Steve Adams was a successful businessman at Seydel Companies 20 years ago, and his daughter, a Jefferson High School graduate was a nursing student nearing graduation and ready to start her own career when something happened that would change the course of her career path.
Today, Ashley Childress runs ZKR Express Inc., a family business which is celebrating 20 years of success, with her father as a partner who helped jump-start the business when he saw a need for it from his own work.
“I didn’t know I was an entrepreneur until I was one,” Adams says.
ZKR Express Inc. is a freight shipping and trucking company transport business in Jefferson.
The family business was named for the three grandchildren Adams had at the time it was formed, whose names start with Z, K and R. The business started with two trucks, three tanks and two employees. There are now six trucks and 20 tankers.
Ashley started the business in her home and it grew into the facility where it has been located for 18 years. She says the business has grown by their reputation in the business as they’ve built the customer base over the years.
“It’s a fun business,” she said.
Looking ahead, they are looking to be versatile and think about what the next phase of the business could be. The family owns land on the railway so storing materials in warehouses is an option.
“We are versatile,” Adams said. “We are always looking at where we can go from here. “We own warehouses. We are on the rail. We have off-loading. We’re looking forward to the next surge of growth.”