John Ruan III, chairman of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, Inc., was inducted in the Iowa Business Hall of Fame on Thursday, December 6. This award recognizes outstanding leaders who have made significant contributions to business and community development in Iowa.
Ruan took over as chairman of the Ruan family trucking business in 1998, which was started by his father 80 years ago and grew to become one of the top 10 privately owned transportation businesses in the country. John Ruan III also serves as chairman of Concentric International, Inc.; chairman of City Center Corporation; and chairman of BTC Financial Corporation and Bankers Trust Company NA.
"John is an outstanding leader who has made significant contributions not only to our company and the other Ruan companies he chairs, but also philanthropically locally, nationally and throughout the world through his commitment to the World Food Prize," said Ruan President and CEO Steve Chapman.
Ruan recently served as chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC, and remains chairman of the Executive Committee for the U.S. Chamber.
"John possesses an unwavering commitment to free enterprise and civic-mindedness," said Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue. "You won't find anyone more loyal and dedicated to the Chamber and to the people, principles and causes he believes in."
Ruan also serves as the chairman for the World Food Prize Foundation, an international organization with deep family ties. The prize, established in 1986 by Dr. Norman Borlaug, is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. It was Ruan III's vision, leadership and financial contribution that paved the way for the transformation of the century-old Des Moines Public Library into the $29.8 million Norman E. Borlaug World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, which opened its doors in October 2011.
"In the decade that John Ruan III has guided the World Food Prize as chairman, the organization has achieved its greatest stature, with its $250,000 annual award now referred to by heads of state as the 'Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture' and its international symposium lauded as the 'premier conference in the world on global food security,' said Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation.
Michael Gartner, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and businessman, and Steve Rasmussen, president and chief executive officer of Nationwide, were also inducted alongside Ruan.
The Hall of Fame honors Iowans who have made outstanding contributions to developing and enhancing Iowa's business climate. They are selected by the Greater Des Moines Committee, a group of 129 business leaders. The committee, which began in 1902, has been nominating people to the Hall of Fame since 1975.
"On behalf of the Ruan team, we congratulate our owner on this much deserved accomplishment," Chapman said.