"PNC has always been there for us with recommendations to help us achieve our goals. Our banking team is great at explaining various solutions and helping us determine which suit our needs best."
The Highroad to Success
Denise Rays didn't set out to become the president and CEO of Three Star Trucking when she began helping to manage her mother's workload at the company her parents, Ilene and Cesar Rays, had owned and run since 1979.
"My mom seemed to work morning, noon and night, so when I offered to lend her a hand one day a week, she taught me how to do payroll," shares Denise. "Before long, I was also handling receivables and payables. As the business grew, I quit the management job I held outside of Three Star and became a full-time employee of the family business."
Denise's brother, Robert Rays, also joined the company, and as the years passed, both became intimately knowledgeable about the company's operations. When their parents retired in 1997, they left their two children in charge.
Investing in the Future
Denise took an aggressive stance, resolving to either grow the business or close it. "I knew we needed to invest in additional equipment to diversify and grow," she says. "We established a line of credit and took out loans. Those investments fueled our momentum, and we've been on a growth path ever since."
Now an $8 million Tier 1 shipping provider for the auto industry, Three Star ships auto parts, structural steel machinery and other commodities throughout North America. Well-known for its commitment to 100% on-time delivery, the company boasts customers including two of the Big Three: Ford and Chrysler. "When the auto companies were hit by the economic downturn, it did affect us but not as badly as it affected our competitors. That's because we believe in very lean operation," says Denise.
PNC has helped Three Star achieve efficiency on the financial side through online banking products and other leading-edge solutions. The organization has relied on PNC for loans, deposit accounts, business credit cards and other products for more than a decade. "PNC has always been there for us with recommendations to help us achieve our goals," says Denise. "Our banking team is great at explaining various solutions and helping us determine which suit our needs best."
Denise and her team look toward the future enthusiastically. "When I started working with my parents so many years ago, I had no idea that one day I'd be leading the company. And quite honestly, when they asked me to become president, I had to think about it. But what a wonderful journey it's been! And we are all looking forward to the opportunities ahead."