Mike Sechrist, CEO & Elena Whorton, president of ProTransport-1

Mike Sechrist, CEO, ProTransport-1

SERVICES, FINALIST

Mike Sechrist and Elena Whorton didn’t like that emergency transport companies had to make nonemergency patients a lower priority, so they created ProTransport-1 to provide essential service to patients underserved by those companies. “We put the patient needing transport to a scheduled brain surgery or life-saving dialysis treatment first,” Sechrist says. “No other company in our region was within shouting distance of the priorities we espoused from the start.” Sechrist, founder and CEO, and Whorton, president, grew the company from a humble, two-person operation to a burgeoning industry leader. The pair used their two decades of paramedic experience to help them develop unequaled customer service.

Elena Whorton, President, ProTransport-1

The first contract — with a small, local hospital — was lost to an anxious protégé who cut his own deal with what was ProTransport-1’s only contracted facility. But in response, rather than to limit their scope, Sechrist and Whorton expanded their vision, seeking business in adjoining counties and abandoning their single-county business plan. From its unpretentious start with one used van and just Sechrist and Whorton on staff, the company has grown to more than 120 vehicles in 11 states permitted across 22 counties.

The company’s consistent growth since inception is attributable to many factors, including innovative strategies and services. With only limited access to capital, a key element was to indirectly fund growth in conjunction with other companies. By strategically providing transports to existing small companies in new market areas, the company was able to increase volume until demand required regular service in the area. This allowed ProTransport-1 to eliminate “loss leader” ambulances and generate profitable revenue. And fundamentally important to the company’s success is the “Professional, Courteous and On Time” motto to which the operations adhere.

HOW TO REACH: ProTransport-1, www.protransport-1.com

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