April 15, 2015 at 5:45pm

Tabor School of Business honors MU alumnus for Excellence in Entrepreneurship

Millikin University alumnus Kevin Mathews '91 has visited the Big Blue campus on a number of occasions to speak with students and faculty. However, during a visit on April 9, Mathews did more than just share his success story with a group of students. Mathews engaged in Performance Learning activities during a microbusiness course led by Julie Shields, Millikin instructor of entrepreneurship.

The course was part of a day that recognized Mathews for exemplifying the best in entrepreneurial thought and action. Mathews, founder and chief executive officer of GenOx Transportation, Inc., was awarded the Tabor School of Business Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award. The award was presented to Mathews during an evening ceremony at the Decatur Country Club on April 9." 
While addressing Millikin students, Mathews said, "It's important to remember that 90 percent of customers will tell you what you want to hear, and 10 percent will tell you what you need to hear. With my trucking business, it's important to develop good relationships with customers."

Mathews started GenOx Transportation, Inc. in La Porte, Texas, in 2001. Building on the lifetime experience of his father in the industrial gas industry, Mathews set out to design a business model for GenOx that would enable it to become a market leader in the transportation of liquid nitrogen gas and other frozen industrial gases." 

Operating in one of the smallest niches within the tank truck industry, Mathews' company is investing more than $5 million a year on new equipment in anticipation of increased customer demand in 2015. This past year, GenOx generated $62 million in revenue, up from $1.2 million in revenue when the company launched in 2001.

When asked about launching a business venture, Mathews said, "It's important to keep moving forward and not be fearful. Don't let the effects of fear hold you back as an entrepreneur. There's a lot to learn when running a business and plenty of multitasking."

Mathews received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from Millikin University in 1991 after earning his associate degree from Richland Community College. While at Millikin, Mathews was a member of the Millikin Marketing Association and Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity." 

Following graduation from Millikin, Mathews worked for Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and Matlack Systems, Inc. before becoming regional manager of Cryogenic Transportation, Inc., a company headquartered in Omaha, Neb.

"When you're a business owner, it takes time to learn and it's important to not take on too much," said Mathews. "Know your business and know yourself, and constant successes will help build momentum for your business."

Dr. Susan Kruml, dean of the Tabor School of Business said, "In a previous visit to Millikin, Kevin was captivating and the students enjoyed hearing his story. I think the key to his success is his value system, and the way he treats his customers and employees."

Additionally, Lisa Mathews, chief financial officer of GenOx and Kevin's wife, spoke with Millikin students and faculty during a women's luncheon held in Richards Treat University Center. She shared aspects of her successful career in a question-and-answer format." 

Dr. Kruml added, "Kevin's a great example of someone who has seized opportunity, created opportunity, and done so in a way that is extremely ethical. In terms of the award, the Tabor School of Business looked at alumni who were successful and were great role models. We believed that there was not a better example of a successful entrepreneur than Kevin."