Browse Tag

corporate culture

Passion AND Logistics: BlueGrace Collects Over 60,000 Pounds of Food for Homeless Animals

Each year, BlueGrace female (Team Cats) and male (Team Dogs) employees compete against each other to see who can collect the most amount of pet food in total pounds. The food is then donated to a no-kill shelter to feed homeless animals in the community and used for pet owner assistance programs that benefit homebound and elderly residents on a fixed income. This year, the employees of BlueGrace collected over 60,000 pounds of food between Tampa & Chicago – reaching a new record for the contest on a location-wide scale.

BlueGrace’s “Cats Vs. Dogs” Pet Food Drive Sets Company’s Location-Wide Record in 2018

Click Below To Watch The Official BlueGrace “Cats Vs Dogs 2018” Video!

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

Employees at BlueGrace Headquarters in Tampa were able to collect over 31,000 pounds of pet food to donate to Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Lon Savini, Shelter Operations Manager, gives us a breakdown of how impactful the donation is to supporting all of the services the shelter provides to the community:


Animeals Delivery Program:

  • Current monthly average spend on cat & dog food: $4,000
  • Delivered to over 170 recipients one Saturday each month

Donation Impact:

  • Will not need to buy large bags of dog food for at least 2 months
  • Will not need to buy large bags of cat food for a at least 1 month
  • Cost Savings: roughly $6,000

Food Assistance Program:

  • Current monthly average spend on cat & dog food: $2,100
  • Food is broken down into smaller bags and handed out to the public in need of assistance to feed their pets

Donation Impact:

  • Will not need to buy food for the remainder of the year
  • Cost Savings: roughly $16,800

Shelter Operations:

  • Current monthly average spend on cat & dog food: $2,350
  • Used to feed animals living at the shelter throughout the year

Donation Impact:

  • Will not need to buy large bags of dog food for at least 4 months
  • Will not need to buy large bags of cat food for a at least 1 month
  • Cost Savings: roughly $6,500

Since inception of the ‘Cats vs Dogs’ pet food drive in 2010, BlueGrace has now donated over 206,000 pounds of pet food to Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

Since inception of the ‘Cats vs Dogs’ pet food drive in 2010, BlueGrace has now donated over 206,000 pounds of pet food to Humane Society of Tampa Bay. The drive culminates each year with an adoption event at BlueGrace headquarters in Tampa, where 8-10 dogs and cats are brought in by the shelter and employees have the opportunity to take a new family member home. Almost all of the animals were adopted and welcomed home to their new BlueGrace families this year!

Team Cats Reclaim Their Title as Reigning Champions!

The competition is fierce each year – from catchy team names (“Check Meowt” & “Woof Pack”) to secret meetings in the restrooms, it’s a good old fashioned battle of the sexes for the entire duration of the drive. BlueGrace employees are not shy about their love for competition, some would argue that drive’s success has a large part to do with the fun of competing against each other. Team Cats had been the reigning champions EVERY year… until just last year. Team Dogs finally defeated the ladies in 2017 and claimed their crown – and they didn’t think twice about rubbing it in.

But not for long. Team Cats took the W this year and regained their title as THE champions…. and to Team Dogs they say – “Who’s cryin’ meow?”

While the competition aspect of the drive is fun for employees, the ultimate goal is to provide as much food as possible for homeless animals in the community. It’s an effort we are completely dedicated to and every year try to find ways to improve the drive.

“It’s amazing to see my coworkers come together in such a big way. It’s a lot of hard work for everyone involved, we donate our own money, use our own contacts, and organize our own fundraisers.” explains Courtney Smith –  Manager, Culture & Engagement for BlueGrace. “it’s truly a genuine representation of who we are as a company and a culture.

Be Caring of ALL Others Includes Animals

With the amount of growth BlueGrace has experienced over the last few years, the contest extended to other regional locations. This resulted in a major win by our Chicago team for animals at the Animal Rescue Foundation of Illinois this year, where BlueGrace employees collected over 32,000 pounds of food. One employee even secured the largest part of the donation, 30,000 lbs., by himself.

“What one office collected as an entity, one employee collected by himself – this is just beyond epic. We just think it’s really awesome that Scott [Collack] reached out and made this opportunity happen – these animals are truly cared about, we’ve got some really great people with some really big hearts in this company” Bobby Harris – CEO of BlueGrace, on Chicago employee Scott Collack securing the 30k donation.

