Panhandle native couldn’t let 32,000 families down

Jun 5, 2014

James Welch

James Welch didn’t plan his career.  He just worked hard and did the next thing according to an article from West Texas A&M University.

“I never had a goal starting out to be the president of the company. I was just always taking the next job I was given as what I was going to be doing,” says Welch.

He worked his way to the top, and retired as CEO of Yellow Transportation.  He was ready to travel and enjoy life.  He did slow down for three years.  Then he got a call from lenders who had taken over his former employer.  They wanted him to come back.

“At first I said no, because it’s always hard to come back to a company that you’ve worked for so many years,” he says.  “It’s kind of like going back home and living with your parents after 20 years of being gone. It’s really hard to do.”

Welch changed his mind, remembering the 32,000 employees and their families depending on the company.

The man, who grew up in Amarillo, worked at the family farm outside Canyon and graduated from West Texas State University, guided that company from the edge of disaster back to a leading provider of LTL transportation services throughout North America.

YRC worldwide is currently a $5 billion transportation company because this Panhandle man had good business sense and a big heart.

Welch is returning home to be honored as a distinguished alumni at WT.  You can learn more here.