The view from the FIDI chair

Sep 07 | 2023

Derek Duffy from Armstrong Moving in Toronto is the current president of FIDI. Steve Jordan caught up with him for a chat about his career and some of the challenges the industry faces in a changing world.

Derek Duffy  Derek Duffy, along with his business partner Rod Speers, own Armstrong Moving in Canada.  The company is now 60 years old and in moving terms, a big player with 120 office-based staff and a global presence with representation in multiple time zones.  But despite running one of the industry’s major move management companies, Derek confesses to be just “A humble kind of mover guy”, which I have always thought is not a bad place to start.

He's been with Armstrong all his working life.  He had a contact with the Armstrong brothers through a sporting acquaintance which gave him, aged 18, an opportunity to work at the company between finishing high school and starting university. But unlike many people he didn’t start working on the trucks, he was a dispatcher in the office. “I was in the heart of operations, I never really did the ‘on the truck’ stuff.”

He continued working at Armstrong throughout his education and, following graduation, stayed on.  He’s now been there 34 years.  He became a minority shareholder in 2008 and, in 2020, he and Rod bought the entire company.   “It's quite a journey from summer job to business owner,” he explained. “It wasn't necessarily in my plan but, when you are continuously challenged, surrounded with good people and fairly compensated, the need for change is not a priority.”

Today the company has branched out, as well as through its global presence, into fine arts, general warehousing and has a scientific transport company for moving laboratory equipment. “It keeps me busy,” said Derek.

I asked Derek why he was involved with FIDI and why he was happy to give so much of his time freely to the organisation ...

Photo: Derek Duffy.

Click here to read the full story in The Mover magazine.

Click here to read the next editor's pick.