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NHL Hockey And BlueGrace, It’s That Time Of Year

Every new hockey season is a chance for fans to rejoice. A chance to once again hear the acoustical beauty of a slap shot, the ballet that is a gloves off fight and the trumpet of the goal horn. Hockey is a sport that engages the audience with an amazing atmosphere and unbelievably talented teams who somehow do it all on skates. At BlueGrace, we love hockey. Tickets for each Tampa Bay Lightning game are always in high demand, making them a top employee incentive!

The Preferred Shipping Partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning

The day after a clutch win or a tough loss, the emotions are still high at the office with plenty of couch coaching at the water cooler. Teamwork means everything in both business and in sports, and that mentality holds true to the way we operate at BlueGrace.

“Since Jeff Vinik purchased the franchise in 2010, we have looked to align ourselves with world-class brands that share our vision and values on and off the ice, and BlueGrace fully embodies that,” said Lightning CEO Steve Griggs. “BlueGrace’s community involvement and commitment to Tampa Bay is aligned with our mission and we look forward to our partnership with them.”

Widely-known for our unique culture, BlueGrace offers a dynamic work environment and lives by a set of 5 Core Values. The NHL as a sport, along with many of its teams, have the same set of values and commitment that we do – making the partnership a natural fit for both sides.

“It’s a natural fit for us to partner with a world-class organization like the Tampa Bay Lightning,” said Bobby Harris, CEO and founder of BlueGrace Logistics. “This partnership enables us to team up with the Lightning on charitable initiatives, increase our local visibility and expand our national brand. We look forward to a long-term relationship and years of success with the Tampa Bay Lightning.”

Bringing Core Values To Life, With Hockey

BlueGrace Core Values can be easily applied to the game of hockey, but particularly fall in line with the level of commitment & community-involvement of the Tampa Bay Lightning:

  1. Be Caring Of All Others – Help a teammate better his game, always think about your team first. Help local communities using your position as a star player to maximize charitable efforts.
  2. Simplify – Not all complicated plays end up with a blowing goal horn! Sometimes a simple play leads to more effective passes and faster scoring.
  3. Pursue Outrageous Goals – What is the most outrageous goal in hockey? Bringing home the Stanley Cup! When the season starts, everyone has a chance for the Cup, so reach for the seemingly impossible.
  4. Embrace Chaos – When the game gets tough, the tough play harder. Tired from 3 full periods of hockey? The game is tied – rest, quickly recharge, and get ready for the 3 on 3 overtime! That’s where champions are made.
  5. Be Happy, Humble & Have Fun – Sure you shot the winning goal, but without the assist and stunning performance by your defense, that shot would have never happened! Be humble, sit down, and celebrate with your teammates!

The Tampa Bay Lightning & BlueGrace: We All Bleed Blue

BlueGrace headquarters are in Tampa, Florida so we’re slightly (ok, VERY) biased towards our hometown Tampa Bay Lightning team. They’re an essential part of the small amount of fall/winter we have here in Tampa, home of some of the biggest sports fans. With regional offices in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, BlueGrace actually has quite a few Champion teams to cheer for (did someone say Blackhawks?). Regardless of which NHL team you cheer for, there will never be any shortage of fans who will be cheering hard. If business and sports have ANYTHING in common, it’s the team-first mentality that sets the successful apart from the rest. Perhaps the most important part of a team is the sense of brotherhood – letting your teammates know you have their back and you’re ready to flick an assist their way (play goal horn below!). Go Bolts!

Play The Tampa Bay Goal Horn Below!

 

 

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BlueGrace Logistics Hosts Open House Event

Photo Cred: Dosia White Photography

Since it’s inception in January of 2009, BlueGrace has provided transportation management services for companies that ship. From one-time-shippers to multi-million dollar accounts, BlueGrace works to make each customer’s business, better. Over the last 8 years, BlueGrace has opened its doors to vendors and customers alike, but never in this capacity.

Over the last 8 years, BlueGrace has opened its doors to vendors and customers alike, but never in this capacity.

On Friday, June 2, BlueGrace Logistics hosted an Open House and invited local vendors, partners, customers and potential customers to see both the recent building expansion and the rebranding efforts.

While BlueGrace is no stranger to a good time, this event proved to be one for the record books.

Nearly 350 people, including BlueGrace employees, enjoyed food provided by a Tampa favorite — Datz, uniquely crafted coffee by the Coffee Divas, music by Wild Out Entertainment, Tampa Bay Lightning alumni Bryan Bradley, Thunderbug and the Lightning Girls.

Being the preferred shipper of the Tampa Bay Lightning has its perks.

“Our partnership with the Lightning has provided us with some incredible opportunities for our employees, customers and vendors, and having Tampa Bay hockey legend Bryan Bradley draw up a hockey play on our white board, was probably one of the coolest things about the Open House,” said Adam White, Director of Marketing at BlueGrace Logistics.

Welcome to BlueGrace Logistics

Guests were welcomed into the new, state-of-the-art reception lobby that tripled in size since the buildout.

Photo Cred: Dosia White Photography & BlueGrace Employees Social Media Posts

“We didn’t just usher our guests to the party, we wanted to show them our growth with an exclusive tour of the newly expanded, 55,000 sq ft building,” said Whitney McKay, Marketing and Brand Manager at BlueGrace Logistics. “Our conference rooms, collaborative spaces, and breakrooms have unique names and we wanted to explain to our guests, what these rooms meant to us and our culture.” McKay, continued.

