know, family members in the business and

Chris Farrell:

then, you know, recognizing individual

Chris Farrell:

strengths, um, it was, there is really

Chris Farrell:

no expected succession plan, right?

Chris Farrell:

You're my son, you're my

Chris Farrell:

daughter, you're working here.

Chris Farrell:

, I've been told a million times,

Chris Farrell:

if you want to do something

Chris Farrell:

else, go do it, right?

Chris Farrell:

Um, if this is your passion,

Chris Farrell:

then please continue on with,

Chris Farrell:

we'd be happy to have you.

Chris Farrell:

So there is no, I guess, underlying

Chris Farrell:

animosity or, or expectation or, you

Chris Farrell:

know, guilt that I would have if this

Chris Farrell:

is not something that I wanted to do.

Chris Farrell:

Um, you know, Ed's been

Chris Farrell:

very open about that.

Chris Farrell:

Cynthia has been very open about that.

Chris Farrell:

Um, so, you know, like our probationary

Chris Farrell:

period, we want you here cause you,

Chris Farrell:

we want you to be here essentially.

Chris Farrell:

Um, and I think that that

Chris Farrell:

holds a lot of value.

Chris Farrell:

A lot of value and same thing

Chris Farrell:

with recognizing strengths, right?

Chris Farrell:

Ed's going to say, all right, Chris

Chris Farrell:

is good at, you know, this thing,

Chris Farrell:

this thing, this thing, let's give

Chris Farrell:

him the tools, give him the training,

Chris Farrell:

you know, the education necessary in

Chris Farrell:

order to be the most successful version

Chris Farrell:

of that person within the business.

Chris Farrell:

And, you know, I translate that, you

Chris Farrell:

know, to the driving staff as well.

Chris Farrell:

Um, you know, we have some folks here

Chris Farrell:

that work in the office who were drivers

Chris Farrell:

and, you know, We're not going to hold

Chris Farrell:

up a piece of paper and say, Hey, where's

Chris Farrell:

your, where's your bachelor's degree?

Chris Farrell:

Where's your this, that,

Chris Farrell:

or the other thing?

Chris Farrell:

You know, if you were, you know, the

Chris Farrell:

type of person who, you know, is a

Chris Farrell:

star in a role, let's say a driver.

Chris Farrell:

It's our belief that you'll continue

Chris Farrell:

to be a star with the proper

Chris Farrell:

training and tools, um, no matter

Chris Farrell:

which position you're holding.

Chris Farrell:

So we've had a lot of folks that

Chris Farrell:

were drivers that now work in the,

Chris Farrell:

you know, the customer service or

Chris Farrell:

the safety department because You

Chris Farrell:

know, they've already seen the

Chris Farrell:

human interaction side of things.

Chris Farrell:

Now, if they can go on the other side

Chris Farrell:

of the quality control and the safety

Chris Farrell:

aspects, then they can share that

Chris Farrell:

knowledge with, you know, the rest of

Chris Farrell:

the driving cohort and the driving team.

Chris Farrell:

So, um, I think those are, you know,

Chris Farrell:

two very important distinctions to make.

Chris Farrell:

Um, again, first that it was,

Chris Farrell:

you know, never expected or

Chris Farrell:

this is what you'll do now.

Chris Farrell:

You know, your dad was a farmer,

Chris Farrell:

so you're a farmer type situation.

Chris Farrell:

Um, It was kind of an open invitation.

Chris Farrell:

And if you want to do this, then

Chris Farrell:

we're going to expect everything

Chris Farrell:

from you as, as we would any other

Chris Farrell:

employee plus a little bit more on top.

Chris Farrell:

So it's been fun.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: Oh, man, that is huge.

Chris Farrell:

The open invitation.

Chris Farrell:

I love that, that phraseology for,

Chris Farrell:

for that, that it's, it's not that

Chris Farrell:

expectation because I think that's,

Chris Farrell:

in fact, I've got a great little book

Chris Farrell:

called, , Trapped In The Family Business.

Chris Farrell:

And this gentleman has explored

Chris Farrell:

all these different ways that

Chris Farrell:

people feel in some way trapped or

Chris Farrell:

guilted into and things like that.

