The literal definition of entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and operates a business, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.” What a simple sentence to describe the self-starter role that fuels everything from mom-and-pop shops to Fortune 500 companies. Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of forward movement in every industry; they are the movers, shakers, idea creators, and changemakers.
ShipMonk is happy to celebrate World Entrepreneurs’ Day because entrepreneurial spirit is what built ShipMonk and continues to drive it forward. Our leadership team has successfully been providing best-in-class 3PL fulfillment services to ecommerce brands of all sizes across all verticals for years. From technology, to integrations, to customer service, we’re not short on elements that make us the ecommerce industry’s preferred 3PL fulfillment services provider.
That being said, the reason that all those elements and more have been successfully implemented at our company is that they were designed with the entrepreneur in mind. Not an easy thing to do for some 3PLs, but when your business is led by entrepreneurs, it’s as natural as it is vital.
Let’s meet some of the entrepreneurs serving as leaders at ShipMonk, and explore how their innovative mindsets make ShipMonk the industry’s leader in 3PL fulfillment services.
Josh McCarter, CEO – Chief Executive Officer
Josh McCarter is an entrepreneur at heart. He’s known for infusing technology into traditional business models, re-engineering services from the customer backward so brands can grow, and leveraging technology to disrupt industries. Prior to ShipMonk, he served as President and CEO of Mindbody, led the charge at the first automotive ecommerce company, Autobytel, and co-founded Booker Software (which brought one of the first SaaS models to wellness businesses around the world). He was also a partner at a tech hardware distribution business, Arbitech, that earned recognition as the fastest-growing business in the US in Entrepreneur Magazine.
His focus as ShipMonk’s CEO is to help ecommerce brands “Stress Less and Grow More” with our 3PL fulfillment services. Some ways he is keeping our company on track for this goal include: accurately maintaining client inventory, ensuring orders go out on time to the right locations, working with the Client Success team to enhance support systems, and consistently looking for new ways ShipMonk can harness technology, omnichannel fulfillment, and our international reach to help brands drive sales and reduce expenses.
Overall, Josh is committed to providing ecommerce brands what they need. Ecommerce brands are all unique, but a commonality they all share is a need to continuously evolve. That means technology that will serve their growing businesses efficiently and accurately, like ShipMonk does with automation that has pick times 4x faster than the industry average while maintaining 99.9% accuracy. That means being able to safeguard increasing or complicated orders in every way from dunnage to post-purchase protection. And that means when ecommerce brands want to pivot to other channels or expand to new markets, their 3PL can accommodate. Which ShipMonk accomplishes with services like Section 321 and Europe fulfillment, plus other areas of expertise like DDP, FBA fulfillment services, and B2B fulfillment services.
Following in the footsteps of ShipMonk’s founder Jan Bednar, Josh is an entrepreneur hearted and minded CEO who is dedicating himself to advancing all these aspects of 3PL fulfillment services and beyond at ShipMonk.
Jan Bednar, Founder
Jan began his entrepreneurship journey at 17 when he immigrated from the Czech Republic to the US to pursue his college education at Florida Atlantic University. Upon graduating in 2014, Jan launched ShipMonk—aimed at creating customer-facing, forward-thinking solutions that challenge long-static logistics standards and keep up with the ever-evolving ecommerce landscape.
He realized that the current industry standards made shipping and other aspects of the ecommerce brand world difficult for small and medium size companies. His passion and drive became to make 3PL fulfillment services user-friendly for brands of all sizes so they can focus on growing their businesses.
Known for his future-forward thinking, he championed this mission for all entrepreneurs, expanding ShipMonk to 12 locations worldwide with increasing international reach year over year. Everything he has achieved at ShipMonk during this time has been both tech-driven and heart-driven. He changed the ecommerce landscape so that entrepreneurs from all backgrounds representing brands of all sizes had the opportunity to thrive. Recently he was even named a National Winner in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards®️ for his vision, drive, and innovation in all things 3PL.
For nine years since founding ShipMonk, Jan also served as its fearless CEO. Having carefully selected a successor who champions entrepreneurs, and operates with their mindset and goals at his core, Jan now maintains an active, ongoing product focus within our 3PL, serving as Executive Advisor.