The tour started in the “OG” breakroom appropriately named “Comfortably Numb” where guests were offered to partake in a BlueGrace culture staple “Free Beer Friday”.

“Our leadership allows us to endulge after a long, hard week at work. Every Friday at 3 o’clock, our employees participate in ‘Free Beer Friday’ and are allowed to drink some beer at their desk to close out their work week,” said Beth Clark, Content Manager at BlueGrace Logistics. “This culture is something we needed to share with our guests to understand the machine that is BlueGrace.”

Humane Society of Tampa Bay Adoptables

Photo Cred: Dosia White Photography & BlueGrace Employees Social Media Posts

Groups of 10-15 guests were taken through the brief, yet extremely successful history of BlueGrace as they walked through the expansive office space. Halfway down the nearly eighth-of-a-mile long office building, they were greeted by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and their adoptable animals.

BlueGrace Logistics Loves Animals and the Partnership with HSTB is always top-of-mind so they were a perfect addition to the Open House event.

Our Culture is Unmatched

Collaborative spaces, state-of-the-art training and conference rooms, and free beer isn’t all we offer our employees. The final stop on the tour for our guests — Paradise City.

The final stop on the tour for our guests — Paradise City.

“This breakroom is a space for our employees to take a break during the work day and either relax in an oversized bean bag, play a game of ping-pong or to shoot some corn-hole.” said McKay.

Photo Cred: Dosia White Photography & BlueGrace Employees Social Media Posts

When walking into the breakroom, Paradise City, guests were cheerfully greeted by some of the Tampa Bay Lightning Girls, TB Alumni Bryan Bradley, and their famed mascot, Thunderbug.

“You could feel the energy. The event was supposed to show our guests what it’s like to work at BlueGrace and to Celebrate our Growth; I feel like we nailed it.” said White.

Food, Fun and Entertainment

When planning an event, there are boxes that need to be checked, and food comes to the top of that list. Datz, a Tampa Bay staple, was the perfect business to partner with for this exclusive Open House event.

“If you haven’t eaten at Datz and you live in the Tampa Bay area, you are missing out.” said Clark.

The menu was filled with some of their best dishes, including their famous Mac N Cheese bun burgers. BlueGrace and Datz also worked together to create a signature drink for special guests, the Blueberry Mule.

“The Blueberry Mule was such a hit with everyone. They were so refreshing and the perfect addition to the event menu.” said Tracy Guida, Catering Manager at Datz Tampa.

The other amazing food and beverage vendors included the Coffee Divas Mobile Catering and one of BlueGrace’s very own Sarah Sweeney, Supervisor of Credit & Billing.

“Before BlueGrace, I was a pastry chef at Jackson’s and other local bakeries.” continued Sweeney. “I have sort of become the in-house baker and I love every second of it.”

While the food and drinks were definitely a hit, we can’t forget the musical tracks that kept the party going.

Photo Cred: Dosia White Photography

DJ Papi of Wild Out Entertainment came to us as a recommendation and he did not disappoint. Our playlist in the office on a normal day, was brought to life and he did a fabulous job.” said Clark.

A Huge Thank You to Our Guests

While we certainly love throwing a party, we couldn’t do any of this without you. BlueGrace Logistics believes that we can make any business better and by providing a unique and fun space for our employees and a culture that encourages them to provide unmatched service, we can do just that.

Thank you to everyone who made it out to our headquarters office in Riverview, Florida. To our vendors, customers, employees, and partners — Thank you for all that you do!

Want to Work at BlueGrace Logistics?

Our shipments aren’t the only things going places! BlueGrace employees strive to excel at every opportunity. So we surround them with the kind of fun, positive, and creatively stimulating experiences that’ll further ignite their ambitions. If you Pursue Outrageous Goals and are Caring of All Others, apply for a career at BlueGrace Logistics.

APPLY HERE  – Today!

Open House Event Photos >> Courtesy of Dosia White Photography. 

 

 

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Carrier Spotlight | Old Dominion Freight Lines

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OD Freight Line fits many of our Core Values. Their ability to Pursue Outrageous Goals for over 82 years, is a huge reason why we continue to work closely with them to provide our customers with complete shipping needs.

One of BlueGrace Logistics Core carriers, Old Dominion Freight line, has 226 shipping service centers, 32 transfer points, and more than 18,000 employees. OD Freight Line provides service to six major geographical regions and thousands of direct shipping points in the lower 48 States.

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OD’s single-source operation helps you manage your domestic freight shipping needs with confidence and provides complete nationwide coverage across all regions of the United States.

Their Super Regional Service allows businesses to ship both inter and intra-regionally with the most competitive transit times and pricing available.

In 1934, Earl and Lillian Congdon founded Old Dominion Freight Line in Richmond, Virginia, with one truck and a commitment to keep their promises to customers. Since then, OD has turned into a global transportation leader. Today, Earl Jr. and his son, David Congdon, carry on the family tradition of doing whatever it takes to help the world keep promises.

