It was August 1989 when our company, Kim Richardson Transportation Specialists Inc. (KRTS, Inc.), enrolled its first client into the AZ program. It is estimated since then that we have had over 9,000 customers who we have helped to achieve their AZ or DZ license.
I have no idea where the time has gone. When I reflect on the history of our business and what our team has accomplished over the years I am very proud and thankful for their efforts. Good businesses are made up of great people and we certainly have some of the best in our sector of the business.
Like many in the industry, we started with very humble beginnings. A card table and phone in the bedroom of our house was the temporary place of operation while a 12’x16’ tool shed was being converted to an office on the family property. Since then we have emerged as an industry leader on both sides of the border. Today, our team of experts continue to deliver AZ and DZ training to entry level commercial drivers but our suite of services is much more extensive. Over the years we have added car training, dispatch certification and testing, heavy equipment certification and are heavily involved in on-line training and certification.
We probably deliver training to more corporate customers than anyone in Canada. For our sector of business, it is a major part of what we do. Our instructors deliver quality tailored programs to companies all over Canada and into the United States. To date we have over 400 corporate clients and we are the facility of choice for some strong, well-recognized brand names.
We are pleased to have had many notable accomplishments over the years;
5 time winner of the Grand River Sachem Reader’s Choice Award for Best Local Driving Instruction
1994 – Jobs Ontario Outstanding Employer of the Year
1996 – Ministry of Transportation Award of Excellence for Outstanding Contribution to Transportation
2001 – Ministry of Transportation Award of Excellence for Innovative Program to Improve Transportation
2002 – Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award
2004 – Private Motor Truck Council Graphic Design Award
2005 – Ministry of Transportation Award of Excellence for Innovation in Transportation
2010 – Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award
2012 – Kim Richardson was the recipient of Queen’s Jubilee Medal for significant contribution to community and fellow citizens
There have been so many people who have helped KRTS over their 25 years in operation. Like any business, there have been ups and downs, good times and bad. KRTS suppliers have always understood this and worked with us to ensure the sustainability of our business. Our Preferred Partners – Gordon Food Service, C.A.T. Transportation and Trimac have made huge contributions by providing equipment to ensure KRTS clients have the opportunity to learn their trade on late model tractors and trailers.
We have raised our family in Caledonia; this is where my dad and grandfather raised their families. Caledonia is home and we’re very proud that we have been able to live, raise our children, and do business in this great community. My wife Lisa, my best friend and business partner, has always stood beside me. She has been my rock, my compass at times and most importantly my strongest supporter. My life changed the day we met.
Our family business continues to evolve as both of our grown children, Matt Richardson and Jamie Richardson-Philips are now involved with the business. Matt looks after customer service, sales, on line training, students and the training school side of KRTS’s operations. Jamie looks after corporate customers and is involved with the sales and operation of their on-line newspaper The Rear View Mirror.
Today’s youth is brilliant, they are our future – not just my children. There are a ton of bright young people in our industry. They think differently, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. Our industry and business has evolved and we have to evolve with it. Believe me, I have learned so much by listening to their ideas. It is another reason for our success.
As far as big celebration goes? We had a big deal when our Business turned 20. We had a band, booze, great food, family and friends, suppliers and customers. This time, I am going fishing. I love the far North. I am going to fly up to the lake with my son Matt, son-in-law Dusty, another good buddy and dip a line for a week, toss some cards and have a few cocktails. To me, that’s just perfect.
About the Author
Kim Richardson is a husband, proud dad, friend, loves Caledonia, and is involved in a couple of businesses, KRTS, Transrep, The Rear View Mirror. Currently the Chairman of the Board OTA Allied Trade Division. Executive Director, PTDI and TTSAO. Anyone who knows Kim knows he has been in the industry and transportation runs in his blood. Kim can be reached through his business websites at KRTS Inc, and Transrep Inc, Kim Richardson on Linkedln, firstname.lastname@example.org