Chris Farrell:

And I, I can speak to that, but I won't.

Chris Farrell:

And, and so, you know, having that

Chris Farrell:

open invitation, but also, And then

Chris Farrell:

married with that, what you said is,

Chris Farrell:

you know, you earn your place, right?

Chris Farrell:

You have to, you have to qualify

Chris Farrell:

for the job just like anybody

Chris Farrell:

else that we're going to hire.

Chris Farrell:

That's so powerful, not only for the,

Chris Farrell:

the younger generation in the family

Chris Farrell:

business that now, because of that,

Chris Farrell:

knows that they have earned their place.

Chris Farrell:

It wasn't given to them.

Chris Farrell:

And they don't have any doubt about that.

Chris Farrell:

And, and second of all, the, the hired

Chris Farrell:

employees, the non-family employees

Chris Farrell:

that you're working alongside, also

Chris Farrell:

know that you had to go through the same

Chris Farrell:

rigorous process that they did, and, and

Chris Farrell:

there's more respect there, and there's

Chris Farrell:

more, um, yeah, just equality, I guess.

Ed Farrell:

You You named it.

Ed Farrell:

You named it; it's the respect

Ed Farrell:

you can't, you earn respect.

Ed Farrell:

You don't get it.

Ed Farrell:

It's not given.

Ed Farrell:

Um, and you have to be witnessed,

Ed Farrell:

um, in a lot of cases, um, your, your

Ed Farrell:

actions, what you do, um, and, and.

Ed Farrell:

That's how it works the best.

Ed Farrell:

You know, it's not always that way,

Ed Farrell:

but that's how it works the best.

Chris Farrell:

Yeah, I think, uh,

Chris Farrell:

I think it would be a detriment

Chris Farrell:

overall for me in my current role.

Chris Farrell:

You know, leading the operation

Chris Farrell:

side of things, if this is where I

Chris Farrell:

started, I think it would be, you

Chris Farrell:

know, the light shines through, right.

Chris Farrell:

When you're speaking, not from experience

Chris Farrell:

and interacting with my office staff or

Chris Farrell:

my drivers, it'd be a huge detriment.

Chris Farrell:

To me, professionally, it'd be a detriment

Chris Farrell:

to the business having, having, having

Chris Farrell:

not had that, you know, that background.

Chris Farrell:

So,

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: Smart!.

Chris Farrell:

Is there anything about being in

Chris Farrell:

a family business that you know

Chris Farrell:

now that you wish you knew back

Chris Farrell:

20 years ago when you started?

Ed Farrell:

Everything!

Ed Farrell:

When you own a business, a small

Ed Farrell:

business, sometimes you try to

Ed Farrell:

compare your life to other people.

Ed Farrell:

You look around and your wife or

Ed Farrell:

whatever, they'll say, well look at

Ed Farrell:

these people, look at those people.

Ed Farrell:

You have to put that

Ed Farrell:

completely out of your mind.

Ed Farrell:

Don't try to compare yourselves to others.

Ed Farrell:

You have to absorb it and

Ed Farrell:

not be aggravated by it.

Ed Farrell:

In other words, you have

Ed Farrell:

to thrive or embrace it.

Ed Farrell:

, there'll be times, you know, when

Ed Farrell:

you're asked to do things that a normal

Ed Farrell:

person wouldn't do in any other business.

Ed Farrell:

And you can let that aggravate you or

Ed Farrell:

you can say, well, let's embrace this.

Ed Farrell:

This is just part of,

Ed Farrell:

you know, what it is.

Ed Farrell:

I've decided to do this

Ed Farrell:

and I need to embrace it.

Ed Farrell:

You embrace the good things

Ed Farrell:

and you embrace the bad things.

Ed Farrell:

It just, you can't let

Ed Farrell:

it get under your skin.

Ed Farrell:

Um, it's, it's part of who you are.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Wow.

Ed Farrell:

A lot of wisdom there.

Ed Farrell:

The maturity is just, on, on, your

Ed Farrell:

business maturity is, is outstanding.

