10 Things You Didn’t Know about J.B. Hunt CEO John N. Roberts III

John Roberts III

John N. Roberts III is the current CEO of J.B. Hunt. For those who are unfamiliar, J.B. Hunt is a business that specializes in transportation with trucking being a particular point of focus. Supposedly, it operates more than 12,000 trucks, which are more than enough to make it a name of note in its chosen field. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about John N. Roberts III:

1. Went to the University of Arkansas

Roberts went to the school called the University of Arkansas. In total, there are six campuses that make up the University of Arkansas System. However, when someone is referring to a school called the University of Arkansas, chances are good that they are referring to the one based in Fayetteville. After all, said school is the most famous of the six campuses, not least because it is the flagship as well.

2. Studied Marketing

For his education, Roberts studied marketing, which is one of those functions that are seen as being critical for most businesses. Yes, there are businesses that can survive for the foreseeable future with no need for them to bring in new customers so as to create new sources of revenue. However, most businesses are not so lucky, meaning that they need marketers to not just bring in new customers but also appeal to their existing customers.

3. Didn’t Intend to Join Up with J.B. Hunt

It seems that joining up with J.B. Hunt wasn’t Roberts’s initial plan. Instead, he went to the interview with the transportation services business because he wanted the interviewing experience, which would have presumably made him better prepared for the interviews for the jobs that he actually wanted. Given that Roberts has since risen to the position of CEO at J.B. Hunt, it seems pretty safe to say that he has long since had a change of plan.

4. Started Out As a Management Trainee

There are some managers who start out in front-line positions before making an upward climb to the very top. However, Roberts started out at a somewhat higher position than that. To be exact, he started out as a management trainee in 1989, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Generally speaking, management trainees are overseen by experienced managers to provide them with a solid understanding of what their future duties and responsibilities as actual managers will be like before they are actually entrusted with that kind of power.

5. Specialized in Marketing

Unsurprisingly, a number of Roberts’s past positions with J.B. Hunt were involved with marketing in various ways. One excellent example would be his time as a Regional Marketing Manager, while another excellent example would be his time as a Vice President of Marketing Strategy. With that said, as Roberts has climbed higher and higher on the company’s hierarchy, his responsibilities have become broader and broader in nature, though that is to be expected.

6. Has Been Known to Coach Soccer

Of course, Roberts is involved in various things outside of running the transportation services business that he is responsible for. For example, he has been known to coach a children’s soccer team when his son was playing on it.

7. Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Besides that, it is interesting to note that Roberts is the Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, the Federal Reserve Banks are the regional banks of the United States’s central banking system, meaning that they are responsible for carrying out the monetary policies determined by the Federal Open Market Committee. In total, there are twelve Federal Reserve Banks in twelve cities, though nine of the twelve have branches situated elsewhere. The one in St. Louis is an excellent example, as shown by its three branches. One of the three branches is located in Little Rock, AK, while the other two branches are situated in Louisville, KY and Memphis, TN.

8. Has Called the Business Culture One of J.B. Hunt’s Strengths

Roberts has called J.B. Hunt’s business culture one of the advantages that were given to him when he took over as the person responsible for running the transportation services business’s operations. In his opinion, the business culture wasn’t excessively rigid but instead made it possible for the people working within it to remain flexible. Something that he found to be very rewarding on a personal level. With that said, considering the emphasis on flexibility in modern business practices, it is clear that this is something shared by a lot of people out there.

9. Believes in the Need for Leading By Example

Speaking of which, Roberts has stated the need to lead by example. Simply put, a business leader can’t expect their employees to follow the standards that are expected of them unless said individual is willing to follow those standards as well. This makes sense because people have an innate sense of fairness, meaning that if they see their leaders ignoring supposedly important principles, they aren’t exactly going to be very motivated to follow them on their own.

10. Has Called the Business Culture Rooted in Biblical Principles

On a final note, Roberts has said that J.B. Hunt’s business culture is rooted in Biblical principles, which in turn, come from the founders’ Christian faith. One of the examples that he has mentioned is the desire to do a good job when it comes to their work, while another example that he has mentioned is the interest in looking out for one another. Considering some of the other things that Hunt has said, it seems pretty clear that he is an active participant in his church as well.


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