NC Portraits: Family-owned Business
Appeared as a sponsored section in the October 2019 issue
From the left: Branden Burt, Business Intelligence Manager; Kirsten Evans, Audit Operations Manager; Travis Burt, Co-Founder; Keith Byrd, Co-Founder; Brian Byrd, Director of Operations; Tyler Byrd, Senior Manager of Freight Services
8921 Crew Drive
Emerald Isle, NC 28594
Transportation Impact is a relatively new family-owned business with a fast-growing reputation and a passion for giving back.
The company was founded in 2008 by Keith Byrd and Travis Burt, who both worked together at UPS for years. With their knowledge of the industry, they had an idea for a company that could help large quantity shippers save money by negotiating carrier contracts, auditing and optimizing shipping practices and using freight services.
“We’re long-time personal and business friends,” Keith Byrd says. “We knew from the onset that we needed each other’s skills to make this work.”
And now Keith and Travis’ children are involved. Keith’s son Brian Byrd is director of operations and his other son Tyler Byrd is senior manager of freight services. Travis’ daughter Kirsten Evans is the audit operations manager and his son Branden Burt is business intelligence manager.
“To work with our fathers is an interesting dynamic,” Brian says. “It allows us to really take pride in what we’re building.”
Nearly all of the founders’ children worked in other industries before coming aboard the family business. But as Transportation Impact continued to grow, they knew they had to get involved. “The company was getting too big and the opportunity was getting too good to pass up,” Tyler says.
Kirsten is the only one who went right into the business after college in 2015. She remembers calling her dad to let her know she had a job offer in Boston she was thinking of taking. “He said ‘I’m going to always support you. From a father’s perspective I’d say go for it, but from a business owner’s perspective we’re growing like crazy and getting ready to take off and I’d hate for you to miss out on that,” she says. “It was as simple as that.”
Moving forward, the family hopes to continue their momentum by exploring new technology and working on large research and development projects to remain relevant. Being a family owned business helps them achieve this. “We’re always working on projects and trying to roll new things out,” Branden says. “We’re exploiting that strength of being a small business that can do a lot fast.”
It’s hard work, but that’s what the company is built on. “Nothing replaces hard work,” Travis Burt says. “We work because we love what we do so much.”