Ed Farrell:

And, and not just the length

Ed Farrell:

of it, but your depth of it.

Ed Farrell:

That's, it's um, it's

Ed Farrell:

pretty awe inspiring.

Ed Farrell:

Thank you.

Ed Farrell:

It's clear to see why you've

Ed Farrell:

succeeded the way you have.

Ed Farrell:

So what's the most?

Chris Farrell:

uh, a similar

Chris Farrell:

experience throughout, Being a new

Chris Farrell:

grad as a driver and working my way

Chris Farrell:

into, the office and to kind of

Chris Farrell:

put it into a phrase, as Ed stated,

Chris Farrell:

other's success is a mirror for you.

Chris Farrell:

And a lot of people look at other

Chris Farrell:

people's success and see what they,

Chris Farrell:

they themselves have or haven't done.

Chris Farrell:

And that can be discouraging

Chris Farrell:

or it can be motivating.

Chris Farrell:

And the way that you, you

Chris Farrell:

handle that, that image or that

Chris Farrell:

feedback is very important.

Chris Farrell:

And, you know, as a, as a young

Chris Farrell:

professional in my, in my twenties,

Chris Farrell:

you're looking at friends who, you

Chris Farrell:

know, work in corporate America or

Chris Farrell:

work in finance and things like that.

Chris Farrell:

And um, you say to yourself, why I

Chris Farrell:

work nine to five, I, I work, you know,

Chris Farrell:

eight to four, whatever it might be.

Chris Farrell:

And that's not true.

Chris Farrell:

Um, you work all the time when

Chris Farrell:

you're really starting out.

Chris Farrell:

I started 10 years ago, so halfway

Chris Farrell:

through the company's lifespan

Chris Farrell:

essentially, and it was a very busy time.

Chris Farrell:

We were starting a lot of new

Chris Farrell:

work, and I was, you know, kind of

Chris Farrell:

confronted with a choice to make.

Chris Farrell:

Do I, you know, work nine to

Chris Farrell:

five and try to shut my phone

Chris Farrell:

off, or do I lean into it?

Chris Farrell:

And, you know, as Ed said, it's

Chris Farrell:

going to be there when you get back

Chris Farrell:

and you turn your phone back on.

Chris Farrell:

It's just going to be a little bit worse.

Chris Farrell:

So, you know, lean into it, embrace

Chris Farrell:

it, embrace the challenges, and

Chris Farrell:

you'll learn a lot about business.

Chris Farrell:

You'll learn a lot about yourself.

Chris Farrell:

And, um, you know, we've gotten to a point

Chris Farrell:

now where we have a lot of good folks in

Chris Farrell:

the office to help us with those things.

Chris Farrell:

And, um,

Ed Farrell:

it's not as bad.

Ed Farrell:

It's not like it was.

Ed Farrell:

It's not like it was anymore.

Ed Farrell:

But I, I, I remark and people say, you

Ed Farrell:

know, you'll, you'll talk to others and

Ed Farrell:

they'll say, Well, I work 12 hour days.

Ed Farrell:

I'll just look at 'em

Ed Farrell:

and say, oh, half a day.

Ed Farrell:

Yeah.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Exactly.

Ed Farrell:

Exactly.

Ed Farrell:

So,

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: that's

Ed Farrell:

what entrepreneurs do.

Ed Farrell:

We work 24

Ed Farrell:

7, right?

Ed Farrell:

Yeah.

Ed Farrell:

It's not a, well,

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Our phones never off.

Ed Farrell:

You only

Ed Farrell:

worked half the day . Yeah.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: I love that.

Ed Farrell:

Exactly.

Ed Farrell:

That's an awesome perspective right there.

Chris Farrell:

Yeah.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: Yes.

Chris Farrell:

So what's the most valuable thing

Chris Farrell:

you've learned from your employees?

Chris Farrell:

Or from a single employee?

Chris Farrell:

One thing that resonates

Chris Farrell:

with me is, you know, we were talking

Chris Farrell:

to the, to the driving staff and.

