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Dick Courtney founded Courtney Agencies Ltd. in 1955. After finishing technical school, he began his career in the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1945, he returned to New Westminster, B.C. to work for his father who managed the customs brokerage business of a larger firm. Dick worked at the company until 1955 when his father passed away and then set out on his own. Courtney Agencies had modest beginnings with a typewriter and one employee in a small “shack-type” office located next to the Fraser River in New Westminster, BC. At the time, this was the main ocean port on Canada’s west coast and Dick’s young firm provided customs brokerage and ships’ agency services to mostly local businesses. Dick was passionate about his business, socializing and golf, and was an active member of the Plimsoll Club, a shipping association. He was very proud that his wife Ronnie and his two sons, Don and Paul, entered the family business, and are now carrying the Courtney Agencies Ltd. tradition into its second fifty year tenure.
Veronica (Ronnie) Courtney
After raising her two sons, Ronnie joined Courtney Agencies full-time in 1975 to manage its office at United Terminals in Burnaby which she ran until 1989 when it amalgamated with three other custom broker partners. Ronnie has held her professional brokerage license since 1979. Originally, she trained at the Royal Society of Arts in England as a professional secretary before immigrating to Canada in 1963. Ronnie’s current role at the company is mainly advisory since her two sons, Paul and Don, assumed the helm of management and operations.
Paul began his transportation career in 1980 working for Courtney and other firms before returning to Courtney Agencies in 1988. Paul has held a professional customs brokerage license since 1991 from the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB) and graduated from the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) education program in 1997. Paul also studied business management at University of Toronto in order to earn his CSCB graduate degree in 1993, followed by his CSCB fellowship degree in 1996. Paul served on CSCBŐs B.C. regional board from 1996-2002 including two years as President and served on the CSCB national board of directors 2002 - 2006. Most recently Paul was elected as the Western Region Chair for the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association and Vice Chair of the board of Pooh Corner day care. Paul continues in his role as Vice President, Operations of Courtney Agencies Ltd., husband to Virginia and father to Leo. Paul is also trained as a chef and is a dedicated soccer player, cyclist and golfer.
paul(at)courtney dot ca
Don began his career at Courtney Agencies in 1985 and worked in related firms for eight years before returning to Courtney in 1995. Don specializes in the freight, ships agency and customs side of the business and has held the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) designation since 1997. Don has also held a professional customs brokerage license since 1992 and is a Certified Customs Specialist. Don studied history and philosophy at Kwantlen College and has a second career as a performer in the music industry.
don(at)courtney dot ca
Courtney staff photos by Paul Lang
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