May 10, 2019 11 AM - 1:30 PM EDT
In 1984, Andra started Rush Trucking from scratch with $3,000 of savings and a $5,000 loan from her parents. Within 5 years Rush Trucking was nominated by the Detroit 3 automakers for Corporation of the Year as an outstanding supplier-partner. Today Rush Trucking Corporation transports parts for Fortune 50 companies across the US and Canada with a 1,100 fleet of tractor-trailers.
Since founding Rush, Andra has gone on to start impactful and successful businesses including Dakkota Integrated Systems (2001) which provides assembly and sequencing of automotive interiors to OEM clients from its 13 operating locations many of which are strategically placed near tribal reservations and provide access to well-paid job for Native peoples; and Detroit Manufacturing Systems (2012) which was recognized by President Barack Obama during his 2014 State of the Union address for creating hundreds of manufacturing jobs in the City of Detroit (the first to do so in decades) and in Toledo. Andra sold her majority share of Detroit Manufacturing Systems in 2018, with the company continuing to create jobs for the surrounding communities.
Andra and her companies have been recognized for excellence throughout her career including multiple Suppler of the Year awards from Chrysler, General Motors and Ford, Ford’s World Excellence Award for Diverse Supplier and Leadership in Diversity, Ford Q1 quality endorsement, and recognition from the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council for business success and supplier development and diversity programs among many others.
Outside of her businesses, Andra has and continues to take active roles in supporting the supplier community including serving or having served on the US Manufacturing Council, Ford’s Supplier Council, and supplier advisory boards for General Motors and Chrysler. She currently serves on the board of directors of Terex Corporation and is an active member of Business Leaders for Michigan, Detroit Economic Club, Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit Workforce Board, Downtown Detroit Partnership, United Way of Michigan and Women Presidents’ Organization.
A University of Michigan alumna, Andra was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014 for innovative job creation and manufacturing ingenuity, and the Michigan Business Women Hall of Fame and Michigan Minority Business Hall of Fame in 2017.