Contractor to be honored at international CONEXPO-CON/AGG equipment exposition for making a significant difference for the community’s quality of life
Elizabeth MacCue knows how to handle heavy workloads – she knows how to haul them, too.
As the owner of Bad Girlz Truckin, a Southbridge, Mass., construction trucking company, Elizabeth demonstrated she knows the value of helping restore quality of life for her community after a tornado tore through her hometown, killing three and injuring more than 200.
The morning of June 1, 2011, in Southbridge, Mass., wasn’t much different from most late spring days with temperature in the low eighties and high humidity. But that changed as a cold front pushed into the warm New England air and three tornados, including one rated EF-3 with 135 mph winds, cut a 39-mile swath through Hampden and Worcester counties.
In Southbridge, trees toppled, roofs blew off and cars were overturned. In the Springfield area, about 30 miles west of Southbridge, 500 buildings and homes were destroyed.
Local contractors, including Elizabeth MacCue’s Bad Girlz Truckin, pitched in with mobilized municipal crews.
Crew Volunteers for Difficult Storm Clean Up
The clean-up work was a way for MacCue to give back to her home community of Southbridge, helping rebuild the quality of life for residents. During warmer weather, Bad Girlz specializes in paving, milling and hauling, and snow removal in winter, but now it was time to volunteer the company’s capabilities for disaster relief.
“We had several friends who were affected by the storm,” said MacCue, recalling how Bad Girlz helped Southbridge residents the night of the tornado. “On the night of the storm, we were out immediately with the skid steer and chain saws to help clear some paths.”
The job was difficult and often dangerous. “Our biggest challenge was electrical wires. We had to be careful when we cut the trees and branches. There was so much debris that sometimes the tree branches would spring back and snap,” said MacCue.
Rebuild Efforts Result in a Better Community
Bad Girlz Truckin didn’t stop after just a few days of volunteering. For weeks after the storm, MacCue and her staff used their free time to help residents clean up.
And in the two years since the tornados hit, much has been done to rebuild schools, churches, businesses and homes in Southbridge and the surrounding areas for the better. Even the area’s green spaces got a makeover. Hundreds of trees were planted, replacing those lost in the storm.
For MacCue, there is a lot of satisfaction in being able to give back to the community that supports her business. From her own experience, she knows how tough it can be to start from scratch.
Start-Up Business Faced Challenges, Now Going Strong
MacCue’s story involves all the challenges faced by start-up small businesses. MacCue launched Bad Girlz in 2008, and, as with many such businesses, it’s been “one thing after another.”
“But now, three dump trucks and two trailer dumps later, I am still learning everyday... and going strong,” MacCue said.
Hard work doesn’t stop her from having fun, evidenced by the company’s name and its striking logo depicting a “bad girl.” MacCue said she “wanted a logo that was beautiful in color, and showed something sweet, yet strong.” Artist Jasmine Beckett Griffith designed the logo showing a tough girl with angel’s wings. “She is nothing to mess with,” said MacCue.
Bad Girlz Truckin has been on a strong growth path. At the beginning, MacCue worked alone. “Now, it’s me, two part-time female drivers, and my two daughters, who work in the office,” said MacCue. Her husband Tim, a shop foreman for a truck dealer, has been very supportive. “He knew I could make a difference. He has always been my biggest supporter…and my mechanic!” said MacCue.
‘Convoy for Kids’ Program Supports Children’s Charity
MacCue continues to volunteer for other causes to improve the well-being of her local community. Her trucks are part of a “Convoy for Kids” that supports a local Ronald McDonald house. A convoy of trucks and motorcycles ride from Springfield to Palmer to raise money. Drivers donate their time and children ride along in the parade.
“The children love to see the different trucks,” MacCue said.
And the residents of Southbridge see the difference that the construction industry, through industry professionals such as Elizabeth MacCue and Bad Girlz Truckin, can make in the community. They know these “bad girlz” are good.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 828,000 women were employed in the construction industry in 2011. Of those, only three percent worked in transportation and material moving. MacCue is one of those women.
“We’re making it work,” MacCue said.
For contributions to our quality of life, Bad Girlz Truckin will be recognized at North America’s largest construction equipment trade show, CONEXPO-CON/AGG. A company representative and one guest will receive a free trip to the show in Las Vegas in March 2014.
At CONEXPO-CON/AGG, they will see all the innovative new equipment that will continue to support their work for better living brought to you by the men and women of the construction industries.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the international gathering place in North America for the construction industries. The event features exhibits of the latest technologies and innovations in equipment, products and services plus extensive industry-targeted education. The next CONEXPO-CON/AGG is March 4-8, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, USA. More than 100,000 attendees are expected. For more information about CONEXPO-CON/AGG, visit www.conexpoconagg.com.