Recently, Old Dominion was recognized with the following acknowledgements for company leadership in the industry:

  • Inbound Logistics magazine recognized Old Dominion as a 2016 Top 100 Trucker and named the company to its 75 Green Supply Chain Partners (G75) list for the sixth consecutive year.
  • For the seventh consecutive year, Logistics Management honored OD with its Quest for Quality Award.
  • SupplyChainBrain named ODFL in its 2016 “100 Great Supply Chain Partners” listing.
  • NASSTRAC honored the company as 2016 Multi-Regional LTL Carrier of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Forbes Magazine named Old Dominion one of America’s Best Employers in 2015
  • Fortune named CEO David Congdon to its 2015 Businessperson of the Year list.
  • The ATA Transportation Security Council awarded OD with its 2015 Excellence in Claims and Loss Prevention Award for the third consecutive year.
  • Mastio & Company ranked Old Dominion as No. 1 National LTL carrier for the sixth consecutive year.
  • 2015 SmartWay Excellence Award winner.
  • Commercial Carrier Journal ranked OD No. 10 on the 2015 Top 250 Carriers list.
  • Forbes Magazine named Old Dominion as one of America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies for three consecutive years.

Carrier Relationships

BlueGrace Logistics is always focusing on how to make each shipment, with each carrier, cost efficient. Working with carriers like Old Dominion Freight Lines is one of the many reasons we are successful in providing cost efficient and custom transportation plans for our shippers!

 

 

 

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Pursue Outrageous Goals | Core Value #3

CORE VALUE_3

 

Bill Gates

Dropped out of Harvard after two years – He founded Microsoft and is now known as the richest person on earth! He Pursued an Outrageous Goal.

Elon Musk

Founded his first company at the age of 23 and sold it for $300 million. He is also the co-founder of PayPal, founder of Tesla Motor Company and SpaceX. When he funded the project for SpaceX, he spent nearly all of his net-worth and for many years the public thought he would fail. NASA has now teamed up with Elon to fund SpaceX for a $1.6 billon contract. He Pursued an Outrageous Goal.

Joan of Arc

A peasant girl living in medieval France, believed that God had chosen her to lead France to victory in its long-running war with England. She doned mens clothing and hairstyle to fight and was nicknamed “The Maid of Orléans.” Joan is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. She Pursued an Outrageous Goal.

Sara Blakely

Billionaire Founder of Spanx was just trying to hide her panty lines while wearing white pants and cut off the feet of her panty-hose. For a full year she worked on an undergarment without telling anyone. Neiman-Marcus eventually picked up her product and she sent a pair to Oprah. A few weeks later she got a call asking if she had a website and could handle a ton of orders. She quit her job in October of 2000 and was on Oprah’s couch in November and never looked back. She Pursued an Outrageous Goal.

BlueGrace is a big believer in it’s employees, potential new hires and clients ‘Pursuing Outrageous Goals’.

Taking a risk and pursuing an outrageous goal is something that many will avoid for one thing – FEAR. The fear of failure and the fear of letting someone down. People fear what they have to lose.

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. – Jim Rohn

Bobby Harris

CEO of BlueGrace Logistics founded this company because he saw an opportunity and pursued it. Starting his career at 18 years old working on the docks for Southeastern Freight Lines, Harris worked his way up through operations management. At 20 he was running an outbound facility, and at 22, he was working in sales.

Harris was 30 years old when he bought into a DHL shipping franchise, and within two years, he owned 23 franchises. In 2008, Harris wanted to buy the franchisor, but the deal fell through when DHL decided to leave the U.S.

So at the beginning of 2009, Harris decided to start Blue Grace Logistics. He tapped into his 401(k), brokerage accounts, real estate and financial investments to start the company. He Pursued an Outrageous Goal.

Our employees, companies and carriers we partner with shouldn’t settle for mediocrity.

Along with 7 other core values that we look for in our candidates, employees and partners, Pursuing Outrageous Goals has to be one of the top.

“We look for people willing to take risks and jump in with both feet. It’s a great combination knowing that the people who work with you are some of the most caring and most encouraging. I know that the people employed here support our mission and see our vision for the future. They are Pursuing this Outrageous Goal with me at BlueGrace Logistics,” said Bobby Harris, CEO.

Do You Pursue Outrageous Goals?

As you may have seen in recent news stories and articles, BlueGrace Logistics is growing and needs to hire more team members! Check out our Careers page and apply today if you think you have what it takes to join our team and Pursue Outrageous Goals!

 

 

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BlueGrace Logistics Participates and Sponsors Miles for Moffitt – Run to Beat Cancer 2016

POST -Miles for Moffitt Blog

Cancer sucks. There is no other way to put it. According to an article from cancer.gov, in 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease. The statistics about this disease are staggering, but it’s events like ‘Miles for Moffitt’ that will contribute to prevention, treatment and the cure of cancer through fundraising.

This is the 2nd year that BlueGrace Logistics participated in and sponsored the Miles for Moffitt – Run to Beat Cancer.

“It’s a huge part of who we are as an organization. Fundraising and participating in events like these, are engrained in our company culture,” said Courtney Smith, BlueGrace Franchise Support Manager and Culture Club member.

BlueGrace Logistics Corporate may have sponsored the event, but what the employees did on their own was substantial and nothing short of amazing. Through small fundraising events in the office and making pledges through the Miles For Moffitt website, the company as a whole raised a total of $19,159.

“We had great participation with a bake sale and a “Pie in the Face” fundraiser, but we were able to generate the most money through the website pledges!” said Mercedes Essmann, Director of Corporate Recruiting at BlueGrace Logistics.

BlueGrace Logistics is proud to be able to give back to the community, whether it be through local projectscharity events or our annual Cats Vs. Dog pet food drive.

