James 'Rusty' Eason
James 'Rusty' EasonPresident/Chief Executive Officer
Founded the company: 2007
In current position since: 2007

Previous positions in the Industry: Regional General Manager of multiple facilities in the Southern United States for Atlas Cold Storage, operated day to day operation of these facilities. Budgeted for all expenses annually and capital expenditures on a five year forecast for multiple sites. All sales and revenue generation for these facilities were responsibilities of mine. Negotiated new pricing and offered creative services for our clients to maintain a working and professional relationship that profited both our company and our clients.

VP of Business Development at Meridian Cold Storage my company was hired to handle the reestablishment of a cold storage facility that had been mismanaged previously. We operated the cold storage for some months implementing USA government regulations, HACCP implementation and various other best management practices. We negotiated the lease of the facility with outside company and merged the two companies and the venture has been successful.

Education: B.A. in Supply Chain Management and Accounting, WFLO Institute for Logistic and Warehouse Management Training

Community leadership: Associate Pastor of Pillar of Truth Ministries in US, Pastor of Chariot of Fire Ministries. Member of World Food and Logistics Organization (WFLO) and Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA).

In addition: Mr. Eason has worked on several USAID project throughout Africa, Central Asia and Middle East where he has helped train executives in proper management of Cold Supply Chain Management and Operations of cold storage facilities.

What I do

  • Plan, develop, organize, implement, direct and evaluate the organization’s fiscal function and performance.
  • Develop credibility for the finance group by providing timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial reports and financial trends in order to assist the Board and senior executives in performing their responsibilities.
  • Enhance and/or develop, and then integrate and enforce policies and procedures of the organization by way of systems that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the corporation.
  • Develop and maintain best customer service procedures, along with implementing strategies for sustainability and social responsible of corporation.

Some of my highlights

The most rewarding experiences for me has been my international work in Africa. I love learning about new cultures and meeting new people. It is gratifying to realize that my training on and off the job can help people’s way of life in developing markets. Interacting with people who are receptive to best practices and business processes, and who want to learn, grow, and empower their life and eventually their region is so refreshing.
My passion is to make customer to customer or “Business to Business” (B2B) connections. One particular business connection that stands out in my mind was when I personally assisted a small fruit processing company and helped them grow beyond what they imagined. In 2002, the company’s first year in business, they harvested 4000lbs of blueberries. In 2008, they harvested roughly 22 million pounds in the three month season. I was instrumental in helping them design/build their own freezer, market their product internationally, implement an IQF (Individual Quick Frozen) machine, and establish assembly line procedures for production efficiencies. This company was later sold for USD$25 Million. This helped me garner sensitivity to the SME’s in Africa and Central Asia, and no matter how challenging situations seem in developing markets they too can and will accomplish these type of results.
Due Diligence is key to success. Make sure you understand the situation on the ground and how the country’s growth is structured and forecasted. Also, there are certain areas of concern for the large part we don’t consider in the USA, such as: civil unrest and large infrastructure needs. These two areas are costly and can be detrimental to the success of a company.
I’m driven to understand the cultural needs of a region and build a model on how best to incorporate that culture within the daily needs of the business. The workforce in large numbers are available in most markets and unemployment is high in most parts I have visited. However, the training and knowledge of best practices for every step in the Cold Supply Chain are not readily understood. It is often hard getting people to understand why food should be handled in a proper manner. In certain parts of the world, farmers, food processors or traders have not had the finances or resources to invest in the infrastructure needed to handle food properly. Consequently, the average person don’t necessarily understand why it is so important to cover product, cool it, and keep it cool or frozen as soon as possible! Cold Chain Management and awareness training needs are overwhelming in certain regions of the world. This is a great challenge, but it starts with one person at a time! My goal is to overcome the major challenges that I have observed while providing technical assistance is infrastructure or lack thereof (e.g energy, transportation (all modes). I have also observed a lack of governance related to food-related infrastructure development, which certainly hinders the operational efficiency of the Cold Chain, and at the same time, causes deterioration in the quality of the food being distributed to the population.