People First Spotlight - Eleke Ukpabi

Feb 24, 2021

This year, we look forward to featuring several of our team members across the country in our People First Spotlight. First up, meet Eleke Ukpabi, Ruan’s Vice President of Solution Engineering and Data Strategy.

Eleke HeadshotEleke Ukpabi is a lifelong learner driven by continuous improvement and innovation. He leads with a passion for people development, community engagement, and technological advancement.

Eleke has more than 20 years of management experience in the logistics industry, where he has held several leadership roles in operations, sales, business development, engineering, and corporate strategy. He currently serves as vice president of solution engineering and data strategy at Ruan, with responsibility for supply chain solutions, consulting services, optimization strategies, pricing dynamics, and engineering design. He also leads Ruan’s data strategy with a focus on value creation, business intelligence, and decision execution. Eleke’s educational background is in industrial engineering and business management with advanced studies in engineering management and business administration. He also holds specialized certifications as a Quality Engineer and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

We took a few minutes to learn more about Eleke. Check out our Q&A below!

What do you find most rewarding about working at Ruan?

I am blessed to be part of a value-driven organization that embraces Ruan’s innovator, philanthropy, and community focused roots. It is rewarding to work with teams that strive for excellence every day while aspiring to live out our Guiding Principles.

What is your favorite memory during your time at Ruan?

My favorite memory at Ruan was participating in my first World Food Prize event. It was emblematic of my warm reception to Ruan and reflective of a shared passion for community engagement.  

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are.”

You are helping lead Ruan’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee. What excites you about the future, especially as we are celebrating Black History Month?   

I believe there is inherent value in each one of us. We all can be enriched by our diverse contributions and can learn from one another, with a deference for the unique cultural experiences that shape our perspectives and impact. I hope in this month, and throughout the year, we can make time for such reflection, education, and appreciation. As a company, we embarked on our DEI journey to further elevate the principles of People First and Continuous Improvement through awareness, acknowledgement, and action. I am excited for the growth opportunity for all of us at Ruan to engage more inclusively, while recognizing the systemic, interpersonal, and internalized elements of disparity in our society. I am optimistic for the future because our DEI Steering Committee’s strategic resolve is grounded on driving a sustainable force of fairness within and beyond our Ruan walls.  

We are in it for ourselves, for others, for one another…for the long haul. 

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy spending time with family, reading voraciously, and immersing myself in music.

In what ways are you involved in your community?

I aim to be a positive change in the world through community leadership. I’m currently the Board Chair for the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Central Iowa and Truevine Academy Foundation. I also serve on the United Way of Central Iowa’s Education Leadership Initiative and Investment Advisory Committee, Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, Iowa State University MBA Executive Advisory Council, and as a Logistics and Supply Chain Division Mentor for the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers.