Ruan Hosts Leader Summit in Des Moines

Jul 24, 2023

Ruan recently had the privilege of hosting nearly 300 Ruan leaders from across the country in our headquarters city of Des Moines, IA, for a Leader Summit. We gathered to share more about our history and strategy, discuss our service lines, reinforce the value and importance of our special culture and Guiding Principles, and network and have some fun.

Operational leaders from 35 states joined our Des Moines Campus management team for three days to learn about how the company has continued to grow over the last 91 years based on the values and family culture established by our founder, John Ruan.

“As we lead Ruan into the future, the opportunity to come together in person allowed us to strengthen our collective understanding and alignment related to our values, culture, and strategy,” said CEO Ben McLean. “I look forward to what we will achieve in the months and years ahead as our leaders return to their teams and customers with greater knowledge, renewed energy, shared goals, and broader connections across the company.

Team members walked away with insights on Ruan’s overall strategy and Integrated Solutions service offerings, including Dedicated Contract Transportation, Managed Transportation, Value-Added Warehousing, and Brokerage Support Services. Through a combination of these asset- and non-asset-based services, Ruan is able to offer our valued customers optimal technology and superior service focused on continuous improvement, cost savings, and supply chain efficiency. Regardless of which service line a particular leader may be a part of, every Ruan team member can help us fully understand our customers’ service needs and allow us to create greater value for them.

“The Leader Summit was such a spirited and engaging event,” said Ben Lamaak, Managed Transportation Business Manager in Des Moines, IA. “I enjoyed the opportunity to network with various leaders throughout the organization as well as find synergies to help us align our business operations. I left the Summit energized and ready to continue the success with our One Ruan family.”

In addition to hearing from most of Ruan’s senior leaders on safety, leadership development, technology, financial literacy, and more, attendees enjoyed keynote messages from Justin Forsett, NFL Pro Bowl running back and co-founder of Hustle Clean, and Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. Drawing from his experiences as a professional football player and now a successful entrepreneur, Forsett shared the tools he used to overcome obstacles, serve others as a leader, and come out on top. Spear shared insights on industry trends and key regulatory hurdles.

“The Leader Summit was a wonderful experience that brought us closer to our goal of operating as One Ruan. Learning more about our history, growth, and direction as well as forming newfound relationships can only make Ruan’s future brighter,” said Robin Chapman, Dedicated Transportation Manager in San Antonio, TX.

Leaders returned to their operations and departments after the event with a renewed sense of excitement and energy for leading their teams and serving their customers, greater alignment around our goals and strategies, and importantly, a deeper understanding of their important roles in the future success of Ruan.

“The Leader Summit allowed us to connect with Ruan’s larger vision, past and present. The discussions were not shaped around numbers and productivity indicators, but rather large, bold opportunities and challenges to take with us to our leadership positions,” said Kurt Fackler, Safety Manager in Clovis, NM.

McLean drew upon our founder’s own words in his closing remarks before sending our leaders back to their teams. “Some exceptional chapters have been written about us,” he said. “But the book is still being written by each of you—how you will lead and serve your customers. You’re doing great work. Make your chapter of Ruan’s history exceptional. You’re our greatest strength. And, in effect, Ruan is your company. Lead it greatly.”