Chris Farrell:

One of the statements that the

Chris Farrell:

driver has made, it's very simple,

Chris Farrell:

but um, He just said when you do

Chris Farrell:

everything with love, it's simple.

Chris Farrell:

That's it.

Chris Farrell:

And that's, that's what really

Chris Farrell:

stuck, stuck with me and stood out.

Chris Farrell:

He's been a driver here for eight

Chris Farrell:

years and you know, we're asking him,

Chris Farrell:

what do you like about working here?

Chris Farrell:

You know, it's tough in the winter time

Chris Farrell:

in New England and you're in snow and

Chris Farrell:

you're digging your van out and you

Chris Farrell:

still can't be late because it's snowed

Chris Farrell:

because we're transportation professionals

Chris Farrell:

and we have a promise to our people.

Chris Farrell:

And he said, Chris, you know, Hey, when

Chris Farrell:

you do everything with love, it's simple.

Chris Farrell:

And uh, that really stuck

Chris Farrell:

with me, really stuck with me.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: So, that's,

Chris Farrell:

that's, that's a great question.

Chris Farrell:

Yeah, that's powerful.

Chris Farrell:

Is, is that, did he, how do I ask this?

Chris Farrell:

Did he develop that, did that

Chris Farrell:

come from him personally or

Chris Farrell:

is that part of your culture?

Chris Farrell:

Or

Chris Farrell:

to think

Chris Farrell:

it's a little bit of both.

Chris Farrell:

Um, you know, like I said, you know,

Chris Farrell:

everybody understands the mission.

Chris Farrell:

People who are here, they want to be here.

Chris Farrell:

They want to make sure that somebody's

Chris Farrell:

mom, dad, grandmother is getting the best

Chris Farrell:

care possible, the best transportation

Chris Farrell:

and safest transportation possible.

Chris Farrell:

And I think that they feel

Chris Farrell:

that way because them, they

Chris Farrell:

themselves are people of value.

Chris Farrell:

So they're providing value to

Chris Farrell:

the people that they pick up.

Chris Farrell:

And, you know, like I said, when we hire,

Chris Farrell:

that's, that's what we're looking for.

Chris Farrell:

We're looking for quality people to put

Chris Farrell:

behind the wheel of quality vehicles

Chris Farrell:

to do the best job that we can.

Chris Farrell:

And, uh, so I think, I

Chris Farrell:

think it's a bit of both.

Chris Farrell:

I think it's a bit of both

Chris Farrell:

and it's kind of lent itself

Chris Farrell:

to the, to the culture here.

Chris Farrell:

And, uh, we're very

Chris Farrell:

fortunate to have that.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: Yeah,

Ed Farrell:

It's the people that you have

Ed Farrell:

working for you as a, as a, as a whole

Ed Farrell:

that really makes the company as well.

Ed Farrell:

So, um, does it come from the company

Ed Farrell:

or does it come from the person?

Ed Farrell:

Um,

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: it's kind

Ed Farrell:

of like a circle, isn't it?

Ed Farrell:

The people are the culture

Ed Farrell:

and the culture defines the

Ed Farrell:

people.

Ed Farrell:

Exactly.

Ed Farrell:

yeah.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Very nice.

Ed Farrell:

That is so cool.

Ed Farrell:

What a lovely lesson.

Ed Farrell:

So, uh, as far as other family

Ed Farrell:

businesses, do you guys network?

Ed Farrell:

And I think I know part of the answer to

Ed Farrell:

this because of our conversation, but do

Ed Farrell:

you network with other family businesses?

Ed Farrell:

Uh, I, it's

Ed Farrell:

funny you ask that.

Ed Farrell:

We have a breakfast club in my

Ed Farrell:

office, where there's many people

Ed Farrell:

that I've met throughout my career.

Ed Farrell:

We'll come, they'll sit down,

Ed Farrell:

we'll talk about their struggles,

Ed Farrell:

my struggles, you know, kind of

Ed Farrell:

venting, let's say, , at some point.

Ed Farrell:

, but it's a breakfast club and,

Ed Farrell:

, there'll be people that'll come

Ed Farrell:

and, uh, to my place and we talk.

