Food Logistics has named Ken Johnson, CEO of Leonard’s Express, a Rock Star of the Supply Chain. The annual award recognizes influential individuals in the transportation and logistics industry whose achievements, hard work, and vision have shaped the global cold food supply chain.

Johnson has spent more than 30 years in transportation and supply chain management. Under his leadership, Leonard’s Express has grown its fleet to over 700 trucks and expanded its reach to encompass the entire U.S. and parts of Canada.

Over the past 12 months, Leonard’s Express has won multiple awards including the Grand Trophy for Fleet Safety from the Trucking Association of New York, Best Fleets to Drive For from the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and CarriersEdge, and Top Workplace for Women in Transportation from the Women in Trucking Association (WIT).

“Not all rock stars are famous musicians,” said Marina Mayer, Editor-in-Chief of Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “There are several rock stars right here in the cold chain, promoting workforce development, solving supply chain disruptions, mitigating risks, and helping to heal the supply chain.”

One example of the critical work Johnson is leading is the new state-of-the-art facility Leonard’s Express opened last year. The 114,500 square-foot temperature-controlled warehouses is improving supply chain capacity across New York and making a positive impact on the regional economy. “Our customers need to deliver their products quickly and efficiently,” said Johnson. “We believe the warehouse will maximize transportation opportunities for them while minimizing costs and risks for perishable cargo.”

Many of the leaders recognized as Rock Stars of the Supply Chain are actively involved in understanding customers’ needs, developing solutions to ensure the safe transport of cold food and beverages, and adopting procedures that promote environmental sustainability. Some of the words used to describe them during the nomination process include, “strategic, motivated, dedicated, passionate, educator, and transformative.”

“These rock stars rock. Period,” said Mayer. “They’re shaping the future of our global cold chains and they’re doing so in a way that’s both humble and pragmatic. Every year, I’m honored to celebrate these go-getters, and this year is no exception.”

Earlier this month, Mayer made a special appearance on Leading the Way at Leonard’s, a podcast for truck drivers and transportation & logistics professionals produced by Leonard’s Express and co-hosted by Johnson. “Ken had many wonderful things in his nomination form for him to win,” explained Mayer. “He’s doing great things and his company is doing great things and that’s what it’s all about.”

“This is one of those awards where I get the recognition but to me, it’s about all of us here at Leonard’s,” said Johnson. “All I do is give people the tools and the means to solve our customers’ problems. It takes the entire company to be successful.” To watch the Cold Chain Insights episode of Leading the Way at Leonard’s, click here.