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An Entrepreneur and Business Owner Who Can Never Do Enough for His Community


Sunday, May 19, 2019
The Ballroom at Bayou Place

Scott “Duke” Ensell is president and CEO of Admiral Transfer & Rigging, a company that specializes in over-the-road, heavy haul services and prides itself on being customer focused and an innovator in the industry. Since its creation in 1984, Admiral Transfer & Rigging has expanded its capabilities in response to customers’ needs, amassing 20 tractors and over 110 trailers and pieces of specialized equipment.

Born in Kingsville, Ohio, Duke followed in his parents’ footsteps by beginning his career as a truck driver. Even at the age of 19, however, he had a vision. That’s when he conceived of, and began, Admiral Transfer & Rigging. In 1985, Duke moved to Houston to take advantage of the flourishing work climate. From that time on, he worked hard to turn his company into the reputable reliable business it is today.

Customers know they can count on Admiral Transfer & Rigging to get the job done safely, timely, and professionally. The company’s employees are a large part of what makes it so successful. Duke knows this and makes them aware of the positive impact they have. The average employee tenure is 14 plus years, which is practically unheard of in the trucking industry. For customers and employees, Admiral Transfer & Rigging is a way of life.

Duke is the proud father of Jordyn and Dylan and doting grandfather to Liam. He raised his children as a single parent from 2007 until 2015, when he married his wife, Michelle, and became a wonderful stepfather to her sons, Brandon and Grayson. Devoted to his family, it is important to Duke to be a positive influence on them, and he loves introducing them to new and varied experiences.

Going to see a movie, catching a Cirque show, bowling, attending concerts, playing laser tag, visiting Monster Jam, attending a Renaissance festival, and going on weekend outings are only some of the activities Duke and his family do together. Also fond of traveling with his family, Duke’s favorite place to visit is Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, the Roller Coaster Capital of the World. Quiet evenings at home are also cherished, and the Ensell family can often be found around the dinner table sharing a family meal.

In response to his good fortune in business, Duke finds himself compelled to give back to the community that has been so good to him by being a vital part of a number of its organizations and charities. Here is just a sample of the many important nonprofits he supports: The Women’s Home, Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP), Stages Repertory Theatre, Alley Theater, Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC), Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony, Shriner’s Hospital, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and Houston Zoo.

One organization he also supports, and that is very dear to his heart, is Best Buddies. Duke’s son Dylan is special needs, and he participated in Best Buddies while attending high school. Duke has been involved with the group since 2009. Even though Dylan has graduated from high school, Duke continues to support Best Buddies and the extraordinary work it does for the special needs’ community.

Duke has been involved with a number of events raising funds for the organizations he cares so much about. Here are some of the more recent: he and Michelle chaired the Best Buddies 2017 gala and were also the auction chairs, he chaired the Mr. Magoo: Calling all Superheroes gala for CAP in 2018, and he was the auction co-chair for the Stages Repertory Theatre’s 2018 gala.

As thanks for his service to the community, Duke was recognized at The Women’s Home 2018 Triumphant Affair Luncheon with the Champions of The Women’s Home Award for his support and involvement and he has been the yearly recipient of the Platinum Ringmaster Award from the Shriner’s Hospital from 2009 to 2019.

Duke’s wife, Michelle, says her husband is often referred to as Superman. It’s no wonder. Along with his work and community service, Duke can often be found rescuing stranded motorists by the side of the road. His Jeep full of tools and equipment is his trusted sidekick in these endeavors. And during hurricane Harvey, Duke and his M925 army truck rescued more people in need than can be counted. Although Duke does so much for Houston, he still feels he can do more, and he will always do it with a smile on his face.

CKW LUXE would like to congratulate Scott “Duke” Ensell for being a CKW LUXE Top 20 CEOs and Entrepreneurs Awards recipient for 2019.

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