Two years ago, Brent Holliday of Gering sold the majority of his Nebraska Transport Company to another trucking firm. While the number of employees shrunk from some 250 to about 17, the sale opened up a new opportunity to try some new, creative things.
“The Holliday Family of Companies just kind of evolved from that sale,” Holliday said. “We kept the local cartage and logistics side of the business, but the blessing of it is that we have more time to be creative. We’ve had those ideas before, but never the time to accomplish them.”
One of their first new ideas launched in the fall of 2018. Called Suzy Q, it’s a mobile app that provides members with high-value digital coupons from locally owned businesses.
“We had to go through lots of learning and educating our businesses on how they can use Suzy Q to promote themselves,” said Jared Ross with the Holliday Family of Companies. “It’s like an electronic coupon pinning board and a great way to attract new customers they wouldn’t reach through traditional advertising media.”
Another mobile app is called Pose. It allows people to make animated memes, make pictures talk, make talking birthday cards and more to share on social media.
“We started out working with app programmers from overseas,” Holliday said.
For a lot of reasons, that didn’t work out as well as we wanted, so we decided to hire our own programmer.”
Programmers are hard to find in rural areas, but Holliday learned about a resident who came from the area who was working for Microsoft but wanted to come home. He was just what the company needed to create more technology applications in-house.
More traditional businesses are also a big part of the company. Hydrotex of Western Nebraska and Wyoming distributes high performance oil and fuel additives. Twin City Cartage offers truckload transportation services.
The flagship company that allows the Hollidays to do other things is called NTC Logistics. When Nebraska Transport Company sold in November 2017, many of its loyal customers wanted to stay with the new firm.
“The following really came from our brokerage services,” Ross said. “We help clients move freight every day. We’re heavy in the railroad industry, but are breaking into other industries. We move rail, hay and a lot of things like that. Our job is to get haulers connected up with those who need things hauled.”
Last year, NTC Logistics helped arrange for the transport of more than 100 million tons of rock to eastern Nebraska. The material was used for repairs from last spring’s devastating floods.
The philosophy that drives the Holliday Family of Companies is for employees to become better people, no matter their length of service.
“I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, so this is a faith-based company,” Holliday said. “I haven’t always been this way because I was very centered on Brent Holliday for a good portion of my life. But that’s the past because that faith has changed me. It’s taught me how to love people and my employees.”
He added sometimes it just takes a bold step. Holliday was watching a YouTube video about the faith journey of a former mob boss named Michael Franzese and his escape from organized crime.
“Michael has an interesting story so I read his book,” he said. “His email was in the back, so I thought ‘Why not give it a try to bring him here?’ I got a call three days later that he’d be happy to come to Scottsbluff.”
That led to a 700-plus packed house presentation in February at the Midwest Theater. The event was also live streamed, with another 140 people watching at their computers.
“I wanted people to have the opportunity to see the change in his life so they can have some hope,” Holliday said. “Hope is something we all need.”
Giving back to the community that has given them so much support just makes sense for Phillip Holliday, Brent’s son.
“We put 10% of our profits back into different community activities and programs to help make this a better place to live,” Phillip Holliday said. “We see the value in supporting our communities, especially when we face hard times. It’s more than just making money, but making an impact on our world.”
Brent Holliday agreed, saying they try to mirror what many families have done before in reaching out in love to a community in need.
“It’s never about our name,” he said. “It’s about the legacy we want to build so someone else will remember and want to do the same.”