Eddie Hughes loves to see the sun come up … from behind the wheel of his rig
I’ve had two jobs in my whole life. One was in the cotton fields in Mississippi. The other one was at UPS.
I like UPS a lot better.
I left Mississippi when I was 19 after I graduated high school. My family lived not too far from Memphis. We worked as sharecroppers. I had a good home raising. I came to Indianapolis where I had relatives, and I started looking for a job.
Before joining the UPS team earlier this year, I had never worked for a company with such a rich history. It really hit me when I spotted the Model T Ford® delivery car displayed proudly at our corporate office, and even more so while touring the UPS History Exhibit in the Archives as a brand new employee. The space includes displays that span the company’s more-than-century-old story, as today—August 28—marks our annual Founders’ Day and 105th birthday.
Although undoubtedly remarkable, the company reaching this milestone doesn’t come as a surprise given the principles primary UPS founder Jim Casey held dear. Even after his company had grown from the American Messenger Company to the United Parcel Service® and begun to expand from Seattle to other major U.S. cities, Casey had this to say about keeping the future top of mind:
“As always, our biggest need will be for broad-gauge people who can think beyond the present and apply sound, mature business judgment to whatever conditions we may have to meet.
With the 104th anniversary of UPS just around the corner (Aug. 28), I’ve been thinking about our founder, Jim Casey. Jim taught us a lot. His speeches and writings in the 1930s, 40s and 50s would make a best-selling business book if repackaged today. Thomas Friedman… Jim Collins… Gary Hammel… all the other business gurus of today – Jim had them all beat more than half-a-century ago.
But Jim taught us more than just good business. He taught us about philanthropy, and about giving back to the community.
This month, UPS celebrates 104 years of business. Our founder, Jim Casey, instilled in UPSers a spirit of service to our customers and our community. While Jim may not have regarded himself as a “hero,” his commitment to community service has delivered a lasting impact. Jim and his siblings founded the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) in 1948 to honor their mother, who struggled to raise the family as a young widow. The AECF serves as an advocate to help vulnerable children and families succeed.
In 1907, Jim Casey and Claude Ryan started American Messenger Company in a Seattle, Wash., basement office space. The two young entrepreneurs and their employees delivered messages to people throughout the day and night. Early on, the company strived to distinguish itself through customer service and team work.
That company eventually became UPS. On August 28, UPSers around the world celebrate Founders’ Day to remember what we have accomplished and what we have still to achieve. UPS has survived 21 recessions, a great depression, world wars and natural disasters. Our goal has never been to simply endure these challenging times, but to learn from the lessons of adversity and to thrive. For all that we have accomplished, we owe our success to the trust of our customers and the dedication of our employees.