Steve & Jim Cossack established Priority Courier Experts & VANEX in January of 1997. They opened their doors with three vans and a vision that they could change the same day delivery business. Having each worked for 10 years as couriers themselves prior to starting Priority, these guys knew the business. On the first day Priority opened, they had three vans, no customers, and only enough funds to survive six months, and they never looked back.
Steve designed the Priority Courier Experts & VANEX logos you still see on our vehicles today. He also handled sales, marketing, accounting, lease program development and pitched in as a driver and dispatcher when needed. Jim handled dispatch, recruitment, fleet services, and HR for our growing office staff, and pitched in as a driver when ever needed. It was not uncommon to have your package delivered by the owner of the company during those start up years at Priority.
During the first four years of business, Priority & VANEX raised the bar and set new standards for the local same day delivery business. We brought accountability and integrity to the industry.
We maintained our vehicles to the highest standards, designed the industry’s most recognizable, comfortable, and professional apparel. We recruited the most professional drivers, local men and women who needed the freedom that being an independent contractor offered. They were parents who needed to attend children’s games or social functions, they were Grandparents who needed to supplement their incomes, they were young men and women fresh out of college who just plain needed to keep the wheels rolling until they found what was going to work for them in life, and finally, they were America's newest breed of cowboys. Their range was Minnesota’s streets and highways. When you trusted your delivery to them, well, that’s where we came up with our trademarked tag line. Every Time You Call us… We Deliver!
By the end of their 4th year, the brothers' roles and responsibilities had become larger than they could have ever imagined so they reached out to another family member. In November of 2000 the brothers recruited their cousin Ted Burchell. Ted assumed the role of sales manager as Steve focused more on dispatch, fleet development, and growing the internal operations. Ted was completely in tune with the brothers' vision and stepped seamlessly into the roll he still holds today. His communication skills and personal attention to our customers needs on an hourly basis makes Ted the best in our industry! From the bottom of their hearts, the brothers will tell you there is not a person better suited for the role Ted Burchell holds in the same day delivery business.
The brotherís final key addition to the company was their own brother Mark Cossack. After serving in top roles at Control Data, IBM, Assurant, Thrivent Financial and finally Ameriprise, Mark joined the company as their COO in March of 2009. He began redesigning and building the state of the art IT infrastructure that Priority now operates, and driving industry, legal, operational, and strategy issues.
The brothers have two other cousins working in our operations center who have over 14 years with the company, as well as dozens of loyal staffers with tenures of up to 12 years. From our IT, customer service, dispatch, HR and fleet services, right on up to our senior leadership and owners, you’re working with the most professional and capable staff in the business.
People have asked Steve what his personal goal was when they started the company, and his words today echo the same he spoke almost 15 years ago. “I wanted to be treated better, and I wanted to treat my employees better than I had ever been treated before at any job I’ve worked at in my life”. Steve says with all his heart, he feels he has accomplished that goal.
Many have also asked Steve why he hasn’t posted a mission statement as other company’s do, so here he goes, after nearly 15 years in the business, and growing from just three vans to over 300 drivers and office staff, our mission statement…
Every Time You Call Us… We Deliver!