Phyllis Apelbaum

Founder & CEO

Arrow Messenger Service, Inc.


Business Services

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After working for City Bonded Messenger Service for 14 years, Phyllis Apelbaum founded what is now the largest woman-owned messenger service in the state of Illinois. As president for over 30 years, she has evolved Arrow Messenger Service into a multi-million dollar business employing approximately 215 people, moving more than a million packages. She accomplished this in spite of having a limited education and raising a son as a single parent.

In 1987 Phyllis co-founded the Messenger Service Association of Illinois and has long been a board member of the Messenger Courier Association of the Americas (where she was also elected President from 2000 – 2002). Phyllis does not limit herself to the Messenger Community; she is also very active in her community, the City of Chicago. Most notably, she sits on the Chicago Police Board, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Board, as well as the Better Boys Foundation Board and Meals on Wheels Board. She is also a member of National Association of Women Business Owners. Since 1996 Crain’s Chicago Business has listed Phyllis in its ‘Who’s Who Business Leaders’ for the Chicago region. Phyllis has received numerous awards for her involvement in the community as a whole, and regularly lectures at DePaul University and the University of Illinois at Chicago among other venues. Anyone can imagine what kind of schedule it would take to accomplish all of this. Phyllis’ dynamic and energetic nature, make it all possible. Her ‘Whatever It Takes’ attitude and lively personality will always make Phyllis stand out among the rest.

The Chicago Network