Helen Zeerip drives growth at Teddy's Transport
Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a profile of one of the Business Journal’s reigning 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. The profile first appeared in the event program.
The sluggish economy required Teddy’s Transport to generate new growth, which is why the company implemented a less-than-truckload shipping service between the Greater Chicago Area and West Michigan in 2009.
This new service enabled Teddy’s Transport, a nationwide expedited trucking business that Helen Zeerip and her husband, Craig, operate out of Holland, to bring out-of-state money back in Michigan’s economy.
The LTL program enabled Zeerip’s company to experience unprecedented growth of 44 percent in 2010 and 51 percent in 2011, which resulted in hiring 55 new employees in the last three years.
Growing the family business
Zeerip’s parents started Teddy’s Transport when she was a teenager.
It was a small business focused on West Michigan, using pickups and light trucks.
In 1997, Zeerip and her husband bought the business, added semi-trucks and hired up to 60 employees, mostly drivers.
A business that had never had more than $1 million in sales before 1997 now has revenues that run close to $6 million, making deliveries in all 48 of the continental United States.
Zeerip in the community
In 2006, Zeerip completed the Leadership Holland program and now is chair of its curriculum committee. She serves on the executive committee of the Holland Chamber of Commerce and on the board of Wings of Hope Hospice in Allegan County. She also is active in Love in the Name of Christ. Zeerip has taught Sunday school, coached girls softball, made weekly meal deliveries for 10 elderly shut-ins and served on her church’s congregational care committee and senior high youth department.