POTSDAM -- LaValle Transportation and the Body Shop Fitness & Salon have been named the 2013 Business of the Year by the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce.
The duo of businesses, owned by Penny and Randy LaValley, received three strong nominations, according to chamber executive director Marylee Ballou.
LaValle Transportation, Inc. (LTI) was founded in 1994 by Randy LaValley with one car carrier. Today they are a truckload transportation business that performs regional and long haul transportation services. They primarily serve the eastern United States, but serve all 48 states and in Quebec and Ontario.
LTI provides dry van, flatbed, refrigerated and intermodal services. They also perform supply chain management services for several customers.
Today, LTI Trucking operates 135 trucks, 500 trailers, 135 drivers, and a support staff of 35. They set new sales records in 2011 and 2012.
In 2012 LTI received C-TPAT certification from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs for their international shipments. In 2012 LTI was also certified by the EPA with acceptance into the “SmartWay” program where the trucking company has to demonstrate continued reduction of fuel emission.
LTI has partnered with Clarkson University in the design and testing of the “Trailer Tail,” which reduces wind drag on trailers and improves fuel mileage.
LTI is working on other fuel reduction equipment for their fleet to reduce their carbon footprint and provide their customers cost effective transportation.
LTI Trucking takes pride in the maintenance and up-keep of their equipment. All tractor maintenance is monitored electronically to ensure on-time preventative maintenance. LTI continues investment into new equipment and technology as shown by their recent purchase of 20 new 2013 Volvo trucks.
Their maintenance facility employs the latest methods and products to assist in reducing fuel consumption. LTI continues to test new and innovative products, including tires and lubricants.
Their pride in workmanship has earned them the recognition as an authorized Freightliner repair shop. LTI’s shop also routinely works on area rescue vehicles as well as repairs equipment such as dump trucks for other area small business owners.
Body Shop Fitness & Salon opened its doors in 2007 and has been shrinking waistlines throughout the North Country ever since. They offer a co-ed fitness center featuring cardio equipment and resistance weight training equipment for body conditioning. Their salon offers hair services, manicures and pedicures, massage and tanning. The newest addition is the Step It Out! Dance Studio offering adult and youth programs in a variety a dance styles as well as Zumba.
The LaValleys and their respective staffs are also are staunch community supporters. They credit their success to a great team of employees all working together to achieve the goal of making customers happy. Over the years, they have donated to many local and national charities, and some across the border in Canada.
Both businesses have been supportive of their neighbors at the Potsdam Humane Society’s animal shelter, donating to their capital campaign, offering free salon service to their employees, and providing free storage space for them during the shelter construction.
LTI Trucking has strongly supported the Potsdam Holiday Fund. For the past four years, through the generosity of the LaValleys, the fund was able to distribute gifts including 38 brand-new bicycles in 2011, 40 bikes in 2012, 75 four-GB Philips MP-3 players in 2010, and a van load of new toys in 2009. Randy is personally involved in choosing the gifts, helping to purchase and deliver them to the fund’s “Santa’s Workshop.” The gifts were purchased locally.
The Potsdam Chamber will present the Business of the Year Award at its spring luncheon Tuesday, May 7, which starts at noon at the Potsdam Town and Country Club.
To RSVP for the luncheon, contact the chamber office, at 274-9000. Lunch is $15.
In addition, the chamber will celebrate 12 business milestone anniversaries: Rotary Club of Potsdam, NCC Systems, North Country Public Radio, Willow Tree Florist and Landscaping, CORC Thrift Store, Potsdam Insurance, Plumley Real Estate, Potsdam Arby’s, Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley, Foxy Roxy’s, Great Northern Printing, and Potsdam Food Co-op.