Cindy owns MAC Transport and the Courier Logistics Group. She’s a very highly successful entrepreneur. And I’ll tell you, she’s one of the sharpest business people I’ve spoken to in a long time. Cindy is one who not only is good at what she does, but she pays attention to the important things in her life.
She’s just an amazing human being. The mother of two wonderful children and husband, Chris, who’s involved in the business with her. But Cindy, tell our audience a little bit about yourself today and where you grew up, your family and everything.
CINDY MARLOWE: Thank you, Joe. I’m so happy to be here with you. And yeah, I can tell you that I’m a Michigan girl, born and raised. School was a great experience for me in some ways until I got a little older and I was taller than all the guys. I got teased quite a bit. I learned very early on that at least I felt I didn’t fit in, which is actually become a really good thing for me because I realized fitting in isn’t always the thing that you want to do in life.
I learned early on to look and see where most people going and go the other way. While I learned that the hard way it’s really served me well. I have had the privilege of being mentored, if you will, unintentionally. But a grandmother who had 17 children and she farmed and raised them and I saw her and her diligence in life and it taught me to have an attitude of sticking to it.
My other grandmother was so instrumental and just teaching me to be a strong woman and what that looked like. And when I became a mother and a wife and a business owner, she was such an inspiration to me. And I had a father who was one of those 17 children that grandma had. And he always taught me to leave things better than you found them. That philosophy is really guided me in life. I want to leave everywhere I go. Everybody I meet better than what I found them. So…
…I have a strong passion to be a problem solver, to change lives, to help bring out the best in other people.
Cindy. That’s great. You know what you said about when people are going one way, you need to think about which direction you need to be going. That’s called the herd mentality. And it’s so true. I mean, I think about that all the time. When the herd is going one way, I need to really think about the direction I’m going in. And that is so cool. I’ll say something about you, Cindy. I remember the first time my wife and I met you. We were kind of mesmerized by you.
You have such a wonderful spirit and you exude confidence and clarity and all of those things that not only that, you’re just a beautiful human being. And I’m just so honored to know you and I’m so proud of what you’re doing. Cindy, you own a transportation group. How did you get started in that industry?
Well, it’s interesting. I can’t say as a kid, I had a dream of owning a transportation company, although I loved horsepower, I loved engines and powerful equipment. I just hung out with my dad and my brothers more than anything. So I learned to appreciate those things. And I way I think that it chose me.
When I was early married, my husband Chris was driving a semi-truck for a company and he kept reporting that the brakes were bad on his truck. And I was expecting our first child. And of course, I was becoming concerned. And I said, are they not listening to you? Give me their phone number? And just within a few days of him reporting that the brakes literally did go out on his truck, and because of the incline on the road that he was traveling, the truck came to a stop only because of that. However, where it came to a stop was sitting on the railroad tracks and there was a train coming and he put his truck in reverse. And as he did, the train took the front end of his truck off.
Fortunately, Chris did not lose his legs, but it was a real eye-opener for us, just the lack of integrity in the marketplace. The company actually fired him and wrote him up for being careless, reckless driving, barring getting an attorney and fighting them. There was really nothing else we could do. He lost his job and to shorten the story, I encouraged him to go after a sales job with a company that had bought out part of our family’s transportation company back then.
He became a fantastic salesperson, as I knew he would, made them a lot of money, brought on some fantastic accounts. In fact, he was making so much that his boss would start joking with him that you can’t make more money than me. Within a few months, he told Chris that the commission scale would be altered and it would also be retroactive, which. Would eliminate almost ten thousand dollars in commissions that he had already clearly legitimately earned, and so they did. They kept that from him, didn’t pay him.
And I said this is enough. I’m done. We need to start our own company. We’ve worked in these family businesses that we both grew up in. We’re going to start our own gig. And I want you to do sales because you’re the best salesperson that I know. And I’ll run the office and I’ll learn what I need to learn and we’ll get together whatever we can. That is really how we ended up here. And we just felt very strong that whatever we put our hands who we needed to do it just to the best of our ability. And that was twenty one years ago.
