PITTSBURGH, Oct. 19, 2012 – FedEx Ground, the small-package ground unit of FedEx Corp., (NYSE: FDX), has awarded one of its highest honors to three entrepreneurs whose businesses provide transportation services for the company. During a private banquet held last night in Pittsburgh, Timothy Hughes (Hughes Delivery Service, Inc., Memphis, Tenn.), Kevin Nickerson (Kelchco, Inc, Pontiac, Mich.) and Tina Wade (WTC Incorporated, Portland, Ore.) were named FedEx Ground Entrepreneurs of the Year.
The distinction recognizes them for their business growth and development, customer service, safety record, community involvement and ethics. Of the nearly 9,000 transportation businesses that support the FedEx Ground network, Hughes Delivery Service, Inc.; Kelchco, Inc.; and WTC, Inc. were selected from a group of 17 regional winners representing the best small businesses for FedEx Ground’s fiscal year ending May 31, 2012.
“The FedEx Ground Entrepreneur of the Year program was established in 2007 to honor the most exceptional small business owners who collaborate with FedEx Ground and commit their companies to delivering on a promise of reliable, safe, cost-effective and professional service,” said Dave Rebholz, president & CEO, FedEx Ground. “Through their outstanding efforts, these three individuals have built lucrative and thriving businesses while also making substantial contributions to their local communities.”
FedEx Ground management, as well as owners of small business that provide pick-up and delivery service for the company, can nominate the entrepreneurs that have demonstrated unwavering commitments to customer service, safety and their local community. Faced with an ever-changing economy, the Entrepreneurs of the Year were selected by FedEx Ground for continuing to run successful businesses and maintaining their status as industry leaders.
The following are brief company profiles of the businesses whose owners were honored:
Tim Hughes — Hughes Delivery Service, Inc., Memphis, Tenn.
Hughes Delivery Service, Inc. has contracted with FedEx Ground for 19 years. The company employs19 people and runs a fleet of 18 pick-up and delivery vehicles.
Safe driving is strictly enforced, resulting in the company having no accidents for the year and owner Tim Hughes having no accidents since 2001.
Service levels for Hughes Delivery Service are equally impressive, with a posting of more than 99 percent of pick-ups and deliveries being made on time, and no customer complaints. Hughes emphasizes with drivers the importance of presenting a strong, professional image and delivering to every customer an outstanding experience. These qualities reflect well on Hughes Delivery Service and FedEx Ground, which will help both businesses continue to grow.
In addition, Hughes Delivery Service, Inc. participates in United Way outreach and represented FedEx Ground at the Memphis Redbirds minor league baseball opening-day game in a logoed vehicle. To promote teamwork, the corporation’s drivers have participated in the annual Tennessee truck driving competition.
Kevin Nickerson — Kelchco, Inc., Pontiac, Mich.
Kelchco, Inc. has contracted with FedEx Home Delivery in Pontiac, Mich., since the service began twelve years ago. As a startup, the business delivered a single route with one employee. Today, Kevin Nickerson is responsible for eight employees, nine delivery vehicles and a simple, but effective business philosophy of treating every package as if it were his own.
Since Kelchco’s founding, safe driving and customer service have been hallmarks of the company. Its employees have not had an at-fault accident in 12 years. All employees are trained and updated on any new customer service information. This past holiday season—known as FedEx’s Peak season—the business expanded its resources to help ensure a record number of packages were delivered on time.
Kelchco is active in the community, including supporting local charities, such as the American Cancer Society. It is involved in an annual fund raising event that has donated more than $10,000 to cancer research.
Tina Wade — WTC Incorporated, Portland, Ore.
In business for just two years, WTC Incorporated is a linehaul business that employs 12 people who operate six tractors. Within that brief timeframe, WTC has thrived, earning a reputation for cooperation and service excellence. The company’s authorized officer, Tina Wade, runs the business with her husband, Ron Wade.
“Our goal is that packages make it to their destination on time, every time,” said Tina Wade. “We all understand the importance of on-time service; it keeps us competitive.”
Service depends on completing the routes safely. To do this, Wade voluntarily attends and participates in safety committee meetings to discuss ideas and plans for the month’s safety awareness messages. She then conveys this information to WTC drivers through a variety of methods, including a monthly newsletter.
“We also hold a quarterly safety breakfast meeting with drivers to share safety ideas and garner feedback,” says Wade, who presents a $100 monthly safety bonus to each of her company’s drivers with no preventable accidents or speeding tickets, and hosts a holiday party where employees who’ve driven accident and ticket free for the year receive a $500 bonus. “We’ve been successful with this approach. It’s about fairness in pay and benefits, respect and treating drivers as if they were family. We want our drivers to feel WTC is the best company to work for.”
WTC employees participate in state truck driving competitions and local community activities and organizations, such as food drives, homeless shelters and a “Big Truck Day” event. Wade is also a voluntary member of the FedEx Ground independent contractor ambassador program.