Ed Farrell:

They could be masons, they could

Ed Farrell:

be builders, they could be In many

Ed Farrell:

different businesses, , flower business.

Ed Farrell:

, these people come, they, hey, how you

Ed Farrell:

doing, sit down, just start talking.

Ed Farrell:

We can vent back and forth a bit.

Ed Farrell:

But I think we learn from

Ed Farrell:

each other a bit as well.

Ed Farrell:

And, um, if I can give some advice,

Ed Farrell:

let's say for an insurance issue, or

Ed Farrell:

a, um, a banking issue, or things that

Ed Farrell:

I've picked up along the way, or a

Ed Farrell:

tax issue, um, You know, I'll share

Ed Farrell:

with them, they'll share with me.

Ed Farrell:

Yeah, you do learn from talking to

Ed Farrell:

other people that are in small business.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: Very cool.

Ed Farrell:

Very cool.

Ed Farrell:

And, and sometimes, when we're talking

Ed Farrell:

to someone in our own, or when we're

Ed Farrell:

hearing the example that's, that's

Ed Farrell:

in our own vertical, we personalize

Ed Farrell:

it so much, we, we miss the point.

Ed Farrell:

And so hearing somebody from another,

Ed Farrell:

uh, a different kind of industry

Ed Farrell:

and completely talk about a similar

Ed Farrell:

problem, it frames it in a way

Ed Farrell:

that we can see it clearer too.

Ed Farrell:

I love that.

Ed Farrell:

The Breakfast Club.

Ed Farrell:

Yep.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: So, you guys

Ed Farrell:

are in the, all of New England.

Ed Farrell:

You're based just outside Boston,

Ed Farrell:

but you cover all of New England.

Ed Farrell:

How

Ed Farrell:

do, how do people, like if, if

Ed Farrell:

somebody's up in New Hampshire,

Ed Farrell:

and they need, I mean, I'm, I'm

Ed Farrell:

ignorant of distances, sorry.

Ed Farrell:

Vermont, New Hampshire, I'd

Ed Farrell:

think of those as farther north

Ed Farrell:

than Boston, but I may be wrong.

Ed Farrell:

But somebody distant, you know, several

Ed Farrell:

hundred miles from your main office.

Ed Farrell:

What do they do?

Chris Farrell:

So, The majority

Chris Farrell:

of the work that we do, we're

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contracted with facilities, with

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hospitals, things of that nature.

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Um, so a lot of their rides are set

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up through the facilities that they're

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visiting and that they will contact

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they being the facilities will contact

Chris Farrell:

us to set up transportation for them.

Chris Farrell:

Um, we also have, you know, contact us

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or book with us portals on our website.

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They can call us six days a week.

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You know, from 6am to

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6 pm at 781 316 0400.

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Our website is www.

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RideWithATS.

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com.

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So there's a lot of

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useful information there.

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And, you know, we get a lot of general

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inquiries, whether it's, as I stated

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before, a medical appointment, or,

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you know, a private paid fun run,

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where they just want to get mom

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and dad, you know, out for the day.

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And we have, you know,

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LinkedIn and Facebook.

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So we, we try to cover all of our

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bases as far as providing updates to

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the employees through multiple avenues

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and also, you know, to our clients.

Chris Farrell:

And, , as far as, you know, the

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scope of our work, we go everywhere.

Chris Farrell:

There's, there's really nowhere

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in New England that we don't go.

Chris Farrell:

Um, some things in my mind stick

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out where, you know, on one day,

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I believe 3 weeks ago we were in.

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New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont,

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Connecticut, Rhode Island,

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Massachusetts, and we're

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discharging somebody to New Jersey.

Chris Farrell:

So we, we go far.

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Um, if there's a need, if there's somebody

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who needs to make it either home or to

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their appointment, we will take you.

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We have, as I stated, a great

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dedicated driving staff.

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I remember a story where we had

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a passenger who was an hour and

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a half north of Montreal, Canada.

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But was still somehow in Maine.

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Um, and they had a four

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o'clock pickup in the morning.

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So our driver left their home 10

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o'clock the previous day, 10 o'clock pm.

