Joey Frederick has a bigger mission than money.
Not that the owner of Frederick Intermodal — a multi-million company headquartered in an unmarked building at 331 N. May St. in Madisonville — hasn’t made his share of it.
The company has grown from 32 employees and four satellite offices in 2004, when Frederick bought it from his mother to 137 employees and nine satellite offices. Sales have grown from single digits to double digits of millions during that time.
Frederick Intermodal, which started as Frederick Tire Service in Houston by Frederick’s parents, John and Dianne Frederick, is a container-repair company. It services both the international shipping and domestic transportation communities.
Not only does the company repair the large box containers that ride on ships and railroads, it provides mobile repairs on containers carried by semi-trucks. The company can repair or replace brakes, lights, and tires, do structural welding, and can totally rebuild a container that was in an accident.
“A lot of people know me from living here, but they have no clue what we do here,” Frederick said. “Our job is to make sure that cargo flows. We are a small part of the global supply chain, but we are important. There are a lot of products people buy here that we had a part in getting to them.”
The company has satellite offices in Houston, Dallas, Alliance, Fort Worth, and El Paso in Texas, and in Denver, Colo.; North Platte, Neb.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Some of its biggest customers are Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Gulf Consolidated Chassis Pool, Mark It Services, Trac International and Domestic, and Maersk.
But Frederick’s mission encompasses much more than his business.
The 40-year-old native of Niles, Mich., who moved to Houston when he was seven-years-old because his father couldn’t stand the cold, is all about his relationships with people and God.
Case in point: Madisonville seventh-grader Austin Blair bursts into the room with Frederick’s daughter, Camryn, carrying a brochure describing the éclairs he is selling to raise money for a project.
Frederick eyes the youth, then tells him to explain why he is there and what he wants. Blair gathers his courage, gives his sales pitch and passes the brochure to the men present. Then he rakes in their orders.
“I feel it is my responsibility, as a good steward of the community, to support the youth,” says Frederick, noting he purchased 12 poinsettias from Blair at Christmas. “But if you want money, you have to come see me. Sell me. We don’t do charity here.”
Frederick’s commitment to the youth is obvious in the plaques lining the hallway of the corporate office. He is the buyer of numerous animals from livestock shows and fairs, including fryer rabbits and penned heifers from the 2010 Madison County Fair.
And since he moved to Madisonville in 2007, he has coached numerous youth sports teams — soccer, basketball and baseball.
Frederick believes giving the youth his time is more important that just writing a check to them.
Frederick, who is married to Shannon and has three children — Misty Haren, Greg Hanes and Camryn — also is active in Crossroads Cowboy Church.
He serves as part-time youth pastor and is a member of the finance team there.
Frederick also is committed to his community. When he first purchased the company, he moved it from Houston to Ft. Worth so it was nearer the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. They bought a house in Ft. Worth and settled in.
Soon after, Shannon’s grandmother in Madisonville became ill, and she went there to take care of her. Frederick sold their Ft. Worth house and rented himself an apartment, bought a house in Madisonville for Shannon, and commuted for three years.
The company was relocated to Madisonville in 2007, after “hitting critical mass,” said Frederick. If it got much bigger — and he needed to add employees and satellite offices — it would be too big to move. The company first moved into the strip mall by Wal-mart.
“Madisonville was more attractive than anywhere,” Frederick said. “My daughter was involved in activities here and I wanted more time at home. I love my church and the community, and the people are very important here. I’m still gone quite a bit, but I get to return home.”
Frederick said he has surrounded himself with good employees here, and with very capable leadership.
Spencer Cook is vice-president of administration, Joey Wells is vice-president of operations, and Brandon Cook is in charge of business development.
“At the end of the day, it’s the people in the company who make it successful,” Frederick said. “It’s the employees who make it what it is. I am very proud to have a committed team. I love the company and am passionate about it, but I really love the people who are making it happen.”
Frederick said he runs the company on the 3-D principle — desire, dedication and discipline to do things correctly the first time.
He is planning to expand into running terminal operations that control cargo, short-line railroad work and doing more road service repair.
But most important to Frederick, who majored in business management at Texas A&M University, is operating a company that is based on religious ethics and values.
Frederick said he owes his success in business to God.
Frederick said the world needs more Christian men and women who have a positive influence on their employees’ lives.
Frederick said he credits his success to divine leading, hard work and running a Christian company that treats people properly.
“Anything I do with Frederick Intermodal stays here on earth,” Frederick said. “But my faith in my Savior is eternal. The Lord has blessed me tremendously and allowed me to be a success, and I will continue to give the glory to God.”