Steve Russell, founder of Celadon Group, dies at 76

Steve Russell, founder of Celadon Group, dies at 76

Steve Russell, who founded and led the Celadon Group's transformation from a small dry van carrier in 1985 into one of the trucking industry’s most formidable firms, died on Friday. He was 76 years old.

Russell's company was one of the fastest-growing trucking companies in 2015.

"We are deeply saddened by Steve's passing," said Paul Will, board chairman and CEO. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve's family and many friends at this time."

Celadon started out by hauling auto parts to a factory in Mexico in 1985 before expanding into other transportation and logistics business segments. The company now has revenue in excess of $1 billion, a fleet of more than 5,000 tractors, 12,000 trailers and more than 4,000 employees.

Before he started Celadon, Russell served variously as chief financial officer of RCA, president of Hertz Truck and Equipment Corporation and director of Advanced Product Planning for Ford Motor Company.

He was trained as a mathematician and received a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from Cornell University.

Russell was also a member of the American Trucking Associations’ Executive Committee and served on the boards of the Cornell University Graduate School of Management, the Eiteljorg Museum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The company Russell founded increased revenue 27.3 percent last year, which improved its ranking in the Top 50 fastest-growing trucking firms to No. 26.