At BlueGrace Logistics one of our core beliefs is our people make the difference. As such, we strive to create an environment where our employees truly feel like family. We believe that people who are happy and excited about the company they work for are more fun to work with, loyal and are ultimately more effective in their roles. We fully encourage all employees to give back to their community in some sort of way.

 

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National Dog Day 2015

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Happy National Dog Day

An Announcement Regarding BG Cats v. Dogs

Every year BlueGrace Logistics holds a Cats. vs. Dogs pet food donation rally. It is girls vs. guys and all in good fun. The real winners at the end is the animals. Last year as a company we donated over 44k pounds of pet food to the humane society of Tampa Bay. You can read about it here:

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

The twitter has tag to the follow the smack talk is #catsvsdogs15

The contest runs from 8-17 through 9-28.

If you or anyone you know would like to contribute please feel free to reach out to us at 800-697-4477

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What are your S.M.A.R.T 2016 Goals?

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Here at BlueGrace we are asking our franchisees and direct employees to start thinking about their 2016 goals. This is our take on what S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

S= Shared. Tell your friends, family, and co-workers about your goals. You need support and accountability.

M= Measured. Measured these can be measured somehow. Typically by $, #, and %.

A= Attainable. These goals have to be within reach and reason. You can not make hitting the lotto a goal!

R= Relevant. Make these smart goals relevant to something you are trying to accomplish in your life. These can be work related, exercise and diet, or something you want to do that you haven’t done yet.

T= Time. There has to be an end date to see if you accomplished your goal. You typically do not want to set smart goals further than a year out.

 

Please let us know on social media what your smart goals are today!

On Twitter: @mybluegrace

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bluegracelogistics

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7.7 – The Road To Victory

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Check out what employees have to say about BlueGrace’s biggest contest of the year!

Tim Lara // ENTERPRISE TRUCKLOAD COORDINATOR //
Tim Lara // Enterprise Truckload Coordinator

 

 

TIM LARA // ENTERPRISE TRUCKLOAD COORDINATOR

“At first it’s about the money, you see that $1000 and start thinking of the ways you could spend it. Once crunch time hits it starts becoming more and more about everyone else, more and more about the company and how you want to do every-thing you can to see Bobby come out and hit that gong!” – Tim Lara

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tammy Valenzuela // Senior Manager, National Sales

TAMMY VALENZUELA // SENIOR MANAGER, NATIONAL SALES

Don’t forget your value adds! Let our customers know that we don’t just want their shipment, we want their business. It’s easy to secure a shipment with promoting the lowest cost carrier, but we have so much more to offer. Secure long term business relationships with your customers by educating them on BG’s value adds. From BlueShip to live tracking, to 3rd party insurance and much more you’ll secure more business and get us closer to the $7.7 goal!

 

 

 

 

 

RYAN MCGUINNESS // FRANCHISE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Ryan McGuiness // Franchise Development Manager
Ryan McGuiness // Franchise Development Manager

Last year’s 7.5 contest was, without question, one of my favorite memories here at BlueGrace. It was a special time seeing so many people and departments come together for a common goal. There was a buzz and feel in the office that was unmatched. As you all may know, we are behind in this year’s goal of 7.7. At this point not only are we behind, but does anyone even care? Let’s change that!
Here at some tips to try to replicate or BEAT what we accomplished last year:

  • Get social! Talk about the contest on Twitter and Facebook. Engage and challenge your teammates and other departments. Talking about the contest helps create that buzz.
  • Do you know what it takes? Do you know the numbers we need to hit? Print them out and display them on your desk, by your monitor, or wherever you will see it multiple times per day. Just don’t use tape (you’re welcome Mike).

Do one just more thing than usual. Ask for that extra shipment, ask to help out, ask for an upcharge, and just ask! Doing just one more thing per customer interaction or around the office goes a long way and the right people notice. Last year’s 7.5 contest paved the way for so many people that you now see as leaders at BlueGrace. That could be you.
Since last year our office has grown so much and so has the level of talent I see every day. BlueGrace has a history of laughing in the face of ridiculous goals and just getting things done. Embrace the chaos, pur-sue this outrageous goal, be passionate, and most importantly be happy and have fun along the way!

 

 

Kari Bolin // TL Account Executive
Kari Bolin // TL Account Executive

KARI BOLLIN //TL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

I think it is important to reach company goals because it shows that we are all in this together.  We all may have dif-ferent roles and responsibilities but in the end we all are here or should be here to be successful and want to be part of something bigger than what we can accomplish by ourselves.  Reaching this company goal will embrace all 8 of our Core Values and I am excited to see how everyone shines!

 

 

 

 

Dave Inzerillo // Director Enterprise Development
Dave Inzerillo // Director Enterprise Development

DAVE INZERILLO  // DIRECTOR ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT

A good way to make sure we  all hit our overall goal is to  make sure you set small goals along the way that are in line with the overall goal. Know what you have to do daily and be able to make adjustments to those goals as things can change. Make sure you utilize all the resources you have including your colleges. We can achieve more when we work together, and most of all, Work hard. Don’t leave anything on the table.

 

 

 

 

 

Ragan Green // Carrier & Enterprise Solutions Coordinator
Ragan Green // Carrier & Enterprise Solutions Coordinator

 

RAGAN GREEN // CARRIER & ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS COORDINATOR

What motivates me is positive collaborative effort: unique skill sets communicat-ing and pushing in the same direction- such as our 7.7 goal. The Monday morning meetings are such a great way to set intention and bring focus. It may be aRagan Green // Carrier & Enterprise Solutions Coordinator

good idea to have teams briefly meet half way thru the week to bring attention back to the goal by “shouting out” any steps made towards it. Listening to each other’s input and positive collaboration is where it’s at.

