A Fort Smith man published a book detailing his experiences in the business world and how he climbed to the top.
Tony Harris published “Encore… How I Survived and Thrived in the Logistics Business” in March on Kindle. Within two weeks, it was rated number one in two different categories.
In April, Harris published the book in paperback and hardback. Next month, he will record an audio version of the book.
His publisher is Beyond Publishing based out of Dallas.
In 1981, Harris got his first taste of work in logistics with Roadway Express in California. It started off as a summer job until Harris fell in love with the profession and chose to remain with the company permanently.
“I became so fascinated with this industry: the fast pace, the hardcore teamster union that we had to manage, the opportunities that I saw that I didn’t know existed,” Harris said. “Most people, especially in the 80s, would have just thought of trucking as some guy or woman driving down the street in a truck, taking over the road perhaps, but there’s so much more to it than that and that’s what I became fascinated with.”
His work in logistics became a lifelong career. Harris said his goal was to be in sales. He overcame many obstacles to make his dream a reality.
Harris moved to Fort Smith in 2012 for a promotion with ArcBest. He later retired in 2020.
Harris said he knew he wanted to share his story about his career, and after retiring he was able to begin work on it.
“For me, this was a labor of love,” Harris said.
Harris’ friends and family said they were proud of him for his work.
“He’s a worker, and the book it’s funny. It makes you laugh a little bit. It makes you angry a little bit, but you know it’s all Tony,” said Bertha Pearl, who described Harris as like a younger brother.
Betti Van Epps-Taylor has known Harris since he was 8-years-old. She said Harris has risen above the challenges he faced, especially as a Black man. She said he “broke the color line and did extremely well.”
“With Tony, I am very, very proud of what he done and how he accepted the way that they treated him and in his mind, said I’m not going to give up,” his friend Robin Simmons said.
Harris expects to write a sequel eventually.
“Be on the lookout because I’m not done,” Harris said.
Alex Gladden is a University of Arkansas graduate. She previously reported for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and The Jonesboro Sun before joining the Times Record. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.