20th Anniversary Q&A

Am-Tran president Jim Hobbs and Accounting Manager Ken Liu reflect on 20 years at Am-Tran

Q: What inspires you about working at Am-Tran?

Jim: What inspires me at Am-Tran is working with a team of managers who genuinely enjoy working together. The turnover within our management team and dispatch staff is remarkably low, and the group has grown significantly over the years as Am-Tran has become one of the leading medical courier services in Northern California. It's inspiring to see how team members develop their professional skills, and to watch how those skills allow us to build deeper relationships with our customers.

Ken: Am-Tran is a place for anyone with the desire to grow. The company really manifests the saying, "Where there is a will, there’s a way." Am-Tran provides the way for anyone who has the aspiration to grow.  

Q: What is one proud moment you remember from the last 20 years?

Jim: As odd as it may sound, some of my proudest moments are when employees leave Am-Tran for other jobs. We pride ourselves as being a Company that helps employees improve their lives, however that may be. We love being able to provide a great recommendation to help them get that job, and when these people move on to the next stage in their lives, we celebrate with them. We wish them the very best, and really like it when they come back to say hello every so often.

Q: What is one unique challenge you faced in the last 20 years?

Jim: The first and most memorable challenge was taking over courier operations at Stanford Medical Center. It was our first major medical contract and we had only three weeks to learn the system, purchase vehicles, hire drivers, etc. The challenge brought us together as a team and set us on our path as a medical courier company.

Ken: I remember I was once in the middle of processing employee payroll when the office internet shut down and I had to rush home to get it done by 5pm so our employees would get paid on time. It was a rush, but I got it done. I have done the payroll every time since then, (872 weekly paychecks later to be exact!) and our employees have never received a late paycheck. 

Q: Tell us about one of your favorite "firsts" at Am-Tran.

Jim: Most of my “firsts” at Am-Tran wouldn’t be categorized as favorites. They usually entail someone doing something that you can’t believe they would think to do, and us just scratching our heads. Like the employee who showed up for their first day of training at a customer facility, went to the bathroom, and we never saw or heard from him again.

Ken: I remember my first management meeting at Am-Tran. At the time, I was a part-time employee and wasn’t part of the management team, so I wasn’t required to stay late to participate. The meeting also had nothing to do with my specific job. Nevertheless, I asked if I could join out of a desire to learn more. Today, I’m the only person from that meeting that’s still at Am-Tran and I continue to stay in the loop about what’s going on company-wide.  

Q: What is one proud moment you remember from the last 20 years?

Jim: We’ve made many unique deliveries over the years, and it always gives me a great sense of satisfaction knowing that the specimens and medications we transport are making a meaningful impact on people’s quality of life. It’s also particularly satisfying to know that over those twenty years we have never lost a single one.

Ken: I’ve only worn a suit and tie once in my time at Am-Tran and it was to pick up our first check from Stanford Medical Center back in 2008. Our business with Stanford was a big deal for Am-Tran and I wanted to dress for success. I was proud to receive that check and my colleagues were impressed by the suit and praised me for dressing sharp. 

Q: What is something people may not know about you?

Jim: I’m a closet Taylor Swift fan.

Ken: I was an accounting manager at a big Import-Export Transportation Company in China for 7 years without an accounting degree. 7 years after I came to the USA, I got my B.S. in Accounting and started to work in accounting again at Am-Tran. That was 17 years ago!

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