WASHINGTON, April 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The AirCargo 2016 Conference Committee is proud to announce the selection of air cargo industry executive and current philanthropist Ray R. Thurston as their Keynote Speaker at their event, "Navigating The Critical Changes," held at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona.
Thurston's beginnings in the transportation industry go back to when he was a thirteen year old bicycle messenger working after school and summers for his father's messenger service. One year after finishing college, Ray's father passed away and he assumed control of the business at twenty-three.
Ray left the business after his attempts to purchase it from his stepmother were unsuccessful and he founded another company called SonicAir Couriers, a same-day courier servicing the entire United States. Ray evolved SonicAir by adding warehousing, distribution, supply chain software and consulting to their services.
UPS purchased SonicAir and Ray relocated to Atlanta to be Chairman of UPS Worldwide Logistics, now a $10 billion division.
Since Ray's retirement from UPS, he has remained involved in different investments and serves on the boards of several philanthropic organizations.
Ray has won the Senator John McCain Award for Leadership and the Chairman's Award for his efforts with two non-profits. He has just added a project where he will work with Barrows Neurological Institute on a new method for treating cancer tumors and just recently completed a brain cancer study. Ray is currently an advisor to the Governor of Arizona on Lean Six Sigma implementation.
"It is such an honor to have someone with Ray's history talking to our audience. His story resonates with many in our industry because they've grown by taking an entry level position somewhere themselves and moving upward," says Chris Connell, President, Commodity Forwarders, the largest perishables air freight forwarder in the United States.
"What Ray did at SonicAir was really pioneering work and set the stage for many of the processes that decades later are used even today," says George Trapp, Manager of Security and Safety for Purolator.
Praise continues for him from Billie R. Sullivan, Vice President of Roanoke Trade who says, "Ray was always looking several moves ahead of where his company on any given day. That forethought contributed to his personal and professional growth and will be a good education or touchstone for many of the people who will be in the audience at AirCargo 2016."
About the AirCargo Conference:
Held annually in different U.S. locations, the AirCargo Conference brings together all actors in the air cargo supply chain in one location to discuss trends, challenges, opportunities and the future of the air cargo industry. Airlines, airport authorities, freight forwarders and expediting companies along with the vendors who support them gather in one place for three days of education, networking and business development.
To learn more, register or become a sponsor or exhibitor, visit http://www.aircargoconference.com.
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SOURCE AirCargo 2016