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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
Our people are our greatest asset. We recognize their value with continual investment in training programs, both in-house and external. Most of our staff has either Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) or Professional Customs Brokerage (CB) designations. Whether you are a one-time shipper or a multi-national corporation, we have the knowledge, experience, and training to serve your customs and transportations needs.
Laurence joined Courtney Agencies as Controller in 2004 although has co-located with Courtney offices since 1996 as its customs software provider. Laurence has been authoring software solutions for the custom broker industry since the early 1970’s and was the first independent provider to get a customs broker on-line with the Customs Automated Data Exchange (CADEX). In addition to his customs software and accounting background, Laurence was a professional trainer for 25 years.
laurence(at)courtney dot ca
Serrena joined Courtney Agencies in 1992. She is a CSCB Certified Customs Specialist and speaks English, Cantonese and French, and has knowledge of Mandarin. In addition to customs work, Serrena handles accounts receivable and is often the first person to answer the phone at Courtney. She earned a business administration degree at Concordia University. When not at work, Serrena can be found at the movies or exploring new travel destinations.
serrena(at)courtney dot ca
Sonja joined Courtney Agencies in 2003. She speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin and studied in Canada before emigrating from Hong Kong in 2003. Sonja is a CSCB Certified Customs Specialist and handles export documentation and low value shipments for Courtney Agencies. She earned a BSc in Math from Dalhousie University. Sonja also has a professional background in financial administration and is an avid Sudoku player.
sonja(at)courtney dot ca
Sandi joined Courntey Agencies in 2004 and has worked in the industry since 1989. She is a CSCB Certified Customs Specialist and has completed other CSCB short courses. In addition to customs, Sandi also has a background in logistics and administration. At Courtney Agencies, Sandi handles dedicated customs accounts, B2 refund claims, and assists with collections. In her spare time, Sandi is a photographer and painter with an interest in oriental cultures and gourmet cooking.Sandi has an interest in Asian culture.
sandi(at)courtney dot ca
Al joined Courtney Agencies in 2003 and has worked in the industry since 1993. Al specializes in Courtney’s international and domestic logistics business. He has held the CSCB Certified Customs Specialist designation since 1995 and CIFFA certificate since 1997. Al speaks English and conversational French and completed his BA in Economics at Concordia University. Al is an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for downhill mountain biking.
al(at)courtney dot ca
Mary joined Courtney Agencies in 2006 although her industry experience dates back to 1976 when she first became a member of the Institute of Customs House Brokers. Mary has been a CSCB certified professional customs broker since 1984 and also holds CCS and CIFFA designations as well as an accounting certificate. Mary speaks English and Cantonese and in her leisure time can be found reading, drawing or knitting.
mary(at)courtney dot ca
Bert joined Courtney Agencies in 2005 and has worked in the industry since 1982. Bert is a certified customs specialist. He speaks English and Farsi and completed his BA in Business Administration in University of Tehran. Bert loves reading books and watching TV, especially sports channels.
bert(at)courtney dot ca
Melissa joined Courtney Agencies in 2006 after just graduating from university. She has a bachelor's degree in International Business from "Tec de Monterrey" (ITESM) University. Melissa speaks English and Spanish and loves to travel.
melissa(at)courtney dot ca
Courtney staff photos by Paul Lang
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