Celadon mourns death of founder

John G Smith

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Steve Russell, who founded Celadon in 1985, died on April 15. He was 76.

“We are deeply saddened by Steve’s passing,” said Paul Will, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celadon Group. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve’s family and many friends at this time.” 

Russell launched the business by transporting automotive parts to a Mexican plant. Today, the fleet generates more than $1 billion in revenue, operates more than 5,000 tractors and 12,000 trailers, and has more than 4,000 employees across North America.

The Celadon Group first established its operations in Canada with the purchase of Gerth Transport Ltd. in May 1998.  In 2000, the name was changed to Celadon Canada. Two years ago, Celadon acquired Hyndman Transport and operated Hyndman as an entity separated from Celadon Canada.  Later in 2013, the Celadon Group acquired both Hoss Carthage and Yanke Transfer and merged these companies into its operations in Canada.

“We instituted a succession plan several years ago to begin to plan for this date,” Will added, referring to the loss of Russell.  “Over the past year, we have promoted Eric Meek to president and COO and made other changes to our executive team as Steve stepped away from the business.”

Russell also worked in management roles for Ford Motor Company, RCA Corporation, and Hertz Truck and Equipment. He was also a member of the American Trucking Associations’ Executive Committee.


John G Smith

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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