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Drove through the night, hit a snow

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squall, went about 50 ft off the

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highway, called himself a tow truck,

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got winched out, continued up north,

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picked the gentleman up, drove him

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down to Boston, called in to say,

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Chris, I need a front end alignment.

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And, uh, About a mirror

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replaced on the van.

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We fixed it for him and we went home.

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So, when I say everyone understands

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the mission, that is, that is truly

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the definition of the mission.

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John and Connie: Yes, indeed.

Chris Farrell:

Yes, indeed.

Chris Farrell:

Kind of sounds like a Florida

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driver need not apply, but

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maybe that's just me.

Chris Farrell:

Oh, goodness.

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And we don't do good in snow.

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That a wonderful example.

Chris Farrell:

Thank you so much.

Chris Farrell:

Well, we, this has been, thank you so

Chris Farrell:

much for spending this time with us.

Chris Farrell:

Yeah.

Chris Farrell:

This has been absolutely wonderful.

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We're excited to, , promote, and give

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you a little bit of extra exposure.

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I think you got some really

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wonderful, I wanted to congratulate

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you again, both Mm-Hmm.

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on the, uh, the TD Bank Takeover and

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the, you know, the publicity from that

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and the well deserved recognition.

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Mm-Hmm.

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that was awesome.

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Thank you.

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Thank very much.

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John and Connie: That video.

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on your website is, , is fabulous.

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Really wonderful . Yeah.

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Everybody wishes They had that.

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They did a good job and,

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uh, the folks that I had asked, you

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know, for the driving staff to be in

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it and, again, kind of open invitation,

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they took to it and, and during the

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shoot, the gentleman in the beginning

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of the video making his coffee, um, you

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know, he had asked the film crew, what

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do you, what do you hope to capture?

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And they were outside in his driveway

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and they said, well, we want to kind

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of get a day in the life of a driver.

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He said, it's going to be really hard

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to do that from outside of my house.

Chris Farrell:

Why don't you guys come in?

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I'm about to have a coffee.

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So, you know, just kind of

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the, the personal aspect.

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He understood, again, the mission,

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what we were trying to accomplish.

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And, uh, just a good

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guy, good guy overall.

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And, uh, fortunate to

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have him as well as me.

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All the employees here.

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So it was a good video.

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They did a great job.

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The production quality was fantastic.

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It was overwhelming.

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Actually, the whole experience.

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And what we, what we really hope to

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accomplish from that is yes, it's

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great for alternative transportation,

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but we want to call to attention the

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industry and the fact that non-emergency

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medical transportation is out there

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and tying it back to the family aspect.

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It is a growing issue and challenge.

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Where mom or dad are aging, they have

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a medical appointment, and, you know,

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siblings and children and siblings are

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saying who's going to take mom, who's

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going to take dad, don't worry about it,

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just call alternative transportation,

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let our family take care of yours,

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we'll make sure they get there, you

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can go to work, I promise you they're

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going to have the best drivers, the

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best vehicles, and we'll take care of

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them like they're our own, because,

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I think Uncle Sam uses us sometimes.

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John and Connie: Having been there, I

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get it and I agree and there were

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times when, later on, um, my mother

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was in assisted living and it got to

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where it wasn't safe for us to try to

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get her in and out of a vehicle, um,

Ed Farrell:

No,

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you cannot.

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John and Connie: We, we needed

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somebody that was trained

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and had the right equipment.

Ed Farrell:

Yeah.

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So, um, I, you know, my hat's off

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to you guys for what you're doing.

Ed Farrell:

Yeah.

Ed Farrell:

Well, I'm getting older,

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you know, and I kind of figured that,

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um, looking forward, this is a forward

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thinking project so that this business

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gets good enough, you know, if I

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need it, I'll be, I'll be all set.

Ed Farrell:

John and Connie: That's right.

Ed Farrell:

Maybe they'll give you your own driver.

Chris Farrell:

I don't know.

Chris Farrell:

I don't I don't know about that.

Chris Farrell:

John and Connie: Alright.

Chris Farrell:

Well, awesome.

Chris Farrell:

Thank you so much again.

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