Ruan Lights up Des Moines for Inaugural Founder's Days

Jun 26, 2009

Ruan Transport Corporation will dazzle Central Iowans this July by lighting up the Des Moines skyline - not with fireworks, but with an illumination fitting of the unique Ruan building and the Ruan legacy that began in Des Moines. In honor of founder John Ruan, the company will celebrate its first ever Founder's Days with activities throughout the month, beginning with lighting the Ruan Center in downtown Des Moines with red bulbs on July 1 at 9 p.m. 


Throughout his life, Ruan has built a diversified business empire with significant economic impact on Des Moines and Iowa. He's also contributed extensively to philanthropic causes either close to his heart or with global impact, including the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society and The World Food Prize. To honor his example, Ruan Transport, in partnership with the United Way of Central Iowa, and as part of its Founder's Days celebration, is encouraging employees to volunteer three to four hours during the work day every Friday in July. 


Ruan, now 95, founded Ruan Transport Corporation during the height of The Great Depression, growing it to one of the largest privately owned transportation service companies in the U.S. He made his first official truck delivery on July 4, 1932, when his Iowa State University tuition money ran out. He traded in a family car for a truck to capitalize on trucking service needs in southern Iowa. Within a year, he had three trucks hauling 42 tons of coal daily. What started as a modest venture quickly grew to be a business that literally changed the face of Des Moines and beyond.


In his commitment to the community, Ruan helped to spark downtown Des Moines' resurgence in the 1970s when he constructed the 36-story Ruan Center office complex, the state's largest building at that time. The Marriott Hotel and Two Ruan Center followed later. Additionally, he contributed to the development of Des Moines' skywalk system and the Polk County Convention Center. Ruan was named the Iowa Business Leader of the Year in 1991, and received the Iowa Award, the state's highest citizen award, in 2001. The American Trucking Association's Ruan Transportation Center building was dedicated in Washington, D.C., in 1997, honoring his more than 50 years of service to the transportation industry.



About Ruan Transport

In business nearly 77 years, Ruan is a trucking industry leader offering a range of supply chain solutions. Its core business is dedicated contract carriage, which offers customers complete door-to-door shipping solutions, but the company also offers bulk transportation, Ruan Certified Brokerage Services, logistics, and warehouse management. With revenues of more than $860,000,000, Ruan has 5,100 employees, 3,300 power units, 5,400 trailers, and manages more than 550,000 annual logistics shipments. The company operates in 48 states and has more than 170 locations nationwide. 


Additional Ruan Interests

Ruan Inc. also has interests in banking, financial services, real estate, international trade, and a hotel. Ruan owns BTC Financial Corporation which includes Banker's Trust, the largest independently owned bank in Iowa.


Ruan has been recognized in innumerable ways throughout his career, including being named the Iowa Business Leader of the Year in 1991, and being honored for more than 50 years of service to the transportation industry with the dedication in 1997 of The American Trucking Association's Ruan Transportation Center building in Washington, D.C.