Black Business Feature: Concrete Connect
CEO, La Shawn Freeman, Concrete Connect
What is Concrete Connect?
Concrete Connect is Brooklyn’s premier airport shuttle transportation service of choice for Brooklyn residents and visiting travelers who prefer to Ride Well and Travel Well. We offer a safe, reliable and convenient shared-ride transportation experience for customers departing to and from Brooklyn to NYC Airports, all at an affordable price.
What inspired you to create your company?
I was tired of spending $35 or more for a taxi to JFK and LGA Airports. Brooklyn has been lacking low-cost, shuttle transportation alternatives to the surrounding airports. My father, Booker Freeman, who also aspired to have his own transportation company, helped me create Concrete Connect to give Brooklyn residents and travelers that alternative. We started providing service in July of 2015, but had to cease operations after a month. My father was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer earlier in the year, and became extremely sick that summer. He passed away this past November. Although it’s been extremely difficult, I resumed operations in January 2016 to continue this much needed service in our community, and to continue my Dad’s legacy.
Have you always aspired to own a business?
I never thought that being a business owner would be my path, even though I have leadership qualities. I was always used to assisting others with their business initiatives. Over ten years ago as I was ascertaining my MBA in Marketing Management, I provided marketing assistance to small business owners of NYC while working with NYC Department of Small Business Services. And most recently I assisted my sister who is a licensed psychotherapist, launch her own private practice. After some introspection, I knew I did not want to be a part of Corporate America for the rest of my life. I was never completely satisfied working a 9-5. I wanted to be the one in control of my career, my destiny.
What is unique about your shuttle service as opposed to taking a taxi?
Concrete Connect offers shared-ride shuttle service to NYC airports. Currently, we have regularly scheduled JFK Airport shuttle service, with departures every three hours from the corner of 4th & Flatbush Avenues (in front of LIRR Atlantic Terminal), also stopping at the intersection of Nostrand Avenue/Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy. Special reservations can be made for service to other NYC airports as well. To a customer, cost can be determined as monetary or time. Concrete Connect costs 30% less than the average one-way taxi fare to/from Brooklyn and JFK Airport. We even have group rates available. And with only a 30-40 minute ride to JFK, you can save yourself some time using Concrete Connect airport shuttle services, instead of public transportation. Being an African-American woman owned organization, with women employees, brings a different element to the transportation industry.
Do you have plans for expansion in the future?
I definitely would like to expand Concrete Connect operations in the near future to other undeserved markets in NYC. It’s definitely top of mind, as my family and friends have been requesting for me to (smile).
What is in store in the next 2 years for this company?
In the upcoming years, I would like to focus on forming additional synergistic partnerships and having operations within other sectors of transportation.
Why should travelers ride with Concrete Connect?
Concrete Connect is professional, convenient, comfortable and reliable. We take pride in providing exemplary service to our customers and being personable as well. As an additional convenience, children under 3 years of age are always free.
What is your favorite travel destination? Why?
I feel like I haven’t traveled the world thoroughly enough to even answer this question. But as of now…I would have to say Jamaica. I absolutely love their culture, music, food, people, beaches, Sangster’s Rum Cream (smile)…I can go on and on. South Africa, Greece, Switzerland, Cuba, Thailand and Tahiti are a few countries on my travel bucket list.
How has being a business owner changed your life?
I barely sleep. I work 7 days a week. My social life has decreased dramatically. I haven’t had time to reintroduce myself to the gym. I dream about emails and meetings. But to reach the level I want, this is what being an entrepreneur is all about and the sacrifices I have to make. And I’m up for the challenge.
Where can people learn more about Concrete Connect?
Please visit www.ConcreteConnect.nyc or call 844-700-RIDE for information about Concrete Connect and to keep updated on the transportation services we provide. Find us on social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Yelp for positive reviews from recent Concrete Connect Riders.