CRST Media Kit Background

CRST-Media-Kit-Web.pdf

About CRST

CRST International is one of the nation’s largest privately-held transportation companies, providing comprehensive transportation and logistics solutions to customers all over North America. Every year, the company invests millions of dollars so that its customers benefit from having the best-trained drivers, the newest equipment, and the latest logistics technology. The company values the trust invested in it every day as it transports millions of dollars of goods across the nation.

CRST is debt free, fiscally strong, focused on superior service, innovative, professionally managed and community focused. The company continues in a growth mode fueled by several acquisitions in recent years.

Company History

In 1955, Herald and Miriam Smith started Cedar Rapids Steel Transport out of a refurbished chicken coop they bought for $125. At the time, they had no trucks and no customers, but Herald, known as “Smitty,” convinced firms he could save them money. He contracted with owner/operators who were hauling livestock to Chicago to return to the Cedar Rapids area with loads of steel instead of empty trucks. For the next 25 years the company grew rapidly by acquiring struggling franchises and their corresponding load-hauling authority to increase its jurisdiction and capabilities.

In 1980, when the Interstate Commerce Commission deregulated trucking, CRST deftly adapted to the transforming industry. Using entrepreneurial and innovative thinking, CRST capitalized on the new opportunities and experienced explosive growth becoming the largest trucking company in the state of Iowa and increasing its gross revenue by 25 percent. CRST was only the third carrier in the history of the U.S. to receive nationwide operating authority and cracked the top 100 list of the nation’s largest carriers. By 1981, the company was ranked No. 86 and in 1982 it was No. 61. Today it is ranked No. 24.

In 1983, John Smith, Herald’s son, took over leadership of the company. John continued the company’s history of strategic acquisitions for growth. One of the most notable of CRST’s acquisitions was the purchase of Malone Freight Lines of Birmingham, Ala., in 1984. The once struggling flatbed company posted a profit after only one year under CRST and has become the backbone of the company’s flatbed offering. The purchase gave the company a stronger presence in the South and Southeastern U.S.

Also in 1984, CRST changed its name to CRST International to integrate all of its companies under one unified brand umbrella and signify that the company was also doing business outside U.S. borders.

In the mid-1980s CRST began focusing on implementing and perfecting the team driving approach. Team driving wasn’t new, but this was the first time CRST broadly applied it to the company’s advantage and as a solution to meeting changing customer needs for JIT (just in time) inventory management. Team driving allowed CRST to increase efficiency and maintain CRST’s competitive edge, as well as provide reliable service, rapid transit time and on-time deliveries. Today, CRST maintains the largest fleet of team drivers in the industry and is able to provide reliable, safe coast-to-coast transport in less than 60 hours.

CRST has always realized the significance of having an ample supply of qualified drivers. Traditionally, CRST had hired only experienced drivers. However, by the late 1980s, a driver shortage had started to emerge. The company began to focus intensely on recruiting new drivers to the industry, as well as experienced drivers. The company expanded its driver training program to include a week of classroom instruction and two weeks on the road experience. This expansion allowed for more hands-on training with an experienced driver trainer. Safety has always been of high importance to the company, and this investment in driver training has allowed CRST to not only maintain its fleet, but also reduce accident rates. The company has expanded its driver training program numerous times in recent years and is able to accommodate nearly 200 drivers per night in its Cedar Rapids, Iowa, training facility and 90 per night at its Riverside, Calif. driver training facility.

Company leadership changed hands again in 2010 when John Smith transitioned to Chairman of the Board and Dave Rusch, formerly President of the CRST Carrier Group, assumed the position of CRST International President and CEO. Rusch joined the company in 1991 and has played an important role in increasing efficiency, profitability and growth through his various leadership roles.

CRST further increased its capabilities in 2011 with the acquisition of Specialized Transportation, Inc. (STI) of Ft. Wayne, Ind. A leader in white glove, customized supply chain solutions for products requiring high-touch, on-site services or special handling and equipment, added capabilities and customers to CRST’s portfolio.

CRST acquired two additional companies in 2013. In May, the Special Products Division of Allied Van Lines was purchased to complement CRST Specialized Transportation and created the most extensive network of specialized distribution centers in North America. In December, BESL Transfer Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, was acquired. BESL, a leading provider of short haul, flatbed service complements CRST Malone, one of the nation’s largest providers of long haul, flatbed service.

In 2015, CRST acquired Pegasus Transportation, Inc., based in Louisville, KY. Pegasus is a leading provider of regional truckload services, with a focus on the high-security, temperature sensitive, health sciences sector and the critical, just-in-time automotive industry.

Family owned to this day, CRST has evolved from a trucking firm to one of the nation’s leading providers of logistics and transportation solutions.

Operating companies

CRST International, Inc. is comprised of seven operating companies integrated to create complete transportation and supply chain solutions and provide deep industry expertise. From coast-to-coast runs to irregular routes, seasonal peak needs or “white glove” and temperature-sensitive loads, its seven companies work together to span the transportation industry and deliver a seamless customer experience.