Putting the Passion in Logistics

Core Value #1 is Be Caring of ALL Others at BlueGrace and is probably our most called upon value. It’s essential to our hiring process, the success of our business and the energy of our culture that our employees have some sort of empathetic trait. We work best with those who have compassion for others and truly show it.

“I started in 2011 and I’ve been able to see how much heart and teamwork goes into this every year. We truly live and breathe our core values here, and I think it’s because they were strategically created to align with the environment our team thrives in” says Whitney McKay – Manager of Marketing & Brand for BlueGrace. “There’s a special place in our hearts for animals, so we choose to do something about it by making it part of our culture. At the end of the day, we believe in their mission to end animal homelessness and really try to educate our team to help spread awareness.”

It’s YAPPY Hour, Not Happy Hour

One of the biggest contributing factors to the success of the drive in Tampa was the involvement of the community.

There are two things we can always count on for a big turnout when planning a fundraising event; One: people love animals. Two: people love happy hour.

This year our goal was to get as many people and organizations as possible involved in the Tampa community, and we knew exactly how to bring everyone together. There are two things we can always count on for a big turnout when planning a fundraising event; One: people love animals. Two: people love happy hour.

Hosted by Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, BlueGrace, Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Tampa Tails, the 2018 “Yappy Hour” fundraising event was wildly successful – raising over $4,000. Silent auction prizes were donated by top local companies like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Florida Aquarium, Tampa Bay Rays and many more. Several businesses and organizations donated resources such as pet food, money, transportation services, raffle prizes and much more to make the final drive donation totals possible:

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Stepp’s Towing, Amity Benefits, XPO, Ward Trucking, Dayton Freight, Sunlife, Atlantic Screening, Spaddy’s Coffee, Chewy, Central Pet Distribution, Warburg Pincus, Cigna Health, World of Beer, MOSIClearwater Aquarium, Florida Aquarium, Outback Steakhouse, PDQ, Miller’s Ale House, Crossfit BNI, Orange Theory Fitness, Metropolitan Ministries, Chipotle, Columbia Restaurant, Southern Muscle, Crunch Fitness, Fitness for $10, Top GolfCamp Gladiator, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, AMC Theaters, Kraftologee, Mission BBQ, New Belgium, Canine Cabana, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tampa Tails.

About BlueGrace

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the largest third-party logistics (3PL) providers in the United States.  With over 500 employees and working with over 10,000 customers to provide successful shipping solutions, the company has achieved explosive growth in its nearly 10-year operating history. Backed by a $255 million investment by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, the company operates 11 locations nationwide, and its headquarters are in the sunny Tampa Bay area of Florida.

 

5th Annual Cats vs. Dogs Contest

BlueGrace Logistics holds Fifth Annual Cats vs. Dogs Pet Food Drive Benefiting the Humane Society of Tampa Bay


2015_COMMUNITY_CATSVSDOGS 2RIVERVIEW, Fla. – September 10, 2015: Each year BlueGrace holds their official “Cats vs. Dogs” contest amongst its employees. The contest is a pet food drive in which the women compete against the men to collect the most pet food in pounds. The food is then donated to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to care for the animals in the no-kill shelter.

In 2014, BlueGrace donated more than 44,000 pounds of pet food which was enough to feed the animals for almost an entire year. Since the contest’s inception in 2010, BlueGrace has donated over 80,000 pounds of pet food to Humane Society Tampa Bay. Each year, BlueGrace plans to surpass last year’s amount. Employees come together to donate pet food, as well as leverage contacts to purchase large amounts of food. The contest will run through the middle of October.

BlueGrace Logistics takes pride in giving back to the community through our “Giving Grace” Program created by our President and CEO, Bobby Harris. Our Giving Grace charity of choice is the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and we support the organization in many ways throughout the year. Most recently, BlueGrace employees volunteered for Humane Society Tampa Bay during Creative Loafing’s BeerFest event at MOSI. A percentage of the event’s proceeds went to support the animal shelter.

Want to contribute to the 2015 Cats vs. Dogs Competition and Pet Food Drive? 

The public is invited to participate in the Cats vs. Dogs contest. For information or to donate large amounts (such as a pallet of pet food) contact BlueGrace Logistics at community@mybluegrace.comPlease be sure to specify if you’d like to contribute to the “TeamCats” (girls) or “TeamDogs,” (guys) if applicable. 

“Backpacks of Hope” 2014 With BlueGrace A Success!

