CLDA Spring Magazine - FINAL - Page 39

We are in a golden age of last-mile . There ’ s never been a better time to be in this industry . The goal for my presidency is to make sure that CLDA is seen as the thought leaders in this space … the place where the leaders in the industry gather and the people who have a vision for our industry ’ s future embrace change .
Those were some of the thoughts shared by the new CLDA President , Jason G . Burns , Sr . as he talked about his vision for the future of the association with the Customized Logistics & Delivery Magazine .
Jason began his two-year role as CLDA ’ s president during a February 24 board meeting , expressing his appreciation for all that his predecessor , Steve Howard , did for the association . “ During Steve Howard ’ s time as president , he did a great job positioning us as industry leaders . He reenergized the association , grew overall membership and added some impressive talent to the board . I ’ m hoping to capitalize on the momentum he created ,” he said .
A Lifetime in the Business
Today , Jason Burns is the Director of Corporate Development at Dropoff where he is responsible for mergers , acquisitions and enterprise sales . The Austin , TX-based company provides same-day delivery and logistics solutions to enterprise customers with a presence in 53 cities across 20 states .
Jason has spent his whole life in the delivery space and as part of this association . “ My father , Ronnie Burns , was one of the association ’ s founding members and our former company ( QCS Logistics ) joined the association in 1987 ,” he says . “ When I became a part of QCS in 2008 , it was important for me to get involved with the leading industry association to network and learn best practices from industry experts . This association has been a tremendous asset to my career development and holds a special place in my heart because my father was the first African American board member and was inducted into the association ’ s Hall of Fame in 2018 .” Jason can add another “ first ” to his family ’ s history with the association – he is the first African American to serve as its president .
Jason was born into the business that his parents , Ronnie and Sheila Burns , started in 1984 in New Orleans . “ I ’ ve been involved in this business in one way or another for as long as I can remember ,” he says . “ As a child , my dad taught me how to operate the stick shift in our old Ford Ranger trucks . I would be so excited to make deliveries with him because I loved the sound of the clutch engage as I shifted gears while he drove . When we were in the office , I recall being in the dispatch rooms , looking at maps and plotting all the places we were doing deliveries .”
Jason went off to college in Nashville , earning a BA in Communications Studies at Vanderbilt University and graduating in 2006 . After that , he joined another of his family ’ s businesses , first in Nashville and then in Philadelphia . He knew he ’ d return to New Orleans , where his family was a staple of the city ’ s business and social scene , but he wasn ’ t sure when . Hurricane Katrina made the decision for him . “ I remember being in Philly one day and watching the aftermath of Katrina and seeing the city ’ s recovery efforts . I realized I wanted to be a part of that . That ’ s what drove me to come back home and to get involved in QCS in 2008 ,” he recalls .
To prepare for his time at QCS , Jason wanted to see how others in the industry worked . “ Diamond Transportation in Philadelphia was a larger operation than ours .
spring 2022 customized logistics & delivery Magazine 39