Amy Griffith, 40
Owner/manager, Van on the Go
When Amy Griffith was working part time at a hotel, people were always asking if there was a shuttle to get to the airport. After seeing poor grad students get hit for $50 cab fares, starting a shuttle service seemed like a no-brainer.
Not everyone was thrilled with the idea. Griffith got harassing phone calls that she suspects were from cab companies. She couldn’t get conventional financing for a high-risk business with no track record and high insurance needs. So she went with Plan B: she took out a second mortgage on her home and ran her credit card up to the hilt.
Now, after three years of running Van on the Go and the constant juggling of logistics, Griffith doesn’t think there’s anything her company, which she runs with a partner, can’t handle. “We haven’t left anybody at Dulles in a long time,” she says with satisfaction.
Exhaustion is a topic that comes up frequently, thanks to workdays that often run to 18 or 20 hours, seven days a week.
The company is still in the red, and Griffith says September 11 nearly put them out of business. But she has never had doubts about her idea or whether she could do it.
Griffith credits community support for keeping them in business. “We see ourselves as a vital part of the community,” she says. “You can count on us.”
And while Griffith never envisioned herself as an entrepreneur, she’s got this new idea….Read more on: Van on the Go