CRST Expedited, Inc.

  • Largest dry van team carrier in the nation
  • More than 1,900 tractors and 4,000 trailers
  • 100 percent satellite equipped with online tracking capabilities
  • Specialize in secure, on-time and damage free deliveries
  • Coast-to-coast in less than 60 hours
  • Headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

CRST Malone, Inc.

  • A leader in flatbed freight management
  • The largest fleet of side kits in the nation
  • More than 1,350 flatbeds
  • Offers long haul, short haul, regional and dedicated services
  • Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.

CRST Specialized Transportation , Inc.

  • Industry leader in specialized supply chain solutions
  • Experts in white glove, customized supply chain solutions for products requiring high-touch, on-site services, special handling and equipment and visibility
  • Extensive network of agents and 52 distribution centers across the U.S. and Canada
  • Headquartered in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

CRST Logistics, Inc.

  • A full-service, third party logistics (3PL) provider
  • Offers brokerage services and customized or outsourced freight management
  • Single point of contact for a personalized approach
  • Expansive network of more than 30,000 carriers
  • Headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

CRST Dedicated Services, Inc.

  • Provides a full-range of services, from a totally dedicated fleet to a single-source transportation network
  • Experienced in complex private fleet conversions or simple, power-only scenarios
  • Offers fleet support in times of fluctuating needs
  • Headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

BESL Transfer Co.

  • Premier regional flatbed company
  • Specializes in hauling metal products, building construction products, machinery, over-dimensional and overweight freight
  • Fleet of flatbeds, drop decks, and specialized trailers can handle virtually any building commodity or machinery
  • Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio

Pegasus Transportation

  • Temperature-sensitive solutions
  • Just-in-time deliveries—always on time thanks to our team approach
  • A total logistical approach
  • Responsive customer service
  • Competitive pricing
  • Quality—ISO 9001:2008 Certified since 2001

Management Bios

At the helm of CRST is a senior management team with more than 250 years of combined leadership experience.

John M. Smith
Chairman of the Board
CRST International, Inc.

John Smith began his career in the family business in 1971. Over the years, Smith held various roles in the organization, including his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer in 1987 and most recently, Chairman of the Board in 2010.

Smith has been actively involved in the transportation industry, including appointments with the American Trucking Association, Inc. (Executive Committee and Secretary), Truckload Carriers Association (Executive Committee, Officer and President) and Iowa Motor Truck Association (Executive Committee and Past Chairman).

An active member of his community, Smith has held numerous roles, including, Chairman – Cornell College Board of Trustees, Board of Trustees – Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Board of Directors – U.S. Bank, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Chairman – Economic Planning and Redevelopment Corporation, Investor – Block by Block Flood Recovery Program, Past Chairman – Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Past President – Cedar Rapids Symphony, Past President – Cedar Rapids Symphony Foundation, Past Chairman – Young Presidents’ Organization – Iowa Chapter, Past Chairman – Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, Past Chairman – Red Cedar Chamber Music and Past Chairman – Priority One.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Cornell College and an MBA from Cornell University School of Business.

David L. Rusch
President and CEO
CRST International, Inc.

Dave Rusch was appointed President/CEO for CRST International in 2010. Dave joined CRST International in June 1991 as Vice President of Operations for CRST Malone, Inc. In 1998, he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer for CRST Van Expedited in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In March 2002, he assumed responsibility for all of CRST International’s asset based subsidiaries including, CRST Van Expedited, Inc., CRST Malone, Inc., CRST Dedicated Services, Inc., and CRST Capacity Solutions, Inc. At that time, he was named to the new position of President, CRST Carrier Group, which includes the above operating companies.

Prior to joining CRST International, Rusch was Vice President of Transportation Services for North American Van Lines, Inc. in Fort Wayne, IN. He held various senior management positions in both operations and finance for ten years. Prior to this Dave was a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A Certified Public Accountant, Dave has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree from the University of North Dakota.

Michael Gannon
Group President – Strategic Growth
CRST International, Inc.

Mike Gannon is Group President of CRST’s Strategic Growth Division. In this role, Gannon oversees the company’s enterprise-wide strategic business development, including acquisitions, as well as CRST Dedicated Services, Inc. Additionally, he is responsible for enterprise-wide Safety and Maintenance.

Gannon began his career at CRST International in 1983. He has held a variety of progressive leadership roles, including President of CRST Malone, President of CRST Expedited, Group President of CRST’s Fixed Asset Division, and most recently as Group President of Strategic Growth, a role he assumed in January, 2015.

Gannon holds a bachelor’s degree in Transportation Logistics from Iowa State University and an MBA from The University of Iowa.

Cameron Holzer
President
CRST Expedited, Inc.

