Reprinted from THE JOURNAL OF COMERCE ONLINE, November 8, 2004
Woman in Trade & Transportation
My father started Dry Storage Corp. as a warehousing operation in 1960, so I grew up listening at the dinner table to business discussions between my parents. During the summers I would clerk in the warehouse. After college I taught high school English, and then founded my own interior design firm, which I ran for 11 years. Owning my own business taught me invaluable lessons that would later come in handy. In 1990, after completing Northwestern's Kellogg MBA program, I decided to switch careers again and signed on at Dry Storage Corp. as executive vice president (eight years earlier I had joined the board after my father suggested I should get to know the business I'd one day own). That position became quite an eye-opener, as my father did business in a very different environment than the information-sharing, team-based culture we'd need to operate in the 21st century.
Dry Storage Corp. had begun to offer more services to our consumer-product clients, but also had the potential for greater growth. One of my first accomplishments was to move us to a national presence.
In 1993 I became the chief executive, and in 1994 I renamed the company DSC Logistics after putting together 22 smaller companies and jump-shifting the focus of the company to a unified-operating, nationwide business. Today we are a leading supply-chain management company with a nationwide network, focusing on supply-chain capabilities that are adaptable, versatile and based on changing customer needs. Our services include supply-chain analysis and design, strategic solutions-based consulting, business process integration, process improvement and management of logistics operations, such as warehousing, transportation, packaging and fulfillment.
We have 30 logistics centers across the United States, including our new, state-of-the-art logistics center located near Joliet, Illinois. One important lesson I've learned in business, (especially being a woman in a male-dominated industry) and incorporated into our corporate culture, is that in today's business environment, filled with rapid and unpredictable change, we manage change and information by being ready for anything.
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