 

 

 

STACEY ROSE // ENTERPRISE ARCHITECT

Stacey Rose // Enterprise Architect

When I was asked to share my thoughts for a 7.7 column, I was given several topics to choose from including the importance of goals, motivating others, and the excitement surrounding the contest itself.  As I thought about each topic and what I wanted to write about, I realized every topic was related to the next and my mind kept going back to our eight Core Values.  It’s all right there. Ok, Stacy, what the hell do the Core Values have to do with Lao-Tzu’s quote about leadership and the 7.7 contest you ask?  To me, our eight Core Values can be simplified into one statement: “Be a Leader”.  One does not have to be given a “leadership” title to be a leader, nor does one have to explicitly be given the responsibility of leading others to be a leader.  We all can be a leader in many aspects of our lives inside and outside of the company walls if we approach it with the right tools and more importantly the right attitude. If we all embrace the empowerment we have been allowed to be leaders in our daily work lives, we can-not help but be successful.  We’ve already proven it.  The Core Values are the tools — the “how”.  Striving for goals, motivating yourself and others, contest excitement, positivity — they all tie back to the Core Values.  It’s all right there.

 

 

Joe Cubero // National Sales Manager
Joe Cubero // National Sales Manager

JOE CUBERO // NATIONAL SALES MANAGER

It is VERY important to me to reach 7.7 simply being that I am competitive by na-ture and I love a challenge. This is a pretty lofty goal that has been set, but that’s what BlueGrace is all about. Whenever a goal of this magnitude is set it makes everyone in the company to take everything to the next level. Being that Culture is huge part of BG, there is a vibe in the air to WANT to succeed. 50% of hitting this goal is Attitude. Once we believe as a company we can achieve it, all that’s left to do is go and make it happen.

 

 

Melissa Bauknight // Corporate Recruiter
Melissa Bauknight // Corporate Recruiter

MELISSA BAUKNIGHT // CORPORATE RECRUITER

I started at BlueGrace 2 weeks before we reached 7.5 last year. Though I knew nothing about the contest, I knew about to experience something groundbreaking. You could feel the excitement all over the floor in EVERY department. It was an aggressive goal last year and it’s an aggressive goal this year. Only now, we have more employees to help us get there. Focus and dedication is the key. Let’s keep the momentum and hype up. #SevenPointSeven!

 

 

 

#SEVENPOINTSEVEN – SHARE THE EXPERIENCE.

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Tweet Tweet… – An Exclusive Insight into BG on Twitter

TweetTweet

Twitter is one of those social media platforms that you use for the first time and you either love it or hate it. For BlueGrace it’s the social media platform of the century. Our company is one of the most active logistics companies on Twitter. We are interacting on Twitter daily, which is the “One Thing” that makes us a remarkable example of social media in the workplace. As a company, we’re “engaged” with everyone that interacts with us; and employees play the most critical role in the development of this social media platform. Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen a number of really cool things come of engaging on the platform from the front line and as an employee. One that stands out to me was the first time we saw our Inc. 500 Ranking as the #1 Logistics and Transportation Company. On a work trip to San Francisco, the 2012 Inc. 500 had just been published and was on shelves. As I saw the cover on the shelves in a gift shop at the Tampa International Airport a Twitter alert went off “@IncOnline mentioned @mybluegrace on Twitter.” Sure enough we were mentioned the #1 Transportation and Logistics Company. I smiled and thought to myself  “Oh snap. I work there, haaaaaaaaaay!” Next thing you know, the entire BlueGrace family starts chiming in. Tid-bits of information with BlueGrace and Inc. Magazine blasted all over Twitter.  It was great because people said what they needed to say and it was quick;  Unlike a Facebook status that reads a few paragraphs and keeps you thinking. A Tweet is direct and to the point like “Boom, in your face.” So you’re probably thinking,  “Well, O.K. I see how that could be cool but how do I ‘engage’.” The most important thing is commit to it, just like anything else you’re trying to accomplish. Start by looking at your calendar and Identify what you can gain out of the experience both personally and professionally. BlueGrace’s best “PowerTweeters” follow people, companies, musicians, and anyone /anything that peaks their interest.

Let’s take a look at some other AWESOME things that have happened as a result of BlueGrace and BlueGrace employees engaging on Twitter:

Steve Hicks (@BG_Steve) gets retweeted by Jose Canseco (June 23, 2013)

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Truck Tour Stops by  BlueGrace Tampa (2013, 2014) & Chicago Office (2014)

Jeremy Piven (Ari from the HBO Series, “Entourage,”) DM’s Dustin Snipes (2011)

Ryan Mitchell (Carrier Sales Representative) gets RT by NFL official Twitter account (2014)

Carol Haeck gets some RT love by La Crema Wine Company and the National Humane Society brand. (2013, 2014)

Customer gets response from Denise Richards from BG employee influence!

So what are you waiting for? Get on Twitter, make it part of your day. You never know what the end result will be! Need help? Send an email to marketing@mybluegrace.com

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Integrated Social Media

 

“We have a marketing department for that” – That’s a sentence I often hear from businesses opposed to being part of the latest trend in social media: to integrate it with the company. Social media integration is about getting the entire company so excited about what’s going on at work that they all communicate it, instead of having only one designated person doing that while keeping the rest of the company from being part of it.

