Jim Putt, 2023 Hall of Honor Recipient
In 1981, Jim Putt created American International Forwarding based on the idea that forwarding and logistics companies were not enough when managing a major life event for a client. American International Forwarding eventually grew to become Aires, a leading global mobility firm, and Jim served as Aires’ leader for more than 20 years. Jim was focused on innovation and a customer-first approach; he was the first person in our industry to create a video that explained the international move process, making it far more tangible for families when preparing for a move. This included sending a VHS video to every relocating family, long before streaming video on the Internet was an option. He was also critical in changing the mindset of the industry, with a philosophy of “we move families, not just freight,” which raised the bar for customer experience in international moving.
Forty-two years after founding American International Forwarding, Jim’s legacy remains not only intact but an inspiration to leaders focused on the employee experience, both internally at Aires and in the broader relocation industry. His impact continues to be seen throughout the moving industry as Aires continues to be a leader as a freight forwarder and global mobility company. When interviewed prior to his passing in 2022, Jim humbly stated, “I couldn’t be more proud of the organization that has been built and that I was responsible in some tiny way for the beginning of it.” In truth, his legacy and philosophies were paramount to Aires’ success. Aires has grown to be a technology-focused, people-and-process-driven, full-service global mobility company, and that all started with Jim Putt’s dream, vision, and grit.
In addition to his work with Aires and within the industry, Jim was a loving father and grandfather, a veteran of the United States Army, and a loyal friend to those who knew him. He was known for providing sage counsel in business, invaluable life lessons, and a contagious zest for life and laughter. His legacy continues to impact and inspire those who work to continually evolve the employee experience.