Business owner rebounds from setbacks

Roc Anderson
Roc Anderson
Roc Anderson
Roc Anderson

“The year 2007, I went through a divorce, foreclosure and bankruptcy,” said Roc Anderson. Fast-forward nine years and Anderson is now the owner of Frontier Transportation.

Frontier specializes in transporting clients for hospitals, St. Paul Public Schools and Hennepin County. It maintains its customer base by following its mission statement of being punctual, professional and dependable at all times. Of all his clients, there is one group that is especially close to Anderson’s heart, and that is the youth.

Anderson states that some of the clients Frontier transfers for Hennepin County are sexually exploited youth. He takes this role very seriously, because his mission in life is to inspire the next generation. Therefore, transferring children with such traumatic experiences adds purpose to his life.

During the time they travel with the youth, his team engages with them on a very surface level to distract from anything that could cause them further trauma. The team focuses on topics like school and events of the day to not only engage them, but to give them an opportunity for laughter in a relaxed atmosphere.

Anderson feels that this opportunity alone gives his company a purpose. The passion to inspire can be seen in everything Anderson does, and to better understand the man known as Roc, rewinding to the past is inevitable.

Roc Anderson was born in Wisconsin as Darryl Anderson. He grew up in the projects with his mother (a single parent) and four siblings. In the early stages of his life he played basketball even though he was built like a football player. He remembers not being a good student, but doing just enough to get by.

With not many positive examples in his life at the time, Anderson says he often had to figure out life on his own. He remembers his senior year in high school, when his guidance counselor told him he had to pick up a trade to able to sustain a comfortable life after graduation. Anderson thought to himself that the life of working with his hands was not for him. The only option he had next was college, and he decided that by all means necessary he would enter.

With only three months left before college fall semester began, Anderson got enrolled in North Dakota State, where he ended up playing football. North Dakota was a culture shock according to Anderson.

“Here I am coming from an all-Black area to an all-White state,” said Anderson. He experienced some racism during that time but remembers the race issues as only a problem off campus. Due to the fact that he was an athlete, he was more protected on campus.

Through all the challenges, Anderson feels that his time in North Dakota was worth it. It was a place he learned a tremendous amount. Around this time, at the age of 19, Anderson remembers attending a real estate seminar where he was told that if he purchased the packet he would have all the tools necessary to be a millionaire. However, Anderson did not have the money at the time to purchase the packet.

He was later advised by a friend to learn everything on his own. He spent time in the library reading everything on real estate, and after studying he felt prepared and went to make a series of purchases.

Anderson bought four buildings at the age of 19, and quickly thought to himself, “If I can do this once, I can do it again.” That was the beginning of his real estate journey.

He started his own mortgage brokerage company in his basement. He successfully ran the company with 20 employees for 10 years. But in 2007, when the housing market crashed, he lost everything.

“I was so used to making at least $20,000 a month, I did not save anything. I thought my business would last forever and I would make money forever.” Along with his business, he lost his wife and his house.

Inevitably he had to end up working for someone. He worked at Wells Fargo for two years and says he hated every second of it — the idea of working for someone else was just not for him. During the time he worked for Wells Fargo, he enrolled in the Summit Academy. It was there that he met a man who ran a certified nursing assistant company, and that man was in need of transportation for his employees.

Anderson loved the idea of partnering up, so he created a three-month plan to set up his own transportation company. But three months later when he met up with the man again, he was no longer interested in transportation. Anderson decided to take his plan to other clients. It worked for him, and now, almost five years later, he has 20 vans and three major contracts.

Anderson meditates for at least 25 minutes every day in order to vividly remember certain parts of his life. “2007 is a vivid time for me, and I remember that time period so I do not go back. My memories keep me grounded.”

He also says that he is excited to experience the growth of Frontier Transportation. With his credit back intact, a new home and no debt, Anderson believes he is a lot wiser with more to learn.

Asked about how he feels about his life now, Anderson states: “I am inspired. It is an inspiring time.”

 

For more information on Frontier Transportation, call 612-259-8151 or email frotiertransportationMN.com.

Julia Johnson welcomes reader responses to jtoles@spokesman-recorder.com.

 

Edited 1/14/2016 6:40 pm

2 Comments on “Business owner rebounds from setbacks”

  1. Great article on triumph and encouragement. Many of us with businesses struggled during 07, 08, and 09. Cheers to continues success and growing your business 10 fold.

  2. Hi @Tamela, Thank you so much! It was great writing this article. Mr Anderson story is truly a testimony. I hope this reaches many people and shows that resilience is key.

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