Russ Schultz spent the early decades of his career as a sales representative in the truckload transportation industry, working the majority of those years as a sales representative for Indiana Western Express (IWX) in Springfield, Mo., and then briefly for Earl L. Henderson Trucking in Caseyville, Ill.
He liked to say the biggest lesson he learned during those years was that integrity and honesty were the most important values of any business.
Russ' wife Stacey Schultz shared his belief in those values. That's why she began to urge Russ to start a business where they could work together to instill those values in every customer interaction. On January 19, 2014, Russ and Stacey founded R & S Delivered, LLC in the basement of their home.
With Russ’ expertise in the transportation industry and Stacey’s experience in nonprofit management, the business took off quickly. The pair had their first load on the books before they could even master the software.
They targeted and called on five companies to start the business — Odyssey, XPO, Mastronardi, Sherwin Williams, and Taylor Farms. Together, they traveled to Connecticut, Arizona, Ohio, Illinois and Ontario, Canada, and all five companies immediately agreed to support them in this venture based on their years-long relationship with Russ.
Russ called on customers and carriers, and Stacey would input the loads, make the appointments, and do the check calls. Their first load was booked in February 2014. By the end of April, they had hired their first employee, outgrew the basement, and decided to move the business to a location better suited for growth.
They signed a lease and moved to 4540 Gravois Avenue in St. Louis in May 2014. They grew to six employees in that space and then moved to 2816 Sutton Boulevard in Maplewood, Mo., by October 2015. They did so well in that location that they grew to 16 employees within three years. They moved in December 2018 to 2663 Sutton Boulevard.
R & S Delivered grew from $1 million in gross revenue in 2017 to $14 million by 2021.
Sadly, the company lost its co-founder, Russ, in July 2021 after an extremely brief cancer journey. His charismatic personality and quick wit are missed every day.
Russ delighted in making his “R & S girls” laugh. He loved to tell stories and you could be sure that 50% of every story was true; you just never knew which 50%.
Although things tend to be a little quieter these days, Stacey, as owner and CEO, and her powerhouse staff of 12 women have persevered to keep the mission of R & S Delivered at the heart of the business.
They continue to focus on customer service and creating a family atmosphere because, as Russ was fond of saying, “When your name is on the door, doing the right thing comes first.”
As a certified woman-owned small business, the all-female team at R & S Delivered look forward expectantly to continued growth and success in 2023 and beyond.