East Hants Women in Business – Deanne Parsons

March 8, 2024

Deanne Parsons always wanted to be an entrepreneur and had the drive – quite literally- to do it. With a background in business and banking, Deanne set out to become a licensed transport truck driver and start a business in the traditionally male-dominated trucking industry. From this vision, Shepherd Transport Limited was born.

A woman stands holding the door of a large blue dump truck
Deanne Parsons, owner of Shepherd Transport

Banking on her Business

Before founding Shepherd Transport, Deanne had a career in the banking industry helping small businesses achieve their financial goals. Her experience guiding other entrepreneurs along with her degrees in Political Science and Business gave Deanne the confidence to start her own business when the timing and location were right.

Deanne moved to East Hants for the first time in 2006 and after a few relocations for work, she jumped at the chance to call the region home again in 2010. East Hants’ rural lifestyle with city amenities just a short drive away is what attracted her back to the area. The region’s connected, central location also made it the ideal place to launch her transport business.

Deanne has been on the construction scene since 2015, holding positions such as a director, manager, or consultant within the construction world, however, Shepherd Transport officially opened in 2021, with Deanne purchasing her first Kenworth truck in 2022. Since then, Shepherd Transport has grown quickly with two more drivers and a second truck joining the fleet by April 2024. The company’s portfolio has grown impressively as well, completing contracts for a variety of provincial road projects and assisting with road-building efforts during the Hammonds Plains wildfire in July 2023.

As if that much growth during a pandemic wasn’t impressive enough, Deanne also operates Sisters By the Sea Event Planning and Decor with her sister, Amanda O’Neill.

Canine Coworkers

Deanne affectionally named Shepherd Trucking after her two shepherd dogs, the oldest of which is featured on the company logo. Their involvement in the business doesn’t stop there though – Deanne is often accompanied by one of her six dogs throughout her work day. They ride along  in her truck cab or take a shift as office greeter. Deanne will even use the Shepherd Trucking Instagram account to showcase pups she’s fostering and help them find forever homes. [add truck pic with Deanne and Dog on side bar]

Road to Success

As a female driver and business owner entering a male-dominated trade, one might expect some bumps in the road. When asked about the challenges she has faced, Deanne says she has been very lucky to be supported by fellow drivers and has been widely accepted by the industry and her community. Her biggest challenge has been her “self-battle to have patience” when it comes to running a business during COVID. She credits East Hants’ supportive community and connected location with helping pave the way to success and can’t wait to see where the road takes her next.