Entrepreneur Nanda Wubs: ‘My Dream was to have a family business, and now we have two’

Nanda Wubs. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

WINCHESTER — Nanda Wubs of Wubs Transit and Precision Diesel is the woman in business in North Dundas: At least she could arguably make that claim as founder of the Dundas Women in Business meeting group.

Running two businesses and raising a family can’t be easy — let alone establishing a community organization — but this longtime entrepreneur does it with flair and class.

“To have a business you have to like challenges. I make decisions based on a long-term plan,” the mother of six says.

A bus company and a diesel truck-repair shop may not be typical female enterprises, and many wonder why she chose those specific vocational avenues.

“There has to be a purpose, a need, and a gap. As a citizen of North Dundas, I like to focus on the gaps,” she explains. That includes advocating for those living in poverty, a concern that saw Wubs come together with Pauline Pratt of the House of Lazarus to co-found Linking Hands Dundas County several years ago. More recently, she’s entered a role as “Community Advocate” with Community Foodshare.

And it’s a focus that has led to the creation of jobs in Wubs’s own world of enterprise.

“We employ close to 50 people between our two businesses,” she exclaims.

Part of their hiring process, especially when it comes to Wubs Transit, includes free school bus training.

Wubs and her son, Matt, also employed in the Winchester-based business as Transportation Officer. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Started in 2003 with only five bus runs exclusively serving a local private school, Wubs Transit today transports over 1,000 students to eight public and Catholic schools in the area. Their big break came when a dominant player exited the regional marketplace in 2014, opening up a rare contracting opportunity with the school boards’ joint transportation overseer — Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario.

Wubs Transit also runs charter buses; clients have used that service to transport construction workers to Ottawa’s LRT project as well as the city’s IKEA store when it was being built. It is also known as one of Ottawa’s favourite charter companies for corporate events, class trips and weddings — so much so that they have a special website for wedding transportation, www.weddingbus.ca.

Precision Diesel repairs and tunes up diesel vehicles, working efficiently, adhering to performance standards and becoming known as the go-to place for diesel performance.

Led by an experienced crew headed by her husband, Richard, the Dawley Drive shop caters to more than just locals. Some of their biggest repair contracts come from Ottawa and as far as Pembroke. She added that Precision diesel is also contracted to repair and service CP Rail and City of Ottawa trucks.

A believer in hiring local and employing females when possible, Wubs said she really enjoys supporting women in business — hence her creation of the Dundas Women in Business group.

She was also a visionary behind the 100 Women Who Care North Dundas initiative, which she gladly handed off to another local go-getter, Diane Crummy.

Coming from parents and grandparents who all had their own businesses, Wubs offers this advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs:

“Dream big, have a long term plan and work towards it. My Dream was to have a family business, and now we have two.”

Fun fact: Wubs Transit is the operating identity of a company whose true incorporated name is inspired by a 1980s toy. Little did Richard and Nanda Wubs know that when Richard’s brother registered “Optimus Prime Corporation” two decades ago — a name appearing in small print on the side of each of their 32 buses — a resurgent Transformers franchise would make the moniker cool even to the current crop of young school bus riders.

Optimus Prime Corporation — the actual company name of Wubs Transit. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the township’s 2019 Explore North Dundas Spring/Summer Resource Guide. The involved interviews took place in the first quarter of 2019.

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