For “Mr. Courier” Hall of Fame Honor’s Just One More Part of “a Hell of a Ride”
In May, members of the MCAA gave their highest honor to the man they call “Mr. Courier”, Bill Goodman. The occasion will be his induction into MCAA’s Hall of Fame at the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
“I’m honored to be chosen for your Hall of Fame,” he said reacting to the award.
“I’m 78 years old and have been in the business since I was 16. There’s simply too much over those 62 years. I started as a messenger then bought the company I worked for. It was a very successful company and I sold it to the Chiusano family in 1989 after undergoing heart surgery. Then, I took on the responsibility of director of the New York State Messenger & Courier Association which I still do to this date. In the meantime, I started the publication, The Courier Times and wrote a book on starting a messenger company… It’s been one hell of a ride. I love this industry because of its many challenges.”
This is the third year the association has presented the award. In the past some 18 individuals have received the honor. MCAA president Mike Gualtieri says Goodman’s place in the Hall of Fame is well-deserved: “Bill has been a tireless advocate and role model for all of us in the industry. After 62 years immersed in this industry, he claims to be retired, but he’s continued to contribute to the same-day delivery industry even more since his so-called retirement. He is the visible face of the New York Association, and is the reason for its place as the largest and most successful state industry association. Additionally Bill continues to stay current by attending many events and is always willing to help us in any way. We are so pleased to honor him.”
The award is presented annually to an MCAA member who is known and respected in the industry. It seeks to pay tribute those who have made noteworthy contributions to the industry. Goodman’s honor comes after nomination by the Awards Committee, headed by Gil Carpel, and voted on by the full membership of MCAA. “The purpose of the MCAA Hall of Fame is to recognize people who have made a noteworthy contribution to our industry and Bill Goodman certainly deserves this honor,” says Carpel. “Bill has logged more than 60 years in the courier business and he could teach the history of our industry by memory and sometimes does if you happen to read his column in The Courier Times. Through his newsletter, he tirelessly promotes, publicizes and documents our industry: our achievements, our challenges, and our leaders. It is a rare courier industry meeting where Bill Goodman –along with his is ever present camera — isn’t one of the first people I see. And, when I see Bill, I know that I am with courier people and I am among friends. We are proud this year to induct Bill Goodman into our MCAA Hall of Fame.”
Goodman was honored at the banquet at the 23rd MCAA Annual Convention and Exposition which was held at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bill’s six plus decades in the industry started when he was 16-years old as a messenger for Service Messenger Co. Inc. in New York City. Originally formed to serve the entertainment industry, Service Messenger offered Bill the opportunity to works as everything from courier and owner. Its role as the delivery service for the entertainment industry meant he had brushes with the famous and the infamous. Their regulars included theatrical giants like Flo Ziegfeld, George White, Billy Rose, Hal Prince and George S. Kaufman. Kaufman, for example, used to call the service to change his typewriter ribbon. Columnist William F. Buckley used to come in and use their phones. And Nanette Fabray’s boyfriend once hired them to deliver a bacon and tomato sandwich to her. They even had to babysit celebrity chimpanzee Mr. Muggs at the Plaza Hotel. But the most memorable assignment –the one that Bill and his partner Susan Cooper reserved for themselves — was doing the yearly delivery of the Tony Awards. “We always made sure we did those ourselves because the recipients would be so happy and they’d always invite us in,” he says.
Goodman and Cooper sold the company in 1989 after having grown it from an office staff of three employees and $100,000 in annual sales to 11 employees and $1.5 million in annual sales. Bill stayed on for four years before accepting the position of executive director of the New York State Messenger and Courier Association. He grew that organization from eight to 75 members and created the organization’s Courier Times, the newsletter he publishes to this day.
In a 2008 profile of Bill in Messenger Courier World, fellow MCAA member, Claudia Post, president of Diamond Transportation (Philadelphia, PA), summed him as “an all-around good guy and a good friend who has managed to boost the industry. He’s the Henry Kissinger of our industry …An icon wrapped in a cherub’s body.”
MCAA members will gather to honor all that makes “Mr. Courier” the industry’s ambassador, mentor, cheerleader and leader in May.