Businesses everywhere are trying to decide whether allowing social media at work is or isn’t a trend that works. BlueGrace, however, is ahead of the trend.  Not only are most of our employees active on social media and are using it as part of their daily work routine, but the company has also grown over 7,000% since its inception in 2009! With numbers like those, it’s clear that BlueGrace is doing something right.

A great misconception about integrating social media as part of a company’s culture is that it creates chatter and allows the employees to talk, but social media isn’t just about chatting, it’s about listening too! Our employees are actively listening to what’s going on in the industry and spreading the latest news as it come out, making social media a way to become educated and educate others.

When employees are online the possibilities for them to create connections are endless, and connections are what makes a company grow. Why not give your company the ability to do that? Banning social media from work is a great way to keep employees out of the loop with what’s going on in the industry. Social media is about creating a healthy chatter to always put your company ahead of the game.

“Everything is social now with business,” says Paula Barca, BlueGrace Account Executive.

Many companies are also concerned that allowing social media at work may make the company look less professional. We disagree with that. Social media makes the company more personable. It puts faces to the company allowing the clients to get to know each of our employees, and the employees get to know each other. It’s another outlet for employees to connect with clients and even generate new leads.

“Look at the companies who are extremely high in customer service and customer satisfaction – they are engaging their customers on Twitter, Facebook and other social media avenues,” says Barca.

Social media shouldn’t only be used by the marketing team. At BlueGrace, we’ve learned to integrate it in every department. Our Client Relations team often answers questions and communicates through Twitter. The Recruiting department are always on the lookout for candidates who will fit into our culture by looking through Twitter and Facebook. We now even created 360Blue, a support team available for select clients not only through a direct phone line, but also via Twitter, where employees engage and answer clients’ questions in real-time.

“360Blue is following our customers on Twitter and tweeting every day to make sure the customers are up to date on what is happening at BlueGrace,” says Barca.

To survive in the business world nowadays, companies need to be innovative. They need to understand technology and move forward with it and not let old habits keep them from growing. BlueGrace believes in the future and is excited to continue keeping up with what works today and what will work in the future as technology progresses.

Account Executive, Paula Barca
Account Executive, Paula Barca
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“You have one new friend request!”

 

Do you get excited when a new friend request pops up on Facebook? Love to share “what’s on your mind” and pictures from last weekend? What if I told you that the request is from a co-worker or colleague? Or worse, your MANAGER!! The company’s CEO??? HECK NO!

That’s the reaction most people have when it comes to adding co-workers to Facebook, but is that also the case when working for a company with an open social media policy? That’s a question I asked myself since I started working here. It’s also a trending topic in the business world, so we decided to address it internally. Being a new employee at BlueGrace Logistics made me wonder just how much the open social media policy affected the “at work friend request,” so I went on a mission to find out how BlueGrace employees feel about adding people in the workplace to Facebook.

I spoke to several people throughout the office, and shockingly most of them are completely comfortable and OK adding co-workers to Facebook.

“Facebook is a really personal thing, a lot of people use it to put their personal selves out there and actually show who they are,” says National Sales Representative, Cory Comly, “If you hide that from the people at work, then you’re not letting them actually get to know you. Letting your boss know who you are outside of the cubicle is a way to let him/her connect with you, find out what you like and see what kind of things you have in common. Social media is a good way to build relationships,” says Cory Comly, National Sales Representative.

A couple of people, however, are not excited about exposing their personal lives to others in the company. “Have you ever heard the expression ‘people be creeping’?” says NSR, Danielle Hunter. She’s referring to those who look through their Facebook friend’s pictures and statuses (also known as every Facebook user out there.)

“It’s a real thing, and I would rather not be a part of it,” says Hunter.

Hunter does have a point, adding co-workers to Facebook is basically the same as letting them in to your life, letting them know who you really are, and if you’re adding them to social media you have to be completely ok with that. But, you work at BlueGrace where culture and a family atmosphere are a top priority, so why hide it?

“We spend most time at work anyways,” says Senior Sales Manager, Dustin Snipes “we might as well get to know each other.”

After hearing the different opinions on this, I decided that if I’m planning on being with  this company for the long haul, I might as well really let everyone into my life.

“When you actually start to show people at work who you are outside of work, you are able to connect with them a lot easier,” says Comly. “And that’s what I did. I accepted my friend requests and added a few others. Those who I work with and are friends with me on Facebook know not only my professional side, but also who I really am.”

So next time you receive an “in the office friend request” think about all of our core values and decide for yourself.

Cory Comly, NSR
Cory Comly, NSR
Danielle Hunter, NSR
Danielle Hunter, NSR
Dustin Snipes, Senior Sales Manager
Dustin Snipes, Senior Sales Manager
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MSNBC’s Your Business Invites BlueGrace President & CEO as B2B Social Media Expert

Sunday, January 4, 2014:

MSNBC’s show Your Business invited BlueGrace Logistics President & CEO to their show to speak on B2B Social Media Strategy as a subject matter expert. The CEO of America’s fastest growing Transportation and Logistics Firm and franchise listed on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 List brought insight and tips to educate other businesses of America to better understand social media. The interview briefly reviewed the company’s standing in today’s marketplace followed by examples of how BlueGrace utilizes social media, primarily Twitter (the company’s primary platform for social media integration) to build relationships.

