Member Story: Heath Andre of Lake Champlain Sanitation
Your Trash, His Treasure
When Heath Andre bought the business that became Lake Champlain Sanitation in 2018, he gained 40 household accounts “and an old, beat-up pickup truck,” he said.
Fast-forward to today, and that business has grown to nearly 700 households. That old pickup is gone; in its place are three new trucks, including a compactor, a pick-up and trailer, and a roll-off dumpster truck with 10 dumpsters available for rent.
Chalk up a big part of Lake Champlain Sanitation’s growth to Heath’s business savvy.
But another part, Heath says, can be credited to Adirondack Regional Federal Credit Union.
“If it wasn't for them, I don't think we'd be able to grow as fast as we have over the past five years,” he says.
He’s grown quickly because Adirondack Regional works fast, too.
Like when he refinanced a custom commercial pickup that he bought out-of-state at the height of the pandemic. The original loan he got came through a large, national bank; he knew the rate was high, but at the time, he just needed to get the truck. When he turned to Adirondack Regional FCU for commercial truck loan, “I was ready for a six- to eight-month process of background checking, but it only took a couple of months and we had it all refinanced and it was good to go,” he says. “It made me feel good with how quickly it went.”
That kind of speed means Heath can spend his time managing his business, rather than managing his bank.
“There’s a lot of things in your day-to-day that you have to think about, from employees, to financing, to regular cash-flow issues. Adirondack Regional was very transparent with me and made the whole process simple.”
Best of all, he says, are the relationships he’s built with the people at Adirondack Regional FCU. In fact, he noticed that even before he transferred the bulk of his accounts here. When he first started banking here, “I wasn't even really looking for a loan at the time,” he says. “I was looking for somewhere to park some business checking accounts and feel comfortable. As a small business, I'm not a big fish in town quite yet but I wanted that personal feel.”
He knows what it means to have a local connection. He’s spent his whole life in the North Country: Heath grew up in Cadyville, graduated from Saranac High School and Clinton Community College, and worked locally before getting into the waste hauling business.
When he talks to other business owners, he tells them the same thing: No matter whether you’re just starting out, or you have a little more experience, Adirondack Regional FCU is ready to be your partner.
“What I like the most about them is that you never feel like a number,” he says.