Bobby Harris represents the true spirit of an entrepreneur. Four-and-a-half years ago when his employer went out of business, and with a wife and two small children at home, he took a huge risk and opened his own company in the freight and logistics industry. In an uncertain economy, there was no way for a start-up company to get ?nancing. So he pulled together all of his personal wealth, including all of the money from his 401(k) and savings, and invested what he had to get BlueGrace Logistics off the ground.
With only eight employees to start, Harris, president and CEO, began his mission to reach what he believed was an untapped market of logistics for small to medium-sized companies. BlueGrace is now a leader in its industry and was selected as a ?nalist for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in Tampa Bay.
One of the reasons BlueGrace earned that distinction is because regardless of the company’s growth, Harris continues to keep an open-door policy with all of his employees. This drives a strong corporate culture where employees feel connected to BlueGrace through their relationship with the CEO. Harris keeps a refrigerator in his of?ce stocked with energy drinks, and employees are encouraged to grab an energy drink whenever they want, which inevitably results in a conversation.
Community involvement is very important to Harris. His cherished philanthropic organization is the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, where he volunteers both his time and money. In 2011, the BlueGrace corporate of?ce paired off against each other for a contest to see who could bring in the most food for the society. The employees collected 7,000 pounds of food. He also implemented a program where his employees are paid for and allowed time off work to donate time to the charity of their choice.
HOW TO REACH: BlueGrace Logistics, www.mybluegrace.com