Every company has a precious supply of happy, enthusiastic individuals.
People of this variety are a commodity; they’re indispensable in their unique ability to inject a workforce with renewed energy, and a desire for personal growth. Grateful people are different. An encounter with a grateful person often results in an abiding introspection that transcends the interaction. Angela is a rare hybrid of both attributes, carrying both a joy that is obvious and contagious, and a gratitude that is meek and enduring. The result? One of us walked away with an interview, and I with a desire to be better.
Angela has been an unstoppable force since her arrival to England Logistics in March of 2013. She quickly became a model of customer service and enthusiasm, all while cultivating lasting customer relationships with her signature zeal for people. Though her attainment of senior account management in the less-than truckload (LTL) division was certainly impressive, Angela made history in February of 2020 when she accomplished the same achievement in the full truckload (FTL) division, becoming the first individual to have achieved such a status in two divisions. Today, she continues in her zest for her customers, and exercises that same enthusiasm in her family life.
Caden: Before we start with some of these formal questions, I wanted to ask you about your experience in achieving senior account manager twice. What were some of your thoughts in achieving this accomplishment?
Angela: I was given a unique opportunity for sure. When my department started restructure, I wasn’t sure where in the company I’d end up.
Caden: Change is always a challenge!
Angela: Right. But then England came to me and said, “We believe in you. We know that you know freight. We’ve got to keep you somewhere that you can achieve.” Then going into the full truckload department was just a natural progression. I think it was a new start for me and a breath of fresh air. You can get a little bit stagnant sometimes in a position or your career, and you need a spark; you need something to drive you a little bit more. So when I got transferred to FTL, I said, “Ok, this is it. It’s sink or swim.” Sinking wasn’t an option, so I had to push and do everything I could to talk to as many people as I could.
Sinking wasn’t an option, so I had to push and do everything I could to talk to as many people I could.
Caden: That’s an awesome philosophy. What did it mean to you to have that level of trust come from the company? What was that realization like?
Angela: Oh, it was huge! When I got that second chance, I realized they believed in me and I couldn’t let them down. I knew I had to keep going. That was just what I put my mind to and it worked.
Caden: That’s a beautiful answer. Who do you feel like has had the most impact on you here at England Logistics?
Angela: Absolutely Lance. He’s my Logistics Coach and my biggest cheerleader. He’s the one that said, “No, I want Angela on my team.” He’s not the type of person that hovers over you or micromanages you, he gives you a lot of space to learn and explore. He allowed me that freedom to get my wings and to figure things out on my own.
Caden: He really gave you some autonomy. Why you do think that helped you grow?
Angela: In this job there are so many variables, but Lance’s consistency of helping but not intervening gave me a chance to explore and learn about the business and what I can to make it better. Having that space to figure things out rather than somebody saying, “Here, this is our formula you need to follow exactly” was helpful.
Caden: Sounds like he was more supportive than anything. Understandably you would have a lot of respect for someone like that. How does the 2020 theme “Future in Focus” match your passions?
Angela: Lance always told me, “Angela, you need to think smarter, not harder.” “Future in Focus” is figuring out, “How I can turn what I have been given into more money or customers?” Rather than doing the busywork, (like maintaining a smaller customer pool), you need to consider how to make a larger impact. By working smarter and utilizing the tools we’ve been given at England, like calling on other departments or tools on the web, we can get help.
Caden: It certainly sounds like you’ve learned a lot about how to be strategic.
Angela: Absolutely. You need to be strategic or you’ll be overwhelmed. You want to be as accurate as possible on the front end. To be accurate, talk to everybody: the shipper, the receiver, the driver, the dispatcher, your team and then strategically streamline it on the front end make sure you have everything in place, and then on the back end you won’t be scrambling.
Caden: Totally smart. Open communication coupled with strategy can be very effective.
Caden: With your considerable success, what was your greatest hurdle? How did you overcome it?
Angela: I think when I changed departments, the greatest challenge I faced was to pull myself from my bootstraps, put my pride behind my ear and realize that quitting was never an option for me, so how can I turn this into something good? Again, taking that pride and then asking myself, “What are you going to do about it? Are you gonna quit now?” And the answer was no.
Again, taking that pride and then asking myself, “What are you going to do about it? Are you gonna quit now?” And the answer was no.
Caden: There needs to be something said about your tenacity. I can understand that it would be frustrating from being in a position where you feel like you are pretty acquainted and pretty established, and then to start over essentially. More lighthearted here, but do you have a favorite lunch spot?
Angela: My desk and my car are my two options. I feel that if I am away for very long then something will happen out of my control. It’s important to get away from your desk everyday but if I am gone for an hour for lunch, I just sit and worry about things.
Caden: That speaks to your loyalty to your customers and your dedication to your work. What is your favorite England Logistics corporate event and why?
Angela: I absolutely love when we do dodgeball in the summer.
Caden: Really? So you really enjoy dodgeball?
Angela: It’s a blast. I am a two-time dodgeball champion.
Caden: Oh! We’ll make sure to include that in the copy.
Angela: I am absolutely competitive in that realm, so dodgeball in the spring is always so fun. We also look forward to the family Boondocks day every year. We have six kids between my fiancé and I, so family Boondocks day helps us relax and have a good time with our hair down–with all the other employees, it’s just fun.
Caden: That’s wonderful that the family element appeals to you. You said six between you and your fiancé?
Angela: Yes. I have two, and he has four daughters.
Caden: Well we have a big family ourselves, so I know it can be a ton of fun. What is your favorite memory at England Logistics?
