NPO Transportation powers large American enterprises
Small businesses like NPO Transportation power large American enterprise, like the nation’s automobile manufacturers. Heading this Detroit area small business is Kathleen Eberle, one of the few female CEOs making a difference in Motor City. She brings more than 20 years of experience in administration and finance to her role as president/CEO of Warehouse Properties, dba NPO Transportation. Kathleen turned to the SBA to help her network and build her skills as a small business executive in the country’s transportation hub. NPO is primarily business to business, serving the automotive industry by delivering auto parts to manufacturing centers. Some of its customers include Ford Motor Co., Renaissance Global Logistics, and Oakley Industries Sub Assembly Division.
As one of the few women executives in the transportation industry, I’ve struggled to find mentorship and guidance in a competitive industry that operates on a massive scale. NPO Transportation has vehicles and staff operating on demanding schedules to supply our nation’s auto manufacturers. I have to stay on top of trends in both the auto and transportation industries—always keeping an eye on factors that could affect my small business in the future. Since we’re in southeast Michigan, we’re in the center of it all, seeing and experiencing first-hand all the cutting-edge things the American car industry has to offer the world.
Small business owners have such a great community in Michigan because of our fantastic SBA Resource Partners. I sought help from the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council. My business counselor pointed me toward networking opportunities and educational webinars. I participated in its annual Leadership Institute for Women, where I met other women who compete in industries generally dominated by men. It’s encouraging to find others who can identify with your struggles and give you support and guidance.
I’m one of the few women in the United States to run a fleet of nearly 100 cars, vans, and trucks operated by over 100 drivers across Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Our operation will see $19 million in revenue this year. We started in 2005 with one account and nine drivers. Because of the SBA and our local Women’s Business Center, I’ve been inspired to mentor and encourage my employees as they develop their skills and advance in the company. Because of our success, we’ve been able to support many community organizations, including Truckers Against Trafficking. This organization empowers and trains drivers on how to spot and then report human trafficking. NPO has been able to spread this awareness throughout our entire B2B network.