By Eileen FitzGerald
Published on October 5, 2012 for The News-Times
Bob Shellman founded Odyssey Logistics & Technology in Danbury in 2003 with five employees in one office.
Now, it has nearly 800 employees in offices around the world.
So Shellman and his company are sharing the knowledge gained in creating such success by educating young people regarding entrepreneurship and financial responsibility.
For his work, the Southbury resident has been named to Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut’s Dr. George R. Dunbar Free Enterprise Hall of Fame for 2012.
“It’s a great honor,” Shellman said of the award Thursday. “I personally am very supportive of JA and what it tries to accomplish — to teach a deeper understanding of what the free market means and what individual entrepreneurship can mean to these young folks as they go into adulthood.”
Junior Achievement President Bernadine Venditto said each year JA chooses those who reflect the ideals of the organization, someone who has made accomplishments with free enterprise and shares the success with his or her community.
“Bob is a true entrepreneur. He took his company from a small one to a global one” using perseverance, vision and humility, Venditto said. “He recognized that you don’t always get what you want the first time, and the people he met along the way he treated with respect.”
The company supports JA in a number of ways beyond financially.
The company donates office space for the Danbury branch of JA, has nine employees who volunteer at JA programs and its chief financial officer, Cosmo Alberico, teaches in the program.
In June, Odyssey Logistics was named the 2012 JA Company of the Year.
Shellman will receive his award at the Hall of Fame dinner Oct. 10, at 6 p.m. at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn.
The other honorees this year are Susan Coyle, co-owner of Real Estate II in the Shelton area; Stephanie Blackwell, founder and president of Aurora Products in Stratford; and Merrill Jay Forgotson, a retired bank executive from the Bridgeport area.
Shellman resides in Southbury with his wife and two daughters.
Odyssey Logistics, manages materials and goods with a total product value in excess of $60 billion, and transports between 185,000 origins and destinations across more than 200,000 global transportation lanes. International freight shipments are transferred among 250 worldwide ports, according to its website.
Prior to launching Odyssey Logistics, Shellman served as president of UniGlobal Logistics; before that, he spent 19 years at the firms’s parent company, Union Carbide.
This story originally appeared in The News-Times and can be found on their Web site here.