Meet the CEO: Joe Judson

The president and CEO of Fusion Logistics on the business lessons he's learned.

After buying his first Worldwide Express franchise in Indianapolis in 1999, Joe Judson created a business model that worked so well, it was soon replicated at every other office within the big shipping and logistics company. He eventually was promoted to Worldwide’s executive vice president of sales and franchise development and was named partner. In 2007, following a majority sale of Worldwide Express, Judson snapped up a number of franchises and formed a new entity called Fusion Logistics. The Dallas-based company, which provides global ground, air, and ocean-shipping services for small and midsize businesses, is now the largest franchise group for Worldwide and operates independently of the franchisor.   

FIRST JOB:

I sacked groceries at Jewel Foods in Lafayette, Indiana. I worked at that store through high school and college, and paid for my own education. 

WORST JOB:

I worked on a trash crew in the summer of 1992 at Purdue University.  

IF NOT LOGISTICS:

I considered law school, but realized I wouldn’t be good at burying my nose in a bunch of books and doing a lot of research; that’s not for me. I had to be out with people, so  I decided to get into sales. 

COMPANY CULTURE:

We’ve got a lot of good people who show up to work on time every day, and stay as late as they need to. It sounds cliché, but it’s a hard-working company culture. We don’t have a lot of casual days. It’s very professional. 

MANAGEMENT STYLE: 

I’m a pretty direct communicator. If something’s wrong, you address it and let people know that something is wrong. But if something is good, you let them know something is good and you applaud them.

LESSONS LEARNED:

Things are never as good as they seem and never as bad as they seem.  

STRENGTHS:

I’m a pretty linear thinker. This helps me articulate things well. The transfer of ideas, skill sets, training, and coaching are strengths. Public speaking is also a strength. 

WEAKNESS:

I lack patience—more with myself than anyone else. And sometimes I just say what’s on my mind. 

SECRET TO SUCCESS:

I never have let the naysayers break me down. The world is full of those who say something can’t be done, and they’re going to take shots at you along the way. What you have to do is find a way to compartmentalize it. And ultimately, you have to believe in the person in the mirror. 

MOTIVATION:

This is going to sound altruistic, but I really want people in our organization to have better lives. I love to see others be successful. 

FAMILY:

I’ve been married 18 years and we have three little ones, 13, 11, and 5. I joke with the two older boys that my little girl is my favorite child. 

STRESS RELIEF: 

Exercise. You have to exercise, somehow, some way, four to seven days a week. 

GETTING ABOUT:

I’m currently driving a BMW M6. I also have a ’67 Shelby Mustang that I drive about five times a year. The kids like it, which probably makes it my favorite car.   

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