Trent Griffin-Braaf, owner of Tech Valley Hospitality Shuttle, believes decisions determine destiny.
“I put myself in some negative decisions. I own that,” said Griffin-Braaf, in an interview inside his Schenectady home.
“Whatever you put your mind to, you can really do it."
The now 33-year-old husband and father of two was released from prison nearly a decade ago. He was locked up for more than 3 years for selling drugs.
“I knew I didn’t want to go back to prison and I was willing to do whatever I had to do to not do that,” said Griffin-Braaf.
After release, Trent took multiple low-wage temp jobs before getting into the hotel industry. He worked his way up from cleaner to general manager of a hotel in Rotterdam. When he noticed no hotel in the area offered shuttle service to the airport, he saw a business opportunity.
That’s how Tech Valley Hospitality Shuttle was born.
The service began operating out of Schenectady earlier this year. It has six part-time employees and three vehicles, specializing in group transportation, shuttling clients for weddings, corporate events, and other outings.
Trent took Spectrum News for a ride in his 11-passenger van.
"It feels good. It feels great; especially, it is so big so it draws attention. People are looking at you,” he said while driving.
The business is moving its headquarters from Schenectady to Troy. Trent says he hopes to, one day, franchise the company.
“I can see us changing the hospitality industry the way Uber changed the taxi industry,” said Griffin-Braaf.
He is determined to succeed and driven to fulfill what he considers his true destiny.
“To have had a vision and to put it to life and to see it, feel it, I mean, there’s almost no greater feeling in the whole world,” Griffin-Braaf said.