That’s amazing. And Chris is an amazing guy. I just love Chris. This is what a great entrepreneur he is in his own right. And he does make such a power couple, a powerful team. Thank you. But Cindy, over the past year, I’ve had the privilege to work with you and Chris.
I’ve seen God’s favor on you and your husband, and I’ve seen you get a new building. I’ve seen you get a large credit facility. I’ve seen you get new customers. All kind of crazy, great things happening. And the only way I can explain that is watching the favor on you and how you made it through COVID and all that.
I want you to just kind of take this and explain how things are happening in your business and what you’re seeing and how much you’ve seen things improve and grow over the past year, even during COVID.
Absolutely. From a practical standpoint, at the time we were in a facility where our offices were in one location and our trucks were parked a block away. And it was far from an ideal situation. We needed to get it back together as we had been prior to moving there and we were running out of space and there wasn’t room for the trucks and the guys to park, guys and gals to park their cars.
And so I had said to Chris, I said, listen, this may sound crazy, but there’s a place out there for us and we’re going to move. I smiled and I’m sure he could see my determination and I meant it. The economy didn’t nod to that. I didn’t have a building in mind. I just felt so strong about it.
My maintenance manager said, (I started discussing it openly with the gang) and he said, hey, what about that building down here? I said You know what? I’m going to go look. I drove to where this facility was very large. It was larger than anything we’ve ever had in the prior company. There had been a trucking company, a very large, successful company, and they had moved on, sold their business.
That afternoon, I believe it was a Thursday, three o’clock. I found the owner (hopped online), found the owner, typed up a letter, put it in an envelope, and ran to the post office. I wanted it there by five o’clock. Now, mind you, this is during covid. The mail was taking almost a week just for local deliveries that normally took one to two days. So I wasn’t sure when they would get it. But I mailed it. I prayed over it, put it in that box. So I am there just before 5:00 o clock.
Friday morning at 10:00, my phone rang and it was the president of this company calling on behalf of the owner. And he said, you know, funny you should inquire the owner who was just saying to me, you know, we ought to do something at that building. I had been sitting empty for half a year or more. He asked what we did and our intentions. And the short story of that is he said, you know what, we love truckers. That’s what we did. And owner loves truckers. You guys can lease this building and they preferred it to be occupied than empty. It was good for them. Good for us. That was about nine months ago. And now we’re in the process of buying that building.
It was just remarkable to me that in 17 hours, maybe from the time I mailed that letter, I got that call. You know, it just it almost seemed unnatural, a supernatural and I believe it was. So that’s how we got the building.
The other thing was, is we were looking for a new mechanic. Our maintenance manager was wrenching on trucks and trying to drive at the same time. And we’d never know kidding, at the time – twenty years being a business, had a mechanic contact us and ask if we were hiring. We had reached out to people and hired that way, but nobody had ever inquired. We got a call from somebody who was a diesel mechanic in the army, a fantastic guy interested in working for us. And we hired him. He came on in the middle of all this.
So the new building, the new facility, the new mechanic. And I’m not going to lie. There were some really tough times, too. It was hard. I mean, it was COVID. The supply chain was very interrupted. But, you know, Joe…
…whether or not something’s hard is not the measure of whether or not it’s worthwhile.
It’s not the measure of whether or not it’s what we’ve been called to do. It’s hard or not, we did end up losing quite a bit of work was automotive work. Plants were closed, but we didn’t give out. There were so many things and doors opening, we continued to move forward and here we are today still standing.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen people that we know their businesses have closed from restaurants locally to trucking companies. So we have been very blessed and we’re so grateful along that time.
Also, we reached out to you just having this partnership with you, the advice, and the good mentorship. It’s just been incredible!
Well, it’s been my pleasure to listen to that story and to see things happen, and I want our listeners to listen to this.
When you’re doing the right thing and when you’re putting God first in your life, there are some supernatural things that happen.
And I’ve watched them happen in your business. It couldn’t happen to a better couple in this whole world. If you’re out there and you’re listening to this podcast and you’re interested in the transportation business, whether it be logistics as an affiliate or if you’re looking to be a part of the MAC Transport team and be a driver or maybe work in the office or whatever their website is, www.MACTransport.com ( w w w Mac transport dot com ).