BlueGrace is extremely proud that the 2014 “Backpacks of Hope” drive was once again a true success! Through the month of July, we collected over 550 school supplies and backpacks which were donated to the Metropolitan Ministries. The annual drive provides kids with all new school supplies just in time for them to go back to school! On the last day of the drive, BlueGrace employees were encouraged to break out their nerd gear to celebrate the final day of the charitable drive! “Backpacks of Hope” is one of three annual drives hosted by BlueGrace. Our employees have a strong sense of pride for the company and are always looking for ways to give back to the community via the Giving Grace Program, implemented by President and CEO, Bobby Harris.

One surprise that greatly contributed to this year’s drive was the donation of 17 completely filled backpacks to BlueGrace by Images Hair Salon (www.imageshairsalon.net, located at 3967 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, FL 33629). The effort was led by Jamie Goldfarb, Images Hair Salon Stylist.

BlueGrace is looking forward to the 2015 “Backpacks of Hope” drive, and hopes to surpass the number of items collected and to continue to bring joy to the lives of many more kids!

BlueGrace Logistics Donates 44 Thousand Pounds of Pet Food to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay

Final group picOur annual “Cats vs. Dogs” Competition Pet Food Drive came to a close on Friday, February 28. This year, BlueGrace raised 44 thousand pounds of pet food – more than twice the amount we collected in 2013! This was undoubtedly one of the largest pet food drives in the country!

The donated pet food will not only go to feed the animals that call the Humane Society of Tampa Bay home, but will also go toward their food assistance programs “Casper’s Cupboard” and “Animeals.”

A number of businesses and organizations donated necessary resources such as pet food, money, transportation services and much more to make this incredible donation possible. We’d like to thank AAA Cooper, FedEx Freight, Rodney Naughton and Joe Peckham of Phillips Pet Food & Supplies, Plant City Fla., Family Feed, Plant City Fla., Kay Brown of Hi-Tek Rations Inc, Dublin, Ga., Feeding America Tampa Bay, Taiga, Riverview, Fla., Reed TMS Logistics, Del Monte, Health Mut, Tamlin Homes, BluePearl Veterinary Partners and Knights Station Feed Depot.

We’re already strategizing how we are going to beat this record next year!

 

BlueGrace Logistics Sponsors Carlos Condit in UFC Welterweight Championship TOMORROW NIGHT!

BlueGrace Logistics is proud to announce that we will continue the sponsorship of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Interim Titleholder Carlos Condit continues as the fighter competes in the year’s most anticipated UFC Welterweight Championship matchup against George St. Pierre. The live event will take place tomorrow, November 17, 2012 at The Bell Centre in Montreal and will be broadcast on UFC 154!  BlueGrace Logistics has been heavily involved with the sponsorship of MMA fighters, cross-branding the sport with the services of a transportation logistics provider.

“We are proud to sponsor Carlos Condit because he is a driving force representing good sportsmanship and work ethic,” says BlueGrace President and CEO Bobby Harris. “As we grow and continue to add new stakeholders to the organization, it’s important for us to have a role model who works hard, plays hard and can share a story of success. Condit does that for BlueGrace.”

We hope you’ll join us in cheering on Carlos Condit! Join the conversation on Twitter by following @carloscondit and mentioning @mybluegrace!

If you want more information on this fight or on BlueGrace, please call 1.800.MY.SHIPPING!

 

Don’t Miss the Action Today – BlueGrace® Logistics Sponsors Jeff “Big Frog” Curran in UFC® on Fuel TV 3

The UFC® is adding a punch to your Tuesday evening! That’s right, UFC® on Fuel 3 airs LIVE tonight at 8pm/5pm ET/PT on Fuel TV. Our team at BlueGrace® Logistics is pumped to sponsor Jeff “Big Frog” Curran in his bout against Johnny Eduardo in the prelims starting at 5:30pm ET on Facebook. It’s the second time that BlueGrace supported Curran in his UFC® career and we look to cheer him on as he proves to millions of UFC fans that he’s an extraordinary trainer (Team Curran MMA) and accomplished contender.

Jeff "Big Frog" Curran
Watch UFC on Fuel 3 as Jeff Curran takes on Johnny Eduardo tonight, May 15 on Facebook at 5:30pmET.

Overcoming a loss against Jorgenson, this is Curran’s next fight in the UFC® and he’s prepared for the attack on his opponent. The fighter reflects on the UFC brand.

“I never thought MMA would be this exposed to the world or had the potential to grow this large,” says Curran.

We couldn’t agree more! Dana White has done an incredible job with the UFC brand and put mixed martial arts (MMA) on the map as one of the world’s fastest growing sports. BlueGrace admires the fan growth and dedication White has built through the UFC’s social media efforts and fan engagement.

