Barb Bakos, Powersource Transportation
Barb Bakos took the helm as president of Powersource after the death of her husband and company founder, Skip Bakos. Powersource has a fleet of over 130 trucks. Bakos was recognized with Top Woman-Owned Businesses Awards in 2019 and 2020.
Powersource Transportation was founded in 1994. Upon the untimely passing of my husband in 2014, I had a decision to make: take the helm or sell the company.
Coming from a construction and interior design background, I had zero knowledge of this industry. With the help of dedicated employees, webinars, conferences, and the determination to advance this company with goals that I set yearly, Powersource is a thriving, stable business.
My dreams and goals were set. Move the company from Lake to Porter County so that I could start giving back to the community that has nine generations in my history. A new building was constructed in 2019 in Porter County, complete with a driver’s lounge. I reached my revenue goal and increased the driver count by 30 percent. All of these accomplishments are possible by having a dream, making a goal, and giving your employees the right appreciation and tools to succeed.
I believe in open and honest communication. My employees and owner-operators need to know that I have their best interests at heart. We are all in this together. It’s not done by me alone. We move music concerts, Disney on Ice shows, huge over-dimensional and overweight loads, and everything in between. I stay diversified! It’s a very time-sensitive business. If you have taken your children or grandchildren to Chicago for a night of entertainment, chances are that Powersource has moved it.
Covid, in some ways, has actually been a positive for a lot of businesses. We have learned how to work remotely, start a Zoom session, and then adjust when returning to work with new procedures put into play. We have learned to take a two-day driver orientation down to one day. This is just one way that the shut-down has made our team put on our thinking caps. One thing I’ve learned in life is that change is inevitable. I chose to grow and prosper. The alternative is something that I never let enter my mind or my future.
I grew up in Valparaiso. It has always been a thriving, close-knit community, with all its citizens in mind while growing. I am so proud of how this community supports small businesses. How wonderful it is to walk downtown where many of my high school peers have businesses. I feel that Valpo supports their community first. It is definitely like one large family!