But Cindy, I’m just so impressed with your attitude and who you are, and how you operate. In the way, you give God the glory in your life. Would you like to elaborate a little bit on that? I mean, I remember people telling you, you don’t need to talk about your faith because it offends people in this. And I get so sick of hearing that. Here’s what I believe:
I believe that if you’re secure in what you believe, then what somebody else believes can’t offend you.
And I’m going to be very bold to say I’ve seen the hand of God in your business and in your life and in your children’s lives and your husband and your associates, your employees and all the way you do things. So I like for you to just to elaborate on that just a little bit, because you certainly are making a difference in people’s lives by who you are
Thank you, Joe, for saying that. It’s really interesting to me because, yes, we live in an age where people are offended over a great deal of things these days. We talk about faith and we’ve been told for many, many years now we really aren’t supposed to talk about that. It doesn’t belong in the workplace and keep politics and faith aside. But the lines are so blurred these days and we’re living in a time where people are fighting and screaming for their rights. And I get that to a great extent.
It’s hopefully when people are asking to have more recognition, we talk about diversity in the marketplace and exercising that and inclusiveness. Right. Well, having walked with God is a part of that. We have every right to exercise that in the marketplace as well. And in all those roles, whether it’s gender, whether it’s race, whether it’s faith or politics, it should never be about somebody on one side saying I’m better than you. But on the flip side, I think the reason all these programs have been put into place is that there are also a lot of people that are saying, but I don’t want to be any less than you.
My faith is everything to me. It’s why I’m still standing, not just because of the blessings of God during these times, but because it’s what’s kept my knees solid when they just wanted to shake in the middle of all these hard things.
And so I have to say that, that foundation is so important and you don’t build a house on the sand, right, and it’s the same thing here. We could not have built the business we have, the marriage we have.
This kid who grew up in Michigan, this kid who grew up feeling like a misfit and teased because I was as a tall girl, like I said, taller than all the guys. I got teased. They called me Lurch in high school. They’d see me coming. They made lurch sounds when…
…I walked down the halls that served to make me eventually a stronger person, learning things through the hard things you go through. Those are the lessons that you remember. Having a strong foundation is what you need to get through those things.
I’m grateful for that. I’m just blessed by God’s favor and a husband who has locked arms with me and we get to do it together. I’m a firm believer in that saying “to whom much is given, much is required. We’ve been given so much. But it’s not for us to sit on and hold it and to keep it to ourselves.
We are implored to go out and share what we have, all of our resources, whatever they might be with others. And everybody has that story. You don’t have to own a business to do that, right?
Every single one of us should be sharing our story because somebody needs to hear it. Somebody needs that encouragement when at the end of the day, you do what you do, you do reach out to others, make a difference. But your audience is to an audience of one.
When I used to tell my kids that whether they were going out for that karate competition or that piano recital and they were nervous and I’d say, it’s OK, you can be nervous. This can be hard. But you’re doing this for an audience of one. First and foremost. If you remember that, you’re going to blast so many people. And that is our everyday goal and purpose. It’s why we get out of bed in the morning.
Oh, that’s beautiful. And you are doing that, Cindy and Chris. And I’m so proud of you guys. Wow. I mean, to have a woman entrepreneur on this podcast with me today is like a dream for me as well. And there will be a number of other ones join behind you. But you’re kind of setting the bar here for a lot of people to follow you.
Being a dad of daughters, I just really love to see when women have success in business. And so I applaud you and Chris and I thank you for being on this podcast today. Guys as if you’re listening to this podcast again and you’re looking to get involved in a company that’s on the move and you want to be in transportation, you might want to go to the website www.MACTrasport.com (MACtransport.com) and look these guys up. They’re the finest people I know and they’re running a very good operation and it’s getting better every day.
So, Cindy, thank you for joining me today. It’s been great to have you on.
My pleasure, Joe.
And also thanks to all the listeners that are on today and hearing the story of Cindy Marlowe of Mac Transport. And guys, we look forward to you joining us in our next podcast, which will be coming out soon. But thank you so much for joining us again.
God bless you and have a great day.