At BlueGrace Logistics we strive to offer that same level of engagement and satisfaction to small and large businesses throughout the U.S. Bobby Harris, President and CEO, built BlueGrace Logistics with individuals needs top of mind. We pride ourselves in our family-like work environment, customer service, and carrier partner relations. We find our sponsorship of MMA fighters to be a great fit for our company’s personality – dedicated, outgoing, and real. The UFC® caters to the desires of its fans by offering packed fight card events, one-on-one experiences via social media and fan expos, and by taking care of its athletes.

With the help of Pat “HD” Barry, BlueGrace Logistics offered that unforgettable fan experience to a die-hard MMA fan and Afghanistan combat veteran through the YouDontKnowShip MMA campaign. Nick Colgin was the lucky winner of 2 UFC on Fox 3 tickets after he followed BlueGrace and tweeted “#YouDontKnowShip” in response to Pat Barry’s instruction,

“GIVING AWAY 2 TIX TO MY FIGHT!! TWEET #YouDontKnowShip to @MyBlueGrace IN THE NEXT 3HRS TO WIN!!! MUST BE FOLLOWING TO WIN!!! DRAWING @ 8PM,” tweets HD.

YouDontKnowShip UFC on Fox 3 ticket winner takes photo during live event.
Nick Colgin tweets at UFC on Fox 3, "This what being a fan of @MyBlueGrace on twitter will get you. Here with my Marine OIF buddy @ufc"

The company was honored to award the tickets to a grateful fan and hero to our country. Colgin shared his experience live on Twitter by tweeting pictures and updates about the fights. Read the incredible story of Colgin’s experience in Afghanistan in “Paratrooper Saves French Soldier’s Life.” Feel free to share your support and thank him for his service by commenting below.

Watch Jeff Curran represent BlueGrace Logistics in #UFConFuelTV on Facebook! We look forward to offering more fan experiences like Nick Colgin’s through our YouDontKnowShip campaigns. Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to stay connected!

Learn more about a career with BlueGrace today by emailing our team and following @BGCareers on Twitter! We’re currently seeking talented and energetic folks to represent our National Sales Department! Join one of the most dynamic teams in the logistics industry and apply today!

 

-Samantha Hill, Community Manager
Twitter: SamHill_BG

SportsFest Teaches Lessons in Teamwork

Where’s one place you can catch employees and executives battling side-by-side in the sandy trenches of a beautiful Florida beach? Why America II Corporate SportsFest of course!

Once a year 150+ companies from across Tampa Bay compete for the esteemed title of SportsFest Champions… a position that we at BlueGrace® Logistics do not take lightly. This year brought our 3rd go-round at the event and our team of 41 players was pumped full of excitement and eager to compete! Never before have you seen such camaraderie covered in tanning oil; just bring your team spirit and game-face… no athletic skills necessary!

With five events to participate in, co-workers certainly get a chance to bond. Considering our staff has nearly doubled in size since last year’s fest, it was a perfect opportunity to get to know some of the new faces. Heather Anderson, our Culture Coordinator and Team Captain raves how beneficial the games are for team building,

A lot of our employees are die hard competitors, so it’s nice to have to depend on each other to beat the other teams.

Mudwars 2011 St. Petersburg, FL
BlueGrace team demonstrates what they're made of at Mudwars 2011.

Though BlueGrace employees make it look easy to function as team in the workplace, it does not happen automatically. Ideas for team building activities come from all employees and are supported by the leadership staff. BlueGrace schedules group activities including company softball and bowling league, Mudwars, and monthly themed office days such as barbeques, potlucks, corn hole tournaments, and #FreeBeerFriday (after 4pm). Each event allows employees to engage with one another to build stronger relationships and contribute more effectively in a team environment. In 2011 and 2012, BlueGrace Logistics was honored to be recognized as a Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work finalist.

Effective teamwork can yield incredible results, in the sand or the workplace. Listed below are just some reasons to participate in team-building activities within your company:

  • Creates unity where everyone is focused on a common goal
  • Encourages employees take ownership in the company’s success
  • Keeps everyone on a level playing field promoting a leaner business model
  • Increases the ability to adapt by fostering flexibility
  • Boosts morale by encouraging achievement

Though we didn’t come home with a win from SportsFest, we consistently win at providing the best service to our customers thanks to our stellar employees and impeccable teamwork. Babe Ruth said it best,

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.  You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

To join our team of MVPs, contact our recruiting team via email or follow them on Twitter @BGCareers to learn more about career opportunities. Did you participate in SportsFest this year? Does your company conduct regular team building activities? Tell us about it!

