As president of Portland Transmission Warehouse (PTW), John Bradshaw was part of seven-decade family tradition that began when his father, Gene, opened a general automotive repair facility in Oregon’s largest city. Over the years, the Bradshaws began specializing in automatic transmissions and, later, retail and wholesale parts distribution.
John joined PTW at his father’s request after college and a brief stint as a lawyer. “It was different work from being a lawyer,” Bradshaw recalled. “Every day had something different: inventory, operations, sales and marketing, you name it. Dad and I took night courses to build our business management skills and keep the company growing.”
PTW expanded from its original 1,000-square-foot building, with apple boxes for shelves, to a 32,500-square-foot warehouse storing more than 75,000 parts. The Bradshaws' commitment to their employees and customers helped the company weather an unexpected financial crisis following Gene’s death in 1990, and a market downturn in 2000.
Bradshaw felt that PTW was still evolving as a small business. There were always new issues, concerns and ideas where he felt he could use some special expertise, a different perspective, and good advice. Those needs led John to Portland SCORE.
Since working with SCORE, Ross Bradshaw has taken over as president of the company. John still serves as CEO and keeps an office on site.
Bradshaw went to Portland SCORE, where he began working with a team of volunteer mentors to address concerns such as inventory management, information technology upgrades and establishing a Web presence. SCORE mentors also served as a sounding board for Bradshaw and his son Ross, who then served as PTW’s general manager.
The Bradshaw family has been active in the community throughout the ups and downs of the business. PTW sponsors Portland’s popular “Spring Classic” car show, which has occurred annually since 1982. Bradshaw has served on the Portland Small Business Advisory Committee, the Central Eastside Industrial Council, and the Governor’s Small Business Advisory Committee.
Bradshaw says, “SCORE is a means by which we can help the community. We give flyers from Portland SCORE to our sales staff to distribute on their visits and include them with our invoices. The more, we can spread the word about this great organization, the better it is for everyone.”