Harry Mottram reports for Big Rig Finance
Sir Paul McCartney was made a Companion of Honour this week in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Best known as a member of the rock bands The Beatles and Wings he was with his wife Nancy Shevell who has a strange and unconventional history in the haulage industry. She is part of the family run New England Motor Freight (NEMF), a large haulage company founded in 1977 and has a turnover of around £400m. It is one of several transportation companies controlled by Nancy’s dad CEO Myron “Mike” Shevell and his family company, Shevell Group. NEMF employs 1,385 drivers and operates 1,446 power units. Their trucks consist of Ford, International, Mack, and Volvo, both single axle and twin screw, sleeper cabs and day cabs. The company has also purchased 50 Nissan 5000lb capacity forklifts and 100 Great Dane 53’ trailers with an option for an additional 100 before year end.Nancy Shevell grew up in a Jewish family in Edison, New Jersey., the middle daughter of Myron and Arlene Shevell. Her father started a transport firm in the 1960s with her uncle but in a shady episode they were charged with fraud by Government authorities over a deal with the local Mafia. The firm collapsed and Nancy’s Uncle Daniel shot himself.
In 1988 Myron bought NEMF – a firm that at the time was struggling to survive. According to the New Jersey Observer Myron Shevell was then accused of colluding with Vincent Gigante, the head of the Genovese crime family. The newspaper says: “It was claimed in a racketeering lawsuit that Shevell made illegal pay-offs in return for a deal that would allow his company to skirt union rules. Again the case never went to trial, but Mr. Shevell was barred for five years from engaging in union negotiations.”
By now Nancy had joined the firm in charge of administration after studying for a degree in transportation at Arizona State University where she was the only woman on the course. Although she now lives in England for much of the time with Sir Paul she still retains an interest in the family firm. She also served on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board, which oversees the vast public transit network in New York City for 11 years after being appointed in 2001 by then-New York governor George Pataki. Like McCartney she has a past. She was separated from her first husband when she first met the former Beatle at a party in New York – while he of course has been married twice before – once to Linda McCartney who died of breast cancer and then the notorious Heather Mills. It’s fair to say Nancy is the total opposite of Heather in that she shuns publicity.
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