 

-Jennifer Masters, Business Information Analyst
Twitter: @BG_JennyD 

Logistics, MMA and the Power of 140 Characters

If you’re a fan of mixed martial arts (MMA), you may have seen the BlueGrace® Logistics logo slapped on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC®) fighters’ shorts. You might ask yourself, “Why is a logistics service provider sponsoring this sport?

Carlos Condit (left) kicks Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 143. Photo by Esther Lin via MMAFighting
BlueGrace Logistics sponsors Carlos Condit in Interim Welterweight Championship UFC 143. Source: http://sbn.to/AD4W26

MMA is one of the fastest growing sports today and the fighters demonstrate admirable character and values (not often seen in other sports). Not to mention, the UFC has made a huge impression on the sports industry as whole through its social media madness! Although professional MMA fighting is banned in certain states, that hasn’t stopped the UFC from growing its devoted fan base. In fact, the President, Dana White, embraced the power of Twitter for branding and fan engagement. He invested in a media agency to teach the fighters how to use the social platform and instructed them by saying, “I want you to Twitter your *** off!”

Like Dana, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics, Bobby Harris, is an enthusiastic advocate of Twitter. Last year, Bobby championed an open social media policy for all BlueGrace employees; instilling trust to represent the brand, all BlueGrace employees complete a Twitter boot camp and social media training in their first week of employment. They’re educated on the power of social media, how to engage and build relationships, and why it is part of the #BGExperience. BlueGrace employees (fighters) interact with customers (fans), partners, and their fellow peers via Twitter.

BlueGrace Logistics Open Social Media Policy
BlueGrace President and CEO, Bobby Harris, teaches Twitter 101 to employees.

It is our mission to provide businesses with the tools and technology required to power their logistics operations in a seamless and efficient manner. We believe that social media provides a forum for open discussion with employees, customers, and partners; where industry experts can ask questions, find answers, and build meaningful relationships.  Social media is the future of supply chain management and logistics – its real-time information sharing capabilities are critical. As the UFC Social Media Manager says, “You can reach anyone, anywhere in the world.”

Watch how we’ve even incorporated mixed martial arts into our corporate training program. Are you or someone you know looking for a career? Get to know BlueGrace and join our team of logistics professionals!

Dana White and the UFC are to be commended on their commitment to social media and for demonstrating what #GreatnessIs … just ask their millions of die-hard fans! The UFC and BlueGrace Logistics made the critical move and experience the power of social media and business everyday – has your business?

Share your social biz story with us! Have you started? Are you way ahead of the game? Do you believe in the power of 140 characters? We want to know!

-Samantha Hill, Community Manager
Twitter: @SamHill_BG

Best and Worst Super Bowl Ads

Companies spend millions of dollars on advertisements for a Super Bowl spot on TV. Was 2012 better or worse than years past? Did brands live up to consumer expectations or did they overdo their presence and simply “bomb it.”

BlueGrace Logistics conducted an internal survey to see what employee’s viewed as the best and worst Super Bowl XLVI commercials

Ms. Brown Super Bowl Ad "Sexy and I know it"

Best Super Bowl Ads:

  1. M&Ms – Ms. Brown
    “I just liked it because it was actually funny.” – @Yvonne_BG
  2. Bud Light – Rescue Dog: Weego
    “There is nothing like sweet puppy love and I liked that they were promoting pet rescue.” – @HeatherA_BG
  3. Doritos – Man’s Best Friend
    “It was hilarious when the dog passed the guy chips with the note.” – @Debbi_BG

Worst Super Bowl Ads:

Cars.com Super Bowl Ad features man with two heads.
  1. Cars.com – Two Heads
    “The singing head thing was just creepy…” – @BG_Geoffman
  2. GoDaddy – Girls in Action
    “I am getting so sick of their marketing campaign. It does not relay a message about the product in any way and is becoming predictable.”  – @ConanBG
  3. Coca-Cola – Superstition / Catch
    “They were old and outdated.” – @NickL_BG

Honorable Mentions:

H&M: Reviews of this particular ad vary depending on the gender. Ladies may gawk and say “David Beckham….What a man!!!” (@2Dolla_BG)  While men respond by commenting, “Millions of men watch the Super Bowl and an ad with a dude in underwear pops up.  Horrible idea.” (@BGrulez)  Either way, it earned its way to the top of the list as Ad Age’s “The 10 Super Bowl Commercials That Blew up the Biggest in Social Media” with 100,000+ social media comments.