Kevin Sides, President
Kevin bridges the gap between ShipMonk’s clients and all the inner-workings of fulfillment. After earning his Masters at Lynn University, he served as Head of Digital and GM at the DG Communications Group until 2015 when he joined Jan Bednar to build ShipMonk into the ecommerce industry’s leading 3PL. For the last eight years, Kevin has dedicated himself to ensuring ShipMonk is always on the cutting edge of logistics technology with multichannel 3PL fulfillment solutions that enable entrepreneurs to focus on building their brands and achieving next-level growth.
Kevin understands that in order for an ecommerce brand to thrive, they need effective, efficient technological support across the board. These areas can be complicated, as not all entrepreneurs are tech wizards themselves, but at ShipMonk, we’ve designed everything from our advanced 3PL software to our state-of-the-art facilities with user-friendly efficiency in mind. Take a tour of one of our 3PL locations with Kevin now to see just how we make entrepreneurs’ lives easier.
John Grubor, COO – Chief Operating Officer
John graduated from the Wharton School and the Harvard School of Business. Since then he has acquired over 20 years of operation leadership experience in the logistics industry. He joined ShipMonk as Chief Operating Officer in early 2021. Prior to ShipMonk, John served as the Executive Vice President for GEODIS, a leading logistics and freighting firm. His proven track record for increasing efficiency and implementing automation systems has positioned him at the center of ShipMonk’s forward leadership as we continue enhancing productivity while maintaining accuracy for the entrepreneurs who entrust us with their ecommerce brands.
Stuart Horowitz, CPO – Chief People Officer
Stuart spent years advancing the Human Resources space at New Era of Networks, the McData Corporation, and C3i Solutions. Following five years as the SVP of Human Resources at Register.com, he held increasingly involved people management positions at Jetsetter, Vector Capital, and Chewy until 2021 when he joined ShipMonk. Since then, Stuart has managed our expanding team—overseeing ShipMonkers across our international network.
As any entrepreneur knows, no one accomplishes anything truly great alone; you need a solid team to have your back. ShipMonk is dedicated to having every entrepreneur’s back with our exemplary 3PL fulfillment services and customer service, but we can’t do that without the experts and enthusiastic staff who work at our company. With Stuart’s guidance, we champion their well being so they can keep championing ecommerce brand growth.
One of the notable hallmarks of Stuart’s leadership style to achieve this outcome is keeping employees engaged and in-the-know about company updates, initiatives, and goals. Our team is always kept aware of ecommerce brand needs, new technology we implement, and evolving requirements in our industry.
Rafael “Rafi” Zakinov, CPO – Chief Product Officer
Rafael has worked in ecommerce since he was 14 when he started picking, packing, and shipping orders for his brother’s DTC business. In college, Rafi began his own entrepreneurial journey when he created a fulfillment operation out of his dorm, which grew rapidly to fulfill 1,000 orders a day. When Rafi discovered fulfillment technology was in the dark ages and there were limited 3PL options in DTC, he created Ruby Has Fulfillment, which he built from one to seven facilities.
In 2021, Ruby Has was acquired by ShipMonk. Since then Rafi has worked to utilize integrated technologies, high moral and business standards, and creative thinking to increase ShipMonk’s global capabilities, grow through mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and invest in tech that enhances efficiency and results. The extensive network of national and global fulfillment options that Rafi has helped bring to the table make expanding to new markets, shipping, and brand growth easier for entrepreneurs on the rise. ShipMonk’s Section 321 fulfillment services and European fulfillment services, for example, have enabled extensive growth for our ecommerce brands, making scaling simpler and more cost-effective than ever before!
The Ecommerce Industry’s Most Epic Team
Whether you’re talking about a train, a plane, or a company—you’re only as strong as the person at the helm. At ShipMonk, we are privileged to say we have leaders at the helm who bring a diverse, dynamic array of skills with regards to strategy, communication, support, vision, and (most vital of all) entrepreneurial spirit.
ShipMonk intends to keep growing in all aspects of our first-rate fulfillment services. The key to that, as in any business (ecommerce brand or otherwise), is exemplary leadership. We’re so grateful to have a great team of entrepreneurs leading our 3PL. They champion innovation, teamwork, strategy, and technology so all ecommerce brand entrepreneurs can have 3PL fulfillment services that set them up for success.
If you’re an entrepreneur desiring domination in your industry, diverse logistics offerings, and a 3PL fulfillment team that not only meets, but exceeds your needs, contact ShipMonk. We were built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs—who we celebrate every day, not just on August 21st. Happy World Entrepreneurs’ Day!!