The prestigious Harry E. Salzberg Medallion is presented during the annual Salzberg Memorial Program at Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management, an event that draws industry leaders in the fields of transportation, logistics, and supply chain management. Established in 1949, it recognizes individuals for significant accomplishments in transportation and supply chain management and is the oldest award of its kind. It's fitting, then, that this year's recipient, Earl Congdon Jr., is an industry leader who himself has a long history in the transportation business.
Congdon is executive chairman of the board of Thomasville, N.C.-based Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. (ODFL), a company that is best known as a less-than-truckload carrier but also offers truckload, third-party logistics, international transportation, and other services. He has served in that position since 2008, following a 45-year run as chief executive officer.
Transportation is in Congdon's blood, you might say: His parents, Earl and Lillian Congdon, founded the company in 1934, and his son, David, is Old Dominion's current president and CEO. And there's no question that the elder Congdon has seen a lot of change in his 64 years with ODFL. "When I joined the company as a driver at age 16, I never envisioned Old Dominion becoming one of the transportation industry leaders that it is today," he said on receiving the award. He attributed the company's expansion from a small regional motor carrier to a publicly traded company that provides nationwide transportation service to Old Dominion's "unwavering commitment to deliver a premium service and the tireless dedication of our employees."