Chrysler “It’s Half-time in America” featuring Clint Eastwood: While some feel that this Super Bowl spot was too serious, others may argue saying, “It said everything it needed to. It stayed non-partisan and did point any fingers” (@MarkJ_BG) or “[Its] so timely and emotional. I am tearing up just thinking about this one. This could quite possibly be one of the all-time best commercials.” (@ConanBG)

There are numerous lists and rankings of the best and worst Super Bowl commercials, this one is ours. What is yours? Leave a comment below!

– Samantha Hill, Community Manager
Follow me on Twitter @SamHill_BG

Plague of the Millennials

I just finished reading “Millennials Incorporated” by Lisa Orrell, a book dedicated to the newest and most misunderstood generation: the Millennials (also known as Gen Y). As someone responsible for the recruiting, hiring, developing and managing of the most sought after generation of workers, this book was helpful to me in understanding that I am not alone – the issues I face daily are not unique to our business, industry, or positions. The Millennials Incorporated, by Lisa OrrellMillennial Professionals are the generation of people born after 1982, graduated after 2000, and are most recently invading your organizations as we speak. We, as employers, trainers and managers, can foster and develop this invading force of workers, or we can choose to ignore the problems we are facing and allow them to infect our livelihoods. “Millennials Incorporated” puts a ton of emphasis on companies investing time to understand this generation and how best to motivate and develop them as the future leaders of our organizations. The one problem I have with this book is that a number of its suggestions border on coddling and pandering the generation who is already commonly perceived as spoiled, entitled and whiny. Yes, it is the role of a successful leader to inspire the best out of people, but it’s important for you (Millennials) to understand – it’s still the BOOMERS and GEN X’s running the companies and making the decisions that will affect your future. You must also understand the climate and take ownership of your future.

Let’s first understand the background. This generation was raised to feel special. They were the first generation required to wear bike helmets! They were the first generation to have parental controls on their TV’s. The punishments they are dealt in school are so PC that I am not certain if a “stern talking to” is allowed anymore without parental consent and a guidance counselor present. They were raised with more rules and laws than any generation before. They were raised to feel special, protected, and valued. They grow up with social media and know that their voices ring around the world without constraint and they have unfettered access to all of the information that they want. They were raised to have a voice in their family dynamic and led to believe that they really can accomplish anything.

Millennials – you are perceived by the world as spoiled, entitled, lazy, cocky, disloyal, arrogant and deserving. It seems this generation grew up watching too many movies where all the 20-something employees sit in internet think tanks and sip espresso while sitting on bean bags and whining about their personal lives. It is up to you to confound these perceptions. You ask “WHY” a lot. “Why?” is a valuable question but can often be perceived as WHINING. Toe that line carefully. The flip side of this coin that Millennials are confident, achieving, they mature faster and have been raised with a strong sense of community. Which of these two do you think will be your company’s future leaders?

Some paradoxical truths of Millennials:

  • They expect to be treated with respect, yet they feel they are endowed and do not have to earn it.
  • They need to be active. If their task is to press a button all day, they’ll grow bored and seek other means of entertainment.
  • They’re fast thinkers! They grew up with the internet and the world at their finger tips. Everything is faster to this generation. The problem being that they expect their career path to evolve as fast as high speed data.
  • They’re “pack animals.” They are team-orientated and seek to include others. The downside is that they also seek to be included and feel entitled to be so without earning it. Millennials want a seat at the table and feel disenfranchised when they don’t have it.
  • They like “balance.” This really translates that they don’t want to work long hours. The best way to compromise here is for the Millennials to give 130% while at work and for the employer to help create an environment where they can leave work at the door.
  • They are expressive but are new to “consequences” for failing to filter their thoughts when necessary.
  • They want autonomy without having earned it, and are quick to blame lack of supervision for their failures. If you want it, OWN IT!
  • They are goal driven and need to be challenged quickly.
  • They are motivated by advancement and growth. But remember, everything is faster! They expect the promotions in 2 years that took other generations 20. Adapt with new milestones for growth.
  • Praise and praise often. Praise like you’re training a new puppy. But, Millennials, is this really what you want to be equated with? Don’t seek praise without earning it!
  • Millennials do not handle conflict and criticism well. They respond well to positive reinforcement (again with the puppy reference).
  • Abandon old methods of leading with harsh and abrupt communication, negativity, threats and fear. The only numbers this will increase is your turnover!

