When Basil Hammond was asked to carry blood from the Red Cross in Burlington, VT to Colebrook, NH in his old station wagon, he had no idea that this journey was the seed for a business that would become North Country Medical Courier Services (NCMCS). NCMCS has been transporting medical samples for over thirty years, and they work for local and national labs, including the American Red Cross.
Bobbi Lynds worked for Basil’s son, Dave Hammond, as his office manager in 2007. When Dave died unexpectedly in 2013, Bobbi found herself in the position of an “accidental CEO.” Although she had not aspired to this position, Bobbi couldn’t bear the thought of NCMCS closing down or abandoning the loyal employees who had stuck by her after Dave’s passing. She decided to purchase the company and grow with it and her staff.
In 2018, Bobbi began searching for a better home for NCMCS. They were located in The Rivermill Commercial Center in Lebanon, but the Rivermill building is growing in a different direction, and NCMCS no longer fit their vision. When Bobbi found the Enfield Garage for sale, she spoke to Mascoma Bank about a loan, and they recommended asking GRDC for help.
“Bob Walker (GRDC loan officer) worked with Scott Stephens from SBDC (Small Business Development Center) to explain the projections I would need,” Bobbi said. “GRDC helped with my down payment so I could put money back into the business. I found it a really easy process that made sense to me, and I got to see how everything fit together.” Bobbi is all about supporting others and taking care of her town. “I would recommend cultivating a relationship with GRDC even before financial need arises,” she said.
NCMCS currently has three administrative employees and 11 drivers. After they move to the Enfield Garage in July 2019, Bobbi hopes to expand their work family, as NCMCS has had a high of 29 drivers in the past. “This business does well with folks in the underserved community,” Bobbi said. She wants to continue providing jobs for this circle and taking care of those who may not find good care elsewhere. The Enfield Garage building also houses a hairstylist and two residential units, and Bobbi is excited to connect with the neighboring businesses as well. “It’s all about community,” she said. Bobbi is working to define what growth means for their company, which means evolving but staying true to their core values. “I absolutely feel like I can reach out to GRDC if I need them,” she said. “I’m really excited to have a loan that gives back to the community as the community has given so much to me.”