Friday, February 12, 2016

Pioneering professional Carvel Simmons shares insights during Black History Month discussion on campus

Ground-breaking business professional Carvel Simmons shared his insights during a recent talk, “Do not eliminate yourself from possibilities” on campus. The event helped to commemorate Black History Month at OU-C.

Simmons has relied on the common-sense lessons he learned while growing up in Ross County to find success in his professional and personal endeavors.

These life lessons still resonate today.

“One of my dad’s greatest gifts that he instilled in me was the understanding that no one owes you anything … Nothing in this life is fair. If you can get over that, your life will be much easier.”

Simmons also addressed the importance of surrounding yourself with good people and treating others right.

“Growth does not happen because you want it to,” Simmons said. “Growth occurs when you have people who know more than you do, and you go to them for advice. I have had a lot of help from a lot of good people. You can have all of the computers you want, but having success still comes down to people.”

The importance of helping others was an ongoing theme, as well. Simmons shared how he has put that principle to work in his own career.

“Always be approachable and willing to help other start-up companies.”

The significance of facing difficulties and learning from them was a memorable takeaway of the presentation.

“I never met a successful person who did not have to overcome adversity,” he said. “They have learned to take their work seriously but to not take themselves too seriously. They understand by putting others first, they then move to the head of the class.”

He also emphasized the importance of having a good approach to life.

“Your altitude is all about your attitude,” he said. It will determine how high you rise and how far you can go.”

“Learn from your mistakes and be grateful for second chances and forgiving friends.”

Simmons is currently president and owner of Trio Trucking, Inc., which he founded. Simmons began Trio Trucking in 1982 with a $500 investment and one tractor. It has since grown to employ more than 100 individuals and provides regional trucking and rail services as well as local and short-haul distribution. Trio Trucking was recognized as Wal-Mart 2009 Diversity Carrier of the Year.

Simmons was an all-state basketball player while a student at Frankfort High School. After graduating in 1960, he attended OU-C for two years when it offered classes in the former Smith High School. He then embarked on a pioneering business career.

Simmons was the first black employee hired at DuPont in Circleville and, later, the first black Nationwide Insurance claims adjustor in Cincinnati.

He and his wife, Charlmel, reside on a farm near Frankfort. He can see the family farm where he was raised from his current house. Simmons has been inducted into the Frankfort High School Hall of Fame in recognition of his lifetime achievements.

Simmons’ talk was the first in a series of campus events that help to commemorate OU-C’s 70th anniversary in 2016 with a focus on the themes of culture and memory. Since its founding as the first regional campus in the state in 1946, the Chillicothe Campus has served as a gateway to higher education for countless residents of this region.

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