The most positive thing for all three generations to understand about the Millennials: we ALL want them to be our next leaders. Coach them as such. Reward them with responsibility. Set clear objectives and get to know them personally. Millennials, understand that you must also rise to the occasion. No company wants turnover but there comes a point when you’re resume has more jobs than years on it – you’re stock goes way down! Align our goals and objectives. The #1 thing Millennials look for is a leader that they can learn from!

“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.” – Pearl S. Black

– Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales and Personnel Development
Twitter: @theBGExperience

‘Tis the Season for Giving!

This week at BlueGrace, we’re jumping into the holiday spirit! Our Culture and Community Team is collecting donations from all of the staff in an effort to raise funds for purchasing gifts for the families at Metropolitan Ministries. Employees receive a raffle ticket in exchange for every $5 donation which offers them the chance to win a variety of spectacular prizes including:

▪1 Full day of PTO
▪1 Half day of PTO
▪Movie night gift set
▪Cheesecake Factory gift card
▪Liquor gift set
▪Dessert Indulgence gift set

If you plan to visit us this week, please bring a toy or stocking stuffer for Metropolitan Ministries. Check out the items on their “Bags of Joy” wish list.

Friday is looking “festivous” as the team competes in an ugly sweater contest, gathers around the table for a feast, and enjoys eggnog and apple cider!

What is your family or company doing for the holidays? We would love to hear!

Safe travels and Happy Holidays from your friends at BlueGrace!

News: Innovation and Prosperity

If you didn’t hear yesterday, the first photo was released of the woman mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009 that had a full face transplant. It is an inspiring story and it is amazing to see what we are capable as a country. Our medical field has excelled to the point that it can completely reconstruct and transplant an entire face, as well as completing hand transplants.

The US has continued to work hard to be a leader in the world and to be at the leading edge for innovation and development. The issue we hit now is, can we afford this lifestyle as a country? We are cutting back on budgets and the likelihood is that we will also be cutting back on government funding towards many projects that produce results like these.

No matter if taxes are raised or there is tax reform, it is time for Americans to put it on our backs to see that our country never stops being an innovator. If you are young enough, pursue a career in a field of medicine, research, science or technology. If you aren’t, foster a culture of innovation and prosperity in your company that those around you in the industry can see. If all that is too difficult, simply donate time or money to a charity that funds research. My favorite is The V Foundation for Cancer Research that gives 100% of donations to cancer research. Have any ideas of your own? Everything can help to make sure our country is always at the leading-edge.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow us @ben37dBG

Today’s Transportation and Logistics News:
Obama: Tell Congress to ‘get past differences and send me’ highway bill
Gas prices expected to fall
“Passengers” documentary features diverse voices on transportation
U.S. exports decline as consequence of economic uncertainty
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Life on Your Own Terms

While waiting on a flight out of Chicago last year I stepped into an airport lounge to pass time. The only available seat was a bar stool next to this old guy who looked as if he had seen a better day some time ago. But I took my chances, sat down, and ordered a beer that arrived only mildly cold and served in a plastic cup.

I had just received a job offer that sounded good enough for me to consider relocating. I had a lot on my mind and wasn’t in the mood for much conversation, but I soon found myself listening to this guy’s story. He didn’t really have much to tell so that wasn’t what captivated me into listening to him – he had been in sales for 30 years, traveled a lot, was divorced but had some kids and grandkids that he saw mostly on holidays. Pretty soon my flight was called and as I got up to leave he said “Hey kid, remember ya’ gotta live life on your own terms” and this is what I have remembered from that day in the Chicago airport.

I have spent some time thinking about what this old guy said to me and how it applies not just to my personal life, but how it applies to my career. I have found that if you are going to be successful, the same principles and values you apply to your personal life also apply to your business life.  I am in sales because I love being with people and if I am somehow able to serve and enrich the lives of the people around me while still attaining some personal and financial success than I am “living life on my own terms.”

At BlueGrace Logistics the mission is “to create an enduring, people-centered culture that drives our ambition to become the most progressive and innovative enterprise in the logistics industry while enriching the lives of our employees, customers and vendors.”  BlueGrace is successful because the mission is people centered for their employees as well as the customers and vendors. This mission has been easy to adopt as my own. It’s a good fit because the principles and values outlined in the BlueGrace mission statement are the same that I hold and that allow me to conduct business “on my own terms”. I am able to focus on the people I serve and supply them with the best tools I can to get the job done and with that I am able to benefit the company and myself included.

