Pilon School of Business
Degree: Business Administration
Year of graduation: 1981
When Frank Prosia went straight from his final exam at Sheridan to a job interview, he didn’t realize he was mapping out his career path for the next three decades. But not only did he get the job with transportation company TNT Overland Express, Frank enjoyed the business so much he eventually opened his own company which will mark its 25th anniversary in 2015.
“I fell in love with the industry. It’s not so much about logistics and technology as it is about people and relationship-building,” says Frank, President and Founder of Transpro Freight Systems which clearly has a lot to celebrate.
With $49m in sales, 160 employees, (including drivers) and 100 trucks, Transpro ships goods between Canada and the U.S., and provides warehousing and distribution services, as well. The Milton-based company has received the Canada Shippers Choice Award for three consecutive years (2011, 2012 and 2013), ranking in the top three. Transpro is also the second transportation company in Canada to be ISO-certified and to install satellite tracking in trucks.
The company’s customers include such well-known names as Maple Leaf, Xerox, Adidas, Revlon and Magna.
After learning the ropes of the freight business at Overland, Frank saw the opportunity to open his own company with the advent of deregulation in the trucking industry in 1988. The business went on to experience phenomenal growth, twice being named one of Canada’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies by Profit magazine (1998, 1999).
There have certainly been challenges along the way, but the biggest one in the industry today is finding drivers, as the average age of long-haul truckers creeps past 51, says Frank. “It’s a lifestyle issue. Fewer people are willing to sacrifice so much time away from their families for the money they make,” he says, adding that trucking is a more attractive option for immigrants who have limited language skills and an education that’s not easily transferrable.
As he looks over the past 25 years, Frank expresses few regrets and much gratitude, mainly for his staff. “I take a great deal of pride in the fact that many of my employees have stayed along for the ride.” Such loyalty is a result of applying solid business practices, many of which Prosia traces back to his Sheridan days. “Sheridan taught me to be an entrepreneur. The case studies were an especially good learning tool. There are lessons I learned at Sheridan that I carry around today.”
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