“You don’t just want marketing handling your Twitter or your Facebook, you want to everybody engaged,” says Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace in the interview with MSNBC.

Bobby Harris continued sharing the importance of why it is a mistake to overlook social media in the B2B World.  Check out the video!

Follow BlueGrace Logistics on Twitter (@MyBlueGrace) and Bobby Harris himself (@BobbyBG_CEO).

 

Highly Effective Social Media Strategies in a B2B World, Bobby Harris President & CEO of Blue Grace Logistics on MSNBC’s Your Business

For more information on BlueGrace Logistics or BlueGrace Franchise fill out the form below.

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BlueGrace Logistics will be closed for Labor Day on Monday 9/2

LABOR DAY HOLIDAY SCHEDULE – 2013

BlueGrace Logistics and all Carrier Partners WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2013.  We will resume business the following day on Tuesday, September 3rd. We’d like to wish you all a great, relaxing Labor Day Weekend.

Need help before the holiday rush? Call your dedicated rep or reach one of our logistics experts at 800.MY.SHIPPING or get an Quick & Easy Freight Quote Online.

Thank You,

BlueGrace Logistics

Need a Freight Quote?  Get one Quick & Easy Here
800.MY.SHIPPING

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BlueGrace Logistics Sponsored Two Fighters at UFC Fight Night 27

At UFC Fight Night 27 on Fox Sports 1 on August 28, 2013, BlueGrace Logistics was proud to sponsor two fighters in the main events.  BlueGrace sponsored Carlos “Natural Born Killer” Condit and Brad Tavares in two of the main card fights at UFC Fight Night: Condit vs Kampmann 2 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Carlos Condit fought in the main event again Martin Kampmann, and ended up having on the top fights of the night.  Condit dominated in a one sided bloody fight (primarily due to Kampmann’s bloody nose) that eventually lead to a TKO win over Kampmann in the fourth round.  The big win sets up the Natural Born Killer with likely another chance at the title when the opportunity comes around.


Five fights before Condit’s fight, Brad Tavares faced Bubba McDaniel in a middleweight bout.  After a close first round, Tavares gruadually took control of the fight between the second and third round eventually leading to a unanimous decision by the judges to award Brad Tavares the win.  This win for Tavares increases his fight record to a clean 11-1 in his MMA career and opens the door for advancement in the UFC.

BlueGrace Logistics is very excited for both fighters on their win and was very proud to be apart of important wins in their career.  Check out some of the awesome pictures we have posted from the fight on the BlueGrace Logistics Facebook page.

 

BlueGrace Logistics

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BlueGrace Logistics Sponsored Chael Sonnen at UFC Fight Night 26

At the main event of UFC Fox Sports 1 on August 17, 2013, Chael Sonnen surprised the crowd with an explosive performance over former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Sonnen was a slight underdog entering the fight, but his

BlueGrace Logistics sponsored Chael Sonnen during his big night as he tapped out Shogun in the first round with a guillotine choke in a dominant, one-sided performance. The loss was obviously devastating for Shogun, but Sonnen leaves the fight with multiple fight options.

Another major highlight from the fight, was when Sonnen called out “The Axe Murderer” for a fight during the post-fight recap with Joe Rogan by stating “Wanderlei Silva, six feet tall and 205 pounds, boy, until I met you, I didn’t know they could stack crap that high,” and ended it with “Wanderlei Silva, three months, you and the bad guy.”

BlueGrace is very excited for Chael Sonnen on his win and looks forward to his next fight, probably against Wanderlei Silva.   BlueGrace Logistics was a proud, visible sponsor and can be seen in many of the pictures from the fight! Check out some of the awesome pictures we have posted from the fight on the BlueGrace Logistics Facebook page.

 

BlueGrace Logistics

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Proof of the Power of Twitter and Employee Ideas

BlueGrace Logistics is always seeking out new ways to keep employees excited about upcoming events and holidays. As a company that supports a strong corporate culture above all else, finding ideas to mix up the BlueGrace experience can be challenging.  With a long history full of successful dress theme and costume days, BBQs, sporting events, chili cook-offs, prize giveaway challenges, charitable competitions, as well as holiday games like Secret Santa and in-office Easter egg hunts, it can be difficult to think of the next great thing.

Recently a BlueGrace employee, Brandice Tossas, took it upon herself to serve up something really cool for BlueGrace Logistics in Riverview, Florida. Before going into what event took the office by storm from this Brandice’s idea and individual effort, it’s important to mention another key part of the BlueGrace culture that made this event possible – Twitter.

BlueGrace Logistics Employee - Brandice Tossas

All employees of BlueGrace Logistics have their own Twitter handle and are encouraged to Tweet regularly, even during business hours when time allows. BlueGrace is heavily involved in all social platforms, and puts an emphasis on employee involvement as part of the general corporate culture. Yet, for this employee’s idea, the company’s social engagement on Twitter brought forth a special opportunity that benefited everyone.

Follow BlueGrace Logistics on Twitter!

Brandice had become aware of a special traveling tour that had been going cross country providing samples of their new products and had the idea of trying to get them to come to BlueGrace Logistics. This was no ordinary product launch tour, this was Ben & Jerry’s Truck Tour offering new flavors of their new Greek Frozen Yogurt flavors! She started tagging Ben & Jerry’s in tweets asking for them to stop by BlueGrace during their Florida tour, and after multiple tweets, she got a response!

