In 1995, two men in the moving industry were having dinner and signed a napkin as a business partnership agreement. And so Ronald Valade launched the new Montreal division of Martel Express, while his friend and partner Luc Lagacé continued running the operation he had established in Trois-Rivières, Québec. Looking back on over four decades in the moving industry, Ronald Valade is especially grateful to Luc Lagacé, who gave him the chance to start his business. “He was confident in my ability,” said Ronald, “because he saw me work in front of the salespeople. Without him, my business could not have come into being.”
The president of United Van Lines, Anne Martin, has known Ronald her entire 30-plus year career at United. She had high regard for him as a very dedicated salesperson whose “passion, caring, and energy” had driven him for ten years straight to be United’s top salesperson in Canada. In a telephone interview, she recalls: “To see someone able to have a very highly specialized career in sales, but then to have this entrepreneurial spirit and actually realize a dream, and then have to become an administrative person, an operations person, a financial person, on top of being a salesperson, I think is really an extraordinary accomplishment.”
In 2000, Ronald bought out his partner Luc Lagacé and, after 21 years running Martel Express, he has officially handed over the reins of the presidency to his son, Mathieu Valade in 2016. “He always finds new ways of doing things,” said Ronald in a phone interview, “and that’s why I passed the presidency to him.” Mathieu Valade is now at the helm of the company and upholds the company’s principles and family values. His sister, Catherine Valade, has now joined the company as well. Mathieu steers the growth of Martel Express with the support of numerous partners such as United Van Lines, Armstrong, MoverOne and many others…
Beyond residential moving, Martel now specializes in distribution services for many specialty stores or companies such as Bouclair, Nestlé and Pottery Barn, turnkey equipment moving services and employees’ relocation for organisations like the RCMP, the Kativik School Board, consulates, etc.
Despite the diversification and rapid growth of the company, clients are still treated as friends and employees as family, reflecting the fundamental values held at Martel Express Montréal.