John Ruan Named Transportation Hero

May 23, 2012

Ruan Transportation Management Systems Founder John Ruan was recently honored as a Hero of Industry and Technology and inducted into the Spaulding Center for Transportation's Heroes Center for his significant contributions to the transportation industry.

At the May 18 ceremony, held at the Spaulding Center for Transportation's Iowa Transportation Museum in Grinnell, IA, Ruan Chairman John Ruan III accepted the award for his father.

"I know my father would be proud of this award," John Ruan III said. "He was very deserving of it, and I thank you for the recognition."

John Ruan, who founded the company 80 years ago during the Great Depression, was celebrated||special8212||in part||special8212||for implementing the industry's first formal safety program.

"Mr. Ruan believed in safety first. He viewed safety as a moral imperative for the well-being of his employees," said Iowa Transportation Museum board member Jim Kottmeier, who presented the award.

Launched in 2009, the Transportation Heroes Center is an educational, web-based exhibit that pays tribute to individuals who have made significant contributions to Iowa's rich transportation heritage.

"This is a nation that recognizes its heroes, and it does it well," said Gerry Schnepf, board president, in his opening remarks about the importance of the Heroes Center.

The Heroes Center is the centerpiece of the Iowa Transportation Museum, located at the former site of the historic Spaulding Manufacturing Co., where thousands of horse-drawn vehicles and motorcars were produced in the early 1900s.

For more information about the Heroes Center and to learn about other transportation heroes, visit