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Press Release

Donnie L. Ruf Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who

Mr. Ruf has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the field of delivery services, fashion and modeling

ATHENS, AL, June 26, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Donnie Ruf with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. Ruf celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Donnie Lee Ruf was born on August 23, 1954, in Ardmore, Ala. to David Eberhardt Ruf Sr. and Thelma Callahan Ruf. He married Cathy Marie Paulk on August 20, 1977. They share two adult daughters Katie Blair and Bonnie Ruf. He is the father-in-law to Justin Blair.
It seems fitting to begin Donnie's Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award narrative with his appreciation for his early years. He began his formal education at Piney Chapel Junior High in Athens, Ala. His acceptance by his peers, staff and faculty provided him with a lifetime of confidence. He lettered in football, basketball and track and played on the baseball team. Donnie was elected Class President, 4-H Club President, Limestone 4-H County Council President and was selected by the PCJH Faculty for the Outstanding Citizenship Award.
Donnie enrolled at Athens High School in Athens, Ala. in the fall of 1969. He was involved in various clubs and organizations such as the Inter Act Club (Rotary International) and selected for Athens High School Who's Who. Donnie met students and parents at Athens High who helped him determine his future educational plans and goals. With their encouragement and support he applied to Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. and was accepted in 1972. While attending Auburn University Donnie was on the Dean's List, a member of Delta Sigma Pi (Business Honorary) and during his senior year was selected as one of Auburn's Top Three Marketing Students of the Year. Donnie also served in college as a volunteer for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program at King's Acres. Mr. Ruf graduated from Auburn University in 1976 with a double major, a BS in Marketing and a BS in Education.
After graduating from Auburn University Donnie accepted a position with Burrough's Corporation and trained in Rochester, N.Y. and then returned to a sales position in Huntsville, Ala. After a short period of time Mr. Ruf made the decision to return to Ruf Farms, Inc. and work on the family farm for 4 years. In 1980 he was a seasonal employee for United Parcel Service, in 1981 he was hired as a salesman for Limestone County Farmer Cooperative and then in May of 1981 he began his ultimate career as a Driver/Service Provider for United Parcel Service in Huntsville, Ala.
Mr. Ruf was employed by UPS for 36 years and was inducted into the UPS Circle of Honor for 25 years of safe driving in 2007 and for 35 years of safe driving in 2017. This award is given in recognition for a perfect safe driving record and is recognized as one of the most prestigious honors a UPS Driver can receive and is recognized worldwide. Ruf was also a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) for 36 years. Donnie served for the majority of the years from 1981-2017 as the UPS/United Way Coordinator. He was recognized as a Leadership Giver, served as a photographic model for the UPS/UW Campaign and received the UPS/United Way Leadership Pin Designer Award in 2000. During these same years Donnie served as a contributing writer, co-writer and model for the Big Idea, UPS's Corporate Magazine. Mr. Ruf served on Huntsville's UPS Safety Committee and was Secretary-Treasurer for the Huntsville Driver Relief Fund from 1990-1995. In appreciation for his hard work and dedication to the New Market community, Donnie was selected as the 2017 Grand Marshal for the 36th New Market VFD Christmas Parade.
In 1994 Mr. Ruf was selected as Representative to the Congress for Outstanding Young Alabamians and in 1995 the Jaycees of Athens, Ala. honored him with their Outstanding Citizenship Award. Mr. Ruf received the Glenn Blackwell Person of the Year Award in 1997 from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Limestone County. Mr. Ruf's efforts and expertise were primarily responsible for the BGCA receiving a $25,000 UPS Grant in 1997.
In addition to his primary endeavors Mr. Ruf also found success in the fashion industry. He was named Mr. Alabama Male America in 1989 in Kansas City, Mo. and he was selected as Mr. Alabama North America in Scottsdale, Ariz. in 1992. Faces International selected Donnie as a feature model in 1992 and 1993 and he was selected as a Mr. Man Premiere Finalist in 1998 in Huntsville, Ala. Donnie was a contributing designer for Sew Beautiful magazine in 1993 and 1994. His designs were featured in International Needle Arts and he was the recipient of both the National Interpretation Design Winner and the National Adaptation Winner which were selected by the Embroiders Guild of America in 1994. Mr. Ruf was also a fashion consultant and salesperson for Men's Polo Ralph Lauren Clothes and Accessories at Parisian and Belk during the early 2000's.
Mr. Ruf attributes much of his success to his grandmother, Dora Emberton Callahan. From his early days in the cotton fields of North Alabama when he was 3-4 years old, until her death in 2001 at 101 years old; she was his biggest fan, staunchest supporter and best friend. Fortunately she shared her formula for success with her grandson. Her formula consisted of innate ability, opportunity, hard work, plus a strong faith in God. This mentality was especially useful to Mr. Ruf during his tenure at UPS.
On August 31, 2017, Mr. Ruf retired from UPS and returned home to manage and live on the family farm that his grandfather, August Ruf Jr. purchased in 1912 in Athens, Ala. Opa, as Mr. Ruf is affectionately called, plans to instill in his granddaughters, Lola and Julia, the many life lessons and Christian values that he has learned along the way! He plans to travel, continue his passion for acquiring antiques and model when an opportunity presents itself.
Mr. Ruf has been the subject of two feature articles in news publications. One by Adam Smith, Managing Editor of The News Courier, Athens, Ala. and Brian Tierney, Project Manager for IBT, Washington D.C. Mr. Ruf has been featured in Marquis Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.
Quotes from the News Publications
"We feel honored and proud to have such a legend like Donnie as a longtime member of our union," said Joe Gronek Secretary-Treasurer of Local 402 Muscle Shoals, Ala.
"It is seldom you meet someone that had the type of [UPS] customer service qualities that Donnie Ruf had. Donnie loved his customers and they loved him in return," said Kitty Weston, retired postmaster in New Market, Ala.
About Marquis Who's Who®
Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America®, Marquis Who's Who® has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America® remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis® now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America®, Who's Who in the World®, Who's Who in American Law®, Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare®, Who's Who in Science and Engineering®, and Who's Who in Asia®. Marquis® publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who® website at
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