My company, ArcBest, is a logistics company. We provide freight shipping solutions for businesses of all sizes. Managing the supply chain has become increasingly important and complex. We excel at partnering with customers to help them overcome complex challenges.
Like other industries, ours is evolving rapidly, and ArcBest has transformed in recent years to provide a full range of supply chain services.
Although I am a woman in an industry that is traditionally male-dominated, I decided long ago not to make gender an issue or allow others to do so.
When I became ArcBest president and CEO in 2010, our company was coming off a year in which we had lost $100 million. It was during the Great Recession, which was a tough period for many companies, including those involved in the less-than-truckload trucking business. It was an immediate learning experience for me.
In the decade since then, we’ve doubled our revenue and posted healthy profits. I know we can always do better and we’re always aiming to improve, but I’m proud of how we faced that challenge and made smart decisions. We’ve intentionally broadened our focus and services from our roots in LTL shipping to a company that offers a broad suite of logistics solutions. In 2018, we posted record financial results, with total company revenue over $3 billion for the first time.
At ArcBest, we have a history of innovation, and I believe that’s one critical trait for excellent leaders. The world is rapidly changing, and investments in technology and innovations will continue to pay off. For us, it means we can enable a great experience for customers, provide efficiencies and continue to evolve as our customers’ needs evolve.
We have gained traction with our ongoing strategy to better serve customers, but we also have plenty of opportunity to capture even more business. That’s an exciting challenge for me, and I’m focused on achieving our strategic goals.
Often, I am asked whether I knew if I was going to advance to be in my current role. The short answer is no. I didn’t look ahead to every role to which I’ve been fortunate to advance.
However, in every position I’ve held — from my roles in public accounting, to now chairman, president and CEO at ArcBest — I’ve focused on doing the best job possible in the role I hold at that time.
I had aspirations, and my husband Lance helped me achieve them by being a stay-at-home dad while I pursued my career. When my sons were small children, I was concerned about balancing career and motherhood, and I’ve been fortunate to have great support at home.
I encourage other women to do your best every day, keep a positive attitude and establish a good support system.
I’m also not afraid to do the right thing. Integrity is one of our company values, and to me it is important to have integrity to advance professionally as well as personally.
At ArcBest, we’re proud of our values-driven culture. Our unique culture has served as a solid foundation for us for over 96 years.
We have positioned ourselves to be responsive to customers. When you do that, you really have to view things through the customer lens, which means their priorities are your priorities. I believe leaders have a responsibility to listen to feedback from colleagues, employees and even industry peers and then intentionally respond when appropriate.
To me, results matter. You can do a lot of things well, but if you don’t get the desired results, then you aren’t coming full circle to achieve the goal. I’ve found that to be true both in your career and in your personal life.