Angela: I like when we do the Kickoff! There’s always something to take back from those events. When Jo and Jeremy would MC, it was always hilarious. Whenever we do things with the management, like when they dressed as the dinosaurs–oh my gosh, that was so fantastic. Any type of a situation in which you’ve got the executive team there in a compromising position or something where they are put on the spot–I love that! I also love whenever we have won an award, like when they bring a catered lunch, it’s the executives that are serving it: they are the ones that put food on our plates! I told my fiancé that and he said, “Are you serious? My execs would never do that!”
Caden: I had no idea that was such a unique part of our culture coming here, but I’ve heard that several times.
Angela: It’s amazing. You go to other places and you don’t see the President put a hot dog on your plate.
Caden: It definitely speaks to our culture. Do you have a favorite moment with a customer?
Angela: I do have a favorite customer. I’ve worked with them for years back in LTL. We came to a point where some of their building got crazy and some of their loads got crazy. A few account managers were handling things because I was transitioning departments, and then they stopped shipping with us.
Caden: That must have been intimidating!
Angela: Exactly. I knew we needed to fix this, so I worked with a business development manager and I said, “We got to do everything we can to try and get this customer back.” Almost instantly the customer said, “Yah, we’ve gone out, we’ve tried other 3PLs, we’ve tried other brokers and it’s not working. We need you back with us.”
Caden: Wow, that speaks to your ability for sure.
Angela: I was never more thrilled. And they are shipping with us today. They are a top customer. That was a huge win for us just to get them back
Caden: Well your service was memorable enough that they made a U-turn. That’s very impressive. What do you do for fun outside of work?
Angela: Like I said, I’m with a big family, so we are always together for going hiking or going thrifting. We definitely love thrifting. We go to vintage stores.
Caden: What’s your favorite catch that you’ve found?
Angela: We’ll find name brand clothing, shoes, sunglasses–and my son will buy a pair of Gucci shoes, then turn around and sell them. We find treasures and just spend time together. We enjoy food, like going out and trying different culinary things, just activities we can do together.
Caden: It sounds like you have special family dynamic.
Angela: I don’t have any hobbies I really do on my own!
Caden: It seems like you have your hands full but you are handling it well. You must do an excellent job. If you could choose a super power what would it be and why?
Angela: Oh to fly!
Caden: Good, sometimes people answer that question wrong.
Angela: No, I want to fly. I want to be up above looking down knowing where my truck is, where my kids are: always just to have my eyes on something and to know what’s going on. And if I need to get somewhere I can get there quickly. I don’t have to rely on transportation.
Caden: Working in freight, you’d be free of it for just a minute! What is the best advice you’ve been given while at England Logistics?
Angela: I have advice to give instead?
Angela: My advice is to get to know as many people in the building as you can. Get to know as many as you possibly can at England Logistics. I have received more leads for customers and carriers from people in this building than I ever have on my own going out cold calling. More and more and more customers are sitting here in our dormant list.
Caden: That’s a pretty fascinating concept, that they are already here.
Angela: They’re already here! So by talking to as many people as you possibly can, getting to know what it is that they do in the company, and then offering to them how you can help just by that communication, like I said, I have gotten way more customers that way. Going out and cold calling is great and I’ve done a lot of it. But just by asking, “Hey, you’re shipping with so-and-so, can I ship with you as well?” Just having a connection somewhere with the customer you’ll have a lot better of a chance.
Caden: That’s so much more effective for a couple reasons: Not only are you getting the networking by initiating some of those relationships, but you are also touching their customer-base. I think that’s totally smart and most people are so anxious to cold call that they will miss out on those opportunities.
Angela: You need to just open up. Let yourself feel uncomfortable sometimes. Let yourself feel uncomfortable sometimes. If you are on the phone and you ask a lot of questions with a customers and sometimes you don’t feel too comfortable asking, get out of your comfort zone a little bit. Put it behind you and say, “It’s gonna be ok. We are all human. Don’t bite my hand.”
Let yourself feel uncomfortable sometimes. If you are on the phone and you ask a lot of questions with a customers and sometimes you don’t feel too comfortable asking, get out of your comfort zone a little bit.
Caden: I feel like some of the advice you’ve offered transcends the workplace. By talking to everyone, you never know what sort of benefits you’ll find in people.
Angela: It’s amazing to me. Even if you start a relationship once, down the road another opportunity will come.
Caden: That’s right. Kindness pays forward. Do you have any claims to fame?
Angela: Just the two-time SAM!
Caden: Well here we are! You’re in an interview.
Angela: Yes, that’s it for me.
Caden: Do you have a favorite song or band that you listen to while at work?
Angela: No, because they have the music streaming [over the office speakers] but the same six Queen songs play everyday and I just make sure I sing along with them.
Caden: So that’s your anthem then.
Angela: It’s great.
Caden: In closing this interview, if you were having a discussion with a former version of you, is there anything you would want yourself to know now that you are at the stage that you are?
Angela: Don’t give up kid. Don’t give in. Just keep pressing on. And just when you think it’s the end and all else will fail, there’s a silver lining somewhere. There is. You just need to find it. It’s not always so easy to see, just give yourself some time and don’t beat yourself up. When I first started here, I would get so nervous about shipments with, “Oh my gosh and oh and this load” and I would stay up at night and be stressed out. With time my shield of armor has gotten strong and now I can just brush it off. I know that there is going to be so a solution. We’re gonna find it. The kindness thing is huge for me. I don’t like to scream and yell at people on the phone even at my angriest. If there is something that is out of my control, you can’t get angry about it. You brush yourself up, figure it out and put your heads together and just say, “Hey, it’s gonna be ok.”
Don’t give in. Just keep pressing on. And just when you think it’s the end and all else will fail, there’s a silver lining somewhere. There is. You just need to find it.
Caden: And certainly that optimism will propel you through whatever in life.
Angela: That’s right.
Interested in working with Angela and the rest of our amazing team? Visit the careers page for current opportunities at England Logistics!