MT. LAUREL, N.J. — Medallion Transport Holdings has appointed Jesse Merrell as chief operating officer (COO).
Merrell has served as vice president of Medallion’s heavy haul division for the past five years. He will now play a critical role in overseeing operations for all of Medallion’s entities, including Medallion Transport & Logistics, NHH Services, ACE Heavy Haul, Medallion International and Medallion Hospitality.
The company’s safety department, business development, marketing and communications, dispatch, agent development and retention, and owner-operator recruitment will all be managed under Merrell’s leadership.
“He’s a leader; he’s a great ambassador for the company. He brings the ability to merge what’s made us great and we need to do to be great going forward,” said Gary Weilheimer, president and CEO of Medallion.
Merrell will oversee a national agent network and a fleet of more than 400 power units from the company’s newest corporate office in Kokomo, Indiana. He has hired and brought over team members in various departments, including qualifications, company communications, trailer rentals and fleet maintenance, and will continue to drive growth while improving internal processes and communication.
“With Jesse as our COO and as a leader in our organization, we are positioned to meet the demands of the future of transportation and logistics in all different dynamics that we service,” Weilheimer said. “Jesse’s the complete package with knowledge, background and diversity, and brings us the experience and the new way of doing business.”
Merrell is a diverse company leader with roots in the trucking and logistics industry as an agency owner. He began his 20-year career in the trucking and logistics industry during college. At 18, he earned a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and drove a truck delivering building materials to pay for tuition. In the early 2000s, after earning a degree in agriculture degree from Purdue University, he took a position selling semitrucks throughout the Midwest.
After much success in sales, Merrell was hired as an operations and sales manager for a transportation company in 2003. In 2007, he and his father opened their own agency, National Heavy Haul. The pair grew the agency significantly, and became the largest exporter of construction equipment overseas, shipping more than 5,000 tractors per year at the time.
After almost eight years of managing trucks and his own agency, Merrell made the decision to join Medallion in 2015.
Merrell has an impressive track record with the company. As the vice president of heavy haul, he built a successful marketing program, involving the company in major truck shows nationwide. He also built a team of business developers and capacity recruiters, adding more than 75 trucks to the company’s capacity in the past year, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Merrell attributes this achievement to the hard work of agents, employees and company capacity.
Medallion also opened its first truck yard and driver’s lounge outside of Houston, Texas, under Merrell’s direction. The company plans to open more yards and lounges, while continuing to develop more initiatives to support company owner-operators.
Merrell has expanded the company’s use of technology, coupling his hands-on, face-to-face approach with advanced software and applications to keep the company thriving.
“It’s about finding ways to better utilize technology to make us more efficient, but without losing our focus on human interaction,” Merrell said.
Refining Medallion’s owner-operator onboarding program is a main factor that put Merrell on the path to becoming COO. He added additional touch points and communication, giving every owner-operator the ability to learn more and take advantage of program perks. Since Merrell joined Medallion, National Heavy Haul grew from a single agency to 35, with more than 100 trucks.
While Merrell and the current management team have big plans to maintain an edge through technology and new programs, Merrell said his main focus is to create a better life for everyone affiliated with the company.
“Trucking is not a job; it’s a lifestyle,” he said.