FINALIST: Master Entrepreneur
Steve Russell has learned from his experience that a successful business leader needs to have four key qualities: leadership, intelligence, drive and street sense — to which Russell has given the acronym LIDS.
As the founder, chairman and CEO of Celadon Group Inc., Russell has continuously demonstrated these qualities, helping him to successfully lead the trucking services company through the economic downturn.
Instead of worrying about situations that he could not control, he developed a plan centered on a ?scally conservative policy, focusing on eliminating debt while effectively communicating the importance of the changes to his employees. Russell constantly challenges his employees to outperform expectations — something he has done since the early days of the company.
Russell founded what would become Celadon Group in 1985 with an initial investment of $30,000 and a vision to develop expedited service offerings to customers looking to cross the Mexican border. Celadon was one of the ?rst U.S. trucking companies to take trailers into Mexico — before Celadon, trailers were delivered to the border, where cargo would be stored in a warehouse and reloaded onto Mexican trucks. Russell’s business model streamlined the border-crossing process, cut out the warehousing and saved the shippers signi?cant time and money.
As one of the few trucking companies operating in both Mexico and Canada, Celadon maintains a NAFTA focus. In an environment that is challenging to enter, Celadon provides seamless integration for shipments across North America, giving the company a competitive advantage in the region.
As a solutions-focused company, Celadon has also taken the initiative to diversify service offerings, with a goal of continued expansion to better service customers. ?
HOW TO REACH: Celadon Group Inc., www.celadontrucking.com