An entrepreneurial start
Growing up with a salesman dad, professional independent delivery driver for Crossroads Courier, Ginger Theroux-Hough, was influenced by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit.
“My dad had a buying service,” said Ginger. “It was one of the first big buying services of its kind in the country. It was for embroidery machines, and he would go to trade shows. I went with him. I learned a lot about sales, how to generate leads, how to close the sale,” she reflected.
“I made my first big sale at my dad’s used car lot. I did paperwork, but there was the day that dad was away at a meeting, and a woman came to the lot looking at the cars,” Ginger said. “I was only fifteen, but I jumped at the chance to help her. She was looking to buy a car for her daughter. I sold her a Camaro.”
What did Ginger do to close the deal? “After listening to her, I told her that the Camaro was going to be the ‘biggest and baddest’ car around. Her daughter’s car would be the envy of the school’s parking lot,” Ginger said. “I think I can read people pretty well,” she added.
The experience was a revelation. “I was extremely proud,” Ginger exclaimed. “Dad was happy. I put the entire deal together. When he came back, all it needed was his signature. It was cool.” From that point on, sales was in Ginger’s blood.
Ginger pursued a career in real estate for thirty-seven years. “I’ve been a self-employed entrepreneur my entire working life,” she said. Besides her successful real estate sales career, she also helped to substantially grow a property management company. She was her own boss and doing well.
a Passion for Riding and doing good
Besides her pride in her family- two adult sons and three grandsons – and in her entrepreneurial career, Ginger discovered another passion. “I ride motorcycles. I recently sold my Harley, and now I ride a brand-new Indian Chieftain. It’s a little more comfortable now at my age,” she said. “I started riding motorcycles at age seven, riding on the back of my dad’s. I had friends who rode, and I wanted to be like the boys. I’ve been on bikes for as long as I remember.”
“I’m a member of an association. Not an MC, or motorcycle ‘club’. It’s an association. I’m VP of our local chapter. We do events and raise money for charity. All the money we raise goes to support Christie’s Place
, an organization dedicated to strengthening the health and resilience of women, children, and families impacted by HIV/AIDS; and Relentless Pursuit
, a community-centered, faith-based organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking and helping to heal and restore survivors and bring offenders to justice. I’m proud of the good that comes out of our motorcycle association.”
At the Crossroads of Change
Despite the goodness in her family life and her charity work, a restlessness was growing inside Ginger in regards to her work in sales. “I woke up one day, AND I WAS DONE, JUST DONE. Burned out on it,” she said. “I just walked in and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ So, I quit. Just couldn’t do the corporate world anymore. It works for lots of people, but deep-down I realized I wasn’t being me.”
A friend in her motorcycle association chapter, Janice Maki, drove as an independent contractor for Crossroads Courier. “Janice said ‘You ride with me, why don’t you try driving with me?’ So, I did, and I loved it from the get-go.”
“The first day I drove for Crossroads, I was hooked. It was a great day. At day’s end, the dispatcher asked ‘I know it’s your first day, but we have a ride out to Hays (Kansas). Do you want it?’ That was a three hour drive, but I said, ‘Why not?’ And it was great. I loved it from the start.”
Ginger, who took logistics classes in college, said she knows what it takes for Crossroads Courier to make it all work for their customers each day. “I understand what they do. I was in the corporate world,” she said.
A Culture of Care at Crossroads Courier
For her, it’s the culture of care, cooperation, and collaboration at Crossroads that matters. “I can be me; I can be who I am,” she said. “They love me at the office, and I love them. It’s a team effort.”
Driving gives her some alone time. But she says that when she makes a delivery and speaks to Crossroads Courier customers, it’s “two or three minutes, maybe; but “I try to help make their day a little better, a quick hello, a smile. With some of my repeat deliveries, I get to know a little about the customer and help them smile, too. ‘How are the twins doing?, stuff like that.” She understands that in the courier business, one never knows what importance or joy a particular delivery may bring to the recipient, so she treats them all as important.
Ginger’s work ethic is embedded in her character. “If you give your best, then eventually you will get your return,” she believes. “It may be way down the road, but if you help people and give your best for them, then good will come back to you.” Her dependability is important for Crossroads Courier.
As a contractor driver, Ginger says she believes in common courtesy. She lets Crossroads Courier know when she is working, and when she is taking time to ride her bike. She does “fill-in” routes. “I call myself the ‘back-up girl,’and I pitch in when there is a dire need, even if it’s something I don’t want to do. Then when good things come along, they give it to me.”
Ginger is all about the team, as is the Crossroads Courier Kansas City office. “Even through occasional change in the office, they always have an excellent team,” she proclaimed. “The morale is always high, and they’ve created such a good working environment. It’s amazing. I can pick up the phone and call any of them, and they are so helpful. Brad (Crank, Director of Operations) would be there if I needed his help. They have my back.”
The Rise of Women in Logistics
Ginger is excited and optimistic about the growing role of women in the driving force, whether behind the wheels of trucks or in small vehicles as couriers, and she’s enthusiastic about the rise of women in logistics, in general. “If women want to be in the business, they should give it a shot. They should ignore the old saying that it’s a man’s industry. There are many roles in logistics and transportation that women can do as well or better than men,” she said. “We all need to have balance, family life, fun, and contributing to the world in our own way. I always wanted to be a part of things happening in this world. It’s important to me.”
“For me as a kid, when it came to motorcycles, I was going to show the boys that I was as good as them when it came to riding – if not better. I’m self-supportive. I don’t mind asking for help when needed, but I’m positively self-supportive,” she added.
“It’s all about work ethic, and there is no way anyone can just come in and make a fast buck. You must prove yourself every day.”
A Family of All Types
Today, besides her sons and grandsons, Ginger only has her mother left. “I talk to my mother every day.” Her dad taught her how to ride, to camp, to fish, and to be athletic. “I grew up in a man’s world,” says Ginger. “What Dad taught me; I taught my sons, and I’m teaching my grandsons.”
Always the salesperson, Ginger is an advocate for the great culture at Crossroads Courier. “Whether you’re an employee at Crossroads Courier or a contractor, we’re a family – a family of all colors and all types. We have each other’s backs, so the greater good of the entire family will succeed.”