The Stubbs family has been involved with the trucking industry since 1948, when Stoney Stubbs, Russell’s grandfather, began working for his brother-in-law, Cy Weller, and Cy’s brother Edgar at a refrigerated trucking company called Frozen Food Express Industries Inc. (FFE). He served as chairman of TCA from 1967-68. His son, Stoney “Mit” Stubbs, Jr., began working for FFE in 1960 and was promoted to president and later chairman of the board after his father retired. He served as TCA chairman from 1995-96. During the years that he was most active at FFE, the company grew to become one of the largest temperature-controlled carriers in North America. In fact, it was named by Fortune magazine as one of the 200 best companies to work for in the U.S.
Mit’s son, Russell—now the third generation of Stubbs family to work for FFE and serve as TCA chairman—started with the business in February 1986 as a management trainee after graduating from college. He worked his way up through the company in a variety of positions, from operations and dispatch, to the software team, to the acquisitions team. In 1999, he became president of three smaller fleets that FFE had acquired in the late 1980s.
In 2006, he became chief operating officer of FFE Industries, moving on to president in 2008. When his father retired in 2010, Russell became the president and CEO. In 2013, FFE was purchased and taken private by the owners of KLLM Transport Services, LLC, and FFE’s over-the-road truckload division was merged into KLLM. Russell became chairman of FFE Holdings in September of 2014 and now represents the company at industry and legislative functions.
Stubbs has been very active in TCA’s activities. He chaired the Regulatory Policy Committee from 2007-08 and served as secretary/treasurer of the Refrigerated Division from 2009-2010. He has also been a member of the Carrier/Shipper Relations Committee, the Independent Contractor Practices Policy Committee, the Young Transportation Executives program, and the Financial Oversight & Long-Range Planning Task Force. As a member of the organization’s executive committee and board of directors, he has held the positions of secretary, at-large officer, and first and second vice chair.
Stubbs is a former member of the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) board of directors, executive committee, and membership committee. In his home state, he is a past chairman and Foundation chairman of the Texas Trucking Association (TXTA), as well as a former member of that organization’s executive committee. He is also the recipient of TXTA’s Foundation Kay Crimm Award for 2005 and the Leader of the Year Award for 2007.
Locally, Stubbs is involved with his alma mater, Texas A & M University, where he has served as a mentor for the College of Agriculture and participates in a foundation that provides scholarships to prospective and current students. He also volunteers with the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo by serving on the livestock and equine committees. He enjoys raising cattle, hunting, and golf.
He and his wife, Dawn, have been married 26 years and have a son, Corby. Their second son, Reese, passed away at only 20 years of age and has been immortalized in the trucking industry through TCA’s Stoney Reese Stubbs Memorial Scholarship.
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Transcript – S. Russell Stubbs Interview