Business ownership is not for the weak and can be a bumpy road. When Kris Zachary took sole ownership of Burns Towing in 2013, she was set up for failure with an aging fleet and blemished credit. Running a towing company as a woman in a male dominated industry, Kris quickly realized she had to put the pedal to the metal to sustain and accelerate her business. “I’ve had to grow some very thick skin,” explained Kris. “I’ve had to have some great allies, resources, people that stand behind me and have faith in me.”
Eight years ago, Ascentium Capital believed in Burns Towing, providing financing that helped rebuild both her business and credit. Kris was able to catch up on balances and acquire a new tow truck. She shared her story with us back then in her first video testimonial.
“Ascentium is one of those companies that took the leap of faith with me and gave me a chance to prove myself.” Kris Zachary—President & Owner, Burns Towing, Inc.
Now, nearly a decade later, Kris sits with us again to discuss how her business has grown into new avenues and the part Ascentium Capital has played in her continued success.
To compete in this industry, Kris knew that one new truck was not going to be enough. She made it her mission to drive her business to new heights through the thoughtful acquisition of new vehicles. Purchasing 16-ton and 25-ton wreckers and a low boy with financing by Ascentium enabled the expansion of their capabilities into hauling larger tractors, trailers and the big rigs as well as delivering cars and transport.
In the time since the pandemic, vehicles—new or used—have been extremely difficult to come by. Low inventory combined with high demand mean you must be ready to move when a truck you want is available. The speed and simplicity of their financing—and the stellar service from her finance manager Tory—keep Kris returning to Ascentium. She knows they will always take good care of her. She says, "I never have to deal with anyone but Tory. After I find the truck I want, he always takes care of everything else!," and adds "The financing process has always been flawless."
“The relationship with Kris and Burns Towing is fantastic. She knows just what she wants, and that helps us keep things moving quickly, which is critical in her line of business. Same day approvals and extremely fast funding allow her to get the vehicles she wants before anyone else can claim them.” Tory Bianchi—VP Sales, Ascentium Capital
As the 3rd generation running a 56-year-old family business, one of the most fulfilling developments for Kris has been her sons taking an active role in the growth of Burns Towing.
“Here, it’s tradition. Our grandparents did it, my parents did it, I do it. I hope someday my kid will be interested in it. It’s a pride thing, It’s not just a paycheck.” Trevor Zachary—Equipment Manager, Burns Towing, Inc.
Drew and Trevor’s commitment and dedication have been key factors in the expansion of her business. Knowing that one day they will take over gives Kris confidence in the future of Burns Towing.
In addition to leading this highly successful Tacoma, WA based business, Kris also serves as Vice President of the Towing & Recovery Association of Washington. Participation in defining legislature impacting the Tow industry is crucial and a key part of her contribution to the community.
Kris Zachary has had to work hard to overcome some of the inherent biases she faces as a businesswoman in an industry dominated by men. Along the way she’s made some great allies and learned to surround herself with people and companies that want to see her succeed.
Burns Towing has grown to 25 employees and 16 vehicles and they’re not stopping yet. Kris is already working with Ascentium on her next vehicle purchase.
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