With a BlueGrace stop possible for the Ben & Jerry’s Truck Tour, Employees took to Twitter to reinforce Brandice’s request and to express how awesome it would be if the tour stopped by the office. The result?  The Ben & Jerry’s Truck Tour made its official BlueGrace Logistics stop at 11am on Tuesday, May 22nd!

When announced that Ben & Jerry’s had arrived, it was like seeing kids go after an ice cream truck. BlueGrace employees lined up in full force and stood around gloating in the glory of free frozen yogurt. The Florida heat spared us with a slight overcast afternoon so that we could enjoy eating without having the cold treat melt down in seconds.

 

The event ended up being a huge success by creating a special experience that the employees never had in a corporate setting, got free ice cream to interrupt their work day, and even better got to bond with other co-workers when they normally would not have the chance. In addition, this was only possible through the suggestion of a BlueGrace employee and proof of the power of Twitter in the BlueGrace corporate culture.

See more pictures from the Ben & Jerry’s Truck Tour on BlueGrace Logistics’ Facebook page

 

BlueGrace Logistics

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Does social media marketing and visibility have real impact? If so, BlueGrace Logistics is ahead of the curve.

The use of social media in the business world has plenty of skeptics based on the ROI (or lack thereof) associated with the time and resources put into this medium.  Historically it has been extremely hard to pinpoint exactly what lasting effect social media has on customers, partners, clients, ect.  An article released by Fast Company in August has boldly put a number on this mythical social media ROI: $1.3 Trillion.

How can you make sure you and your company are getting a piece of this enormous potential pie? Take these 3 ideas from BlueGrace Logistics to jumpstart your social media:

1.       Infuse Social Media with your Company Culture

BlueGrace Logistics doesn’t just have a Twitter account, Facebook, and LinkedIn page, they actually USE THEM! And so do their employees. BlueGrace’s open social media policy has turned Twitter into a companywide communication tool. Important news and events, success stories, helpful articles, and some really fun engagement can be found being shared daily between BlueGrace’s employees.

2.       Does social media direction come from the top?

BlueGrace Logistics’ most senior leaders are all truly bought in to the lasting effect social media can have in the business world. Founder and CEO Bobby Harris, has held “Twitter Boot Camps” for new employees introducing them to the do’s and don’ts of social media. He is a huge supporter of BlueGrace’s open social media policy and often ends announcements or emails by saying “Remember to Tweet!”  Also, BlueGrace’s COO Randy Collack is an avid Twitter user and BlueGrace employees love his occasional Twitter music trivia contests he sends out!

When your company’s most respected leaders are utilizing social media the right way, it fuels the fire that is needed for a company to have great social media visibility.

3.       Be Content Aware. Yes, even employees.

It goes without saying that your company could have a plan for the type of information you will be sharing, what message you are trying to deliver, and what goals you have for your social media marketing. But these principals should apply to employees social media accounts as well. Each individual should consider themselves as their own brand underneath your parent company. With that in mind, be careful what you share! Is this information relevant to your overall message? Does its content align with your company’s values? It is important for customers and partners to see that your company is not run by robots but instead real people with thoughts and emotions. But also be careful not to involve yourself too heavily in religious, political, and other sensitive topic debates.  Adding social media training for new hires, like BlueGrace Logistics, is a good way to set expectations for all employees.

Take our advice and GET SOCIAL! Some of that $1.3 Trillion could be yours.

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Poll: How much do you know about LTL Shipping?

As part of BlueGrace Logistics’ mission to enhance our customers experience with freight shipping and logistics services, we just posted a poll on LinkedIn about freight shipping!

How much do you know about LTL shipping?
Select the appropriate answer that best fits your knowledge of LTL. Don’t worry – There’s no right or wrong answer!

 

-Samantha Hill, Community Manager
Twitter: SamHill_BG

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Caption This Photo Contest, BlueGrace Logistics Facebook

BlueGrace® Logistics launched its first ever  “Caption This” Photo Contest on Facebook as part of its participation in The Business Journals “Social Madness” social media competition!

BlueGrace knows everyone has a creative side. Take a look at our IT Administrator, Chris Smalley (@BiggieSmallz_BG) posing in the President & CEO Bobby Harris’ executive chair!

"If you were the CEO..." Caption This Photo Contest
Caption This Photo: “If you were the CEO of the company you work for, what would you do?”

What would YOU do if you were the CEO of your company?

ENTER TO WIN:
Comment on the “Caption This” photo on BlueGrace Logistics’ Facebook page to be entered to win a $20 Starbucks gift card delivered to your doorstep! It’s that simple!

OFFICIAL RULES:

  1. Open to U.S. residents only
  2. Write a clever caption as a photo comment
  3. The team at BlueGrace will pick the BEST caption on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 3PM ET
  4. Winner will receive a $20 Starbucks gift card in the mail

Connect with BlueGrace on Facebook , Twitter, and LinkedIn today for more chances to win great prizes!

Vote for BlueGrace Logistics in the Tampa Bay Social Madness competition.

Your support is sincerely appreciated. We look forward to connecting with you, and hope to provide your business with logistics services; extending value to your business through our transportation industry expertise and stellar customer service.

To learn how BlueGrace Logistics can take your businesses shipping processes to the next level utilizing innovative technology contact our team today!

– Samantha Hill, Community Manager
Twitter: SamHill_BG

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