Cameron Holzer was appointed President of CRST Expedited, Inc. in 2011, where he oversees all facets of the organization. Holzer joined CRST in 2007, where he has held progressive management roles, including; Director of Operations for CRST Expedited, VP/ GM for CRST Capacity Solutions and most recently Vice President Operations at Expedited. Prior to CRST Cameron held several successive management roles with CR England.

Holzer is a graduate of The University of Phoenix with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting.

Andrew Hadland
President
CRST Specialized Transportation, Inc.

Andrew Hadland was appointed President of Specialized Transportation, Inc. in 2012, where he oversees all facets of the organization in North America and Canada. Prior to joining the CRST operating company, Hadland held several successive management roles with Exel, a contract logistics provider in the Americas. Prior to Exel, he was with Chase Manhattan Bank in New York and London.

Hadland is a graduate of City University in London with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Management and his MBA from Imperial College in London.

Kent Jordan
President
CRST Logistics, Inc.

Kent Jordan was appointed President of CRST Logistics, Inc. in 2013, where he brings over 34 years of transportation experience to the organization. Prior to joining the CRSToperating company, Jordan was President of Jacobson Transportation Company, focusing on transportation brokerage, trucking and dedicated fleets. Prior to that, he was President for Jacobson Logistics, where he built the logistics unit from the ground up for the organization. Prior to Jacobson, Jordan was a key part of the multi-million dollar global logistics unit for the former GTE supply (General Telephone and Electronics Corporation),now Verizon.

David Souza
Chief Financial Officer
CRST International, Inc.

David Souza was appointed Chief Financial Officer of CRST International in 2016. Prior to joining CRST, Souza worked for CEVA Logistics holding successive management roles including CFO for the Americas and Senior Vice President of Internal Audit, with both domestic and international responsibilities. He started his career at KPMG. Souza holds both bachelors and masters of Accounting degrees from the University of Florida and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Lisa Stephenson
VP and General Counsel
CRST International, Inc.

Lisa Stephenson is General Counsel of CRST International, Inc. Lisa’s role is focused in the areas of transportation and logistics, employment and agency law, corporate transactional work, real estate matters, regulatory law, and mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to joining CRST, Stephenson was in private practice with Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman. She also served as a federal law clerk in the Northern and Southern districts of Iowa. Lisa practiced primarily in employment and labor law, as well as commercial litigation.

Stephenson earned her bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude, with honors) from Mt. Mercy College in 1995 and graduated (with distinction) from the University Of Iowa College Of Law in 1998.

Brooke Willey
Vice President – Human Resources
CRST International, Inc.

Brooke Willey joined CRST International in 2010 as Vice President of Human Resources. She is responsible for leading all Human Resource functions across the 6,000+ employee organization.

Prior to joining CRST, Willey held leadership roles in both operations and human resources at Yellowbook and Target Corporation.

A graduate of The University of Iowa with a degree in Communications, Willey is a member of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and Iowa Senior SHRM. She is actively involved with non-profit organizations in her community and a current board member for United Way and Young Parents Network.

Jerry Kilgore
Vice President – Information Technology
CRST International, Inc.

Jerry Kilgore was appointed Vice President of Technology for CRST International in 2016.  He has overall responsibility for leading the strategy, vision, and execution of technology initiatives, operations, and people across the entire CRST footprint.  Prior to this role Jerry was an executive in CRST Expedited with responsibility for Customer Service, Inside Sales and After Hours Operations.  Prior to CRST, Jerry worked for Rockwell Collins where he started as a Project Architect and Lead Systems Engineer and went on to hold roles of progressively increasing responsibility in program management leading a portfolio of military technology programs.  Prior to Rockwell Collins, Jerry held roles with Northrop Grumman and Raytheon and was an Officer in the US Navy.  Jerry holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California San Diego.

 

FAST FACTS

Year Founded: 1955

Founders: Herald and Miriam Smith

International Headquarters: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Chairman of the Board: John Smith

President/CEO: Dave Rusch

Ownership: Privately-held by the Smith family

Employees (Company drivers and office personnel): 4,900

Owner/Operators: 2,400

Distribution Centers in Network: 45

Annual Revenue: $1.3 billion (2016)

Operating Companies: 7; CRST Expedited, CRST Malone, CRST Specialized Transportation, CRST Logistics, CRST Dedicated Services, BESL Transfer Co., Pegasus Transportation, Inc.

Driver Terminals: 4; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Oklahoma City, Okla., Riverside, Calif., and Carlisle, Pa.

Training Facilities: 8; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Riverside, Calif., Oklahoma City, Okla., Birmingham, Ala., Rockport, Ind., Eldridge, Iowa, Fort Wayne, Ind., Cincinnati, Ohio.

Number of Million Mile, Accident-Free drivers: 245

Transportation Industry Rankings

• No. 24 – Transport Topics Top 100 For Hire Carriers (2016)

• No. 23 – Transport Topics Top 45 Dedicated Contract Carriers (2016)