– Bryan Byak, Account Manager
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How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying

As I was planning a possible long weekend in NYC last month I was pursuing different Broadway shows that were currently playing that I might want to see. I was surprised to find that there was a remake of the Broadway show “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” starring John Larroquette and Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame. The story is about a young man that works as a window washer that finds the book “How to Succeed in Business.” He reads the book and believes he would be able to succeed in the corporate world even though he had no training and no skills. Much to everyone’s surprise he follows the suggestions in the book and is able to quickly climb the corporate ladder – but only by stepping over and stepping on everyone in his way. In the end he is forced to look at his life path and realizes that he really has not achieved any success.  This got me to thinking about my own career path and where I am headed.

When I graduated from college I was certain that I was headed on a fast track to the top of the corporate world. I was an honors graduate. I had studied hard planned my career and life goals. I was ready to make my mark in the world! I thought I had what I needed to succeed. Ah, big news – college did NOT teach me all there is to know and did little to prepare me for the challenges I have had to face in the career world – in other words I found that “you cannot succeed in business without really trying.”

Success has been much harder to attain in the business world than it was in college. There are far more variables to contend with, more personalities to pacify and there is a lot less bending of the rules. I have had to rethink what it takes to succeed and the lessons have not all come easily. Much like J. Pierpont Finch in the musical “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying”, I found that the desire to succeed is not nearly as important as the effort you have to put in to attaining that success. For me, setting goals, study, and the willingness to listen and learn from my colleagues has helped to direct me to my long term goals of personal and financial success. Understanding the mission and vision of the company as well as the expectations of my supervisors have also helped direct me along my career path. However, learning to focus on my customers’ needs has proven to be the most successful and satisfying goal of my short career, and I believe it will ultimately be the key to my success. If I can provide my customers with the absolute best care, instead of having one time run-in’s, a relationship will form and there will always be a chance of repeat business…  Especially in the BlueGrace World.

– Bryan Byak, Account Manager
Follow me @bryanbyak

Choosing the Candidate that Best Fits Your Company

Filling an open position in a company is not simply a matter of identifying someone with the right educational degree or technical ability.  Less obvious are things like social skills, workplace demeanor and communication style.  In the long run, character and chemistry are just as important as capability in building a successful team.  The bottom line is finding the right combination of skills and sensibility to deliver results while collaborating on larger collective challenges

-Jerry Morris, Human Resources 

choosing candidates | hiring tips | human resources

You Play to Win the Game

Not too long ago, a disgruntled job candidate sent me an antagonizing email upon learning he would not be offered a position. He closed by saying “…did you really say kickball during our interview?!  Was that part of the “process” – to see if the candidate can keep from laughing at you?  (Make sure you have all of the parental consent forms signed before your next game.)” Now the “parental consent forms” part was a little funny, but the rest clearly showed me that I was right in assessing this person could not fit into our corporate culture. Yes, we have a company Kickball team. In fact, our first season was so successful, that this season we will have two teams. Yes, we competed in America II’s Corporate Sportsfest. Yes, we are having a company Cornhole tournament on our operations floor with our BlueGrace branded Cornhole set. Yes, we competed in Tampa Bay Club Sports Mud Wars. Yes, we even had an exhibition game versus the nationally ranked Tampa Rays wheelchair softball team – and lost horrendously. We play together, we celebrate together, we workout together, travel together, enjoy each other’s families together. Our victories are sweeter and defeats softened because we did them together. Most of all, we work together.

Our kickball season was not successful because of our finish. We took second place only to lose in the first round of the playoffs. What you did get was customer service and sales cheering each other on; executive assistant’s ordering VP’s into their fielding positions; a competitive spirit many people didn’t know they had. My only regret was that we failed to come up with a team name more creative than BlueGrace Logistics. Being in transportation, perhaps the “mudder truckers” would have turned more heads.

Corporate culture can define an organization. In transportation and logistics, you live your life dealing with the intangibles. Some cultures may consider all of the things we do as distractions. I find each and every day that the productivity you get from loyal people who truly believe what you believe will always outperform any environment focused strictly on the numbers and daily tasks. Every late LTL shipment is an emergency! Every truckload quote has to be the lowest! Every customer service call needs to be handled as the most important, and yesterday! New customers need to begin shipping freight today! Under the wrong setting, these conditions could create a very stressful and counterproductive environment. I’ve always understood “logistics” to mean a process. The logistics of our organization, on our worst days, are fluid and efficient because we play together. In this culture everyone can share the same vision. Everyone acts to accomplish the same mission. Disputes are resolved quicker. Negative attitudes are left at the door and the competitive drive to WIN takes over. Everyone is built to serve each other.

Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales Development
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