STL Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Transportation & Logistics
The partnership between Artur Wagrodzki and Tomasz Tokarczyk, current presidents of Artur Express, started when, at a young age, they became neighbors in New York. Their families had emigrated from Poland and both men didn’t know any English.
Today, they’ve acclimated and thrived through hard work and refusing to give up with things get tough.
First working as black car service phone operators and dispatchers, Wagrodzki and Tokarczyk used their knowledge of the logistics of the transportation industry to start Artur Express in 1998. They had one company truck and a trailer.
Initially, the two focused on providing and managing drivers and freight rather than trucks. But in 2006, the company headed in a new direction to accommodate customer requests and invested in company-owned trailers and driver education. This embodies their leadership and management style of controlled risk-taking.
By focusing on providing quality customer service and timely deliveries, the company’s reputation has grown at an astonishing rate. In the 15 years of operation, Artur Express has not experienced a year where the company did not outperform the previous years.
The company has an operations team of more than 60 that works out of its St. Louis headquarters and five satellite offices to field a fleet of 375 trucks.
Another key to success has been employing the right technology to help the company simplify and streamline processes to better serve customers and the drivers, often by developing its own software.
Wagrodzki and Tokarczyk maintain a philosophy of treating their drivers with care and providing employee benefits that create a competitive advantage in an industry with high turnover. That treatment crosses over to the corporate employees, who can receive increased payouts as the company exceeds expectations and benchmarks.
Their idea of running a successful company has always been to keep everyone involved by working through failures and achievements as a team.
How to reach: Artur Express, www.arturexpress.com