Crowley Maritime Corporation / Crowley Logistics: Jacksonville, FL
Years in Produce:
Hobbies: Travel; reading; foodie; dance; Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT); Transportation Sales and Marketing Association (TMSA); United Way young professionals; Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars; Golden Key International Honor Society
Motto in life: Our purpose in life is to serve others.
Work History: Rodriguez joined Crowley in 2013 as a refrigerated specialist in operations, where she was responsible for tracking and monitoring the on-boarding process and documentation from the sale to the development of the client’s operations within Crowley’s new division: Crowley Fresh. In 2014, she was promoted to refrigerated logistics and supply chain senior analyst. In 2016, she switched to the commercial side, which included the warehouse, the ocean freight negotiation in Crowley’s ships for reefers, customs clearance and refrigerated trucking, and earned a promotion to refrigerated supply chain small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) Account Executive in Crowley’s cold chain management services. Rodriguez is a Six Sigma Lean professional and Subject Matter Expert in refrigerated storage and handling of temperature controlled products.
Questions & Answers:
Q: How did you begin working in produce?
In January 2013, I had the opportunity to join the latest venture Crowley and Customized Brokers had developed in South Florida for perishables. I started as a refrigerated logistics specialist, with a various range of administrative and operational responsibilities. Since then, I have had three roles within Crowley’s Cold Chain Management Services.
Q: Are you a Gen X-er or Millennial?
Millennial. I believe the image portrayed in the media that Millennials are self-entitled, lazy and have no purpose in life is deceiving. As Millennials, we do commit, work hard and have a purpose. The difference is we work in a way that can allow us to have more time on our hands if used wisely.
Q: What do you know now you wish you knew when you first started your career?
Persistence. As one starts a new career, it may feel vigorous to take “into the world” all the knowledge from college or any other experience that you think may contribute to your role, however, with time I realized that there are concepts, experiences and skills that are only learned through experience.
Q: What aspect of the business challenged you the most early on?
The schedules. The produce business is very demanding, therefore decisions and solutions must be presented and executed with a sense of urgency. Weekends, holidays, vacations are all just part of a commitment beyond a “work schedule” if you really want to have an impact with your clients.
Q: What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of in your career?
To be able to sustain and grow Crowley’s Cold Chain Management Services. I have been able to develop meaningful relationships with customers and vendors that have become the foundation for our business.
Q: What advice would you give someone new to the produce industry?
Get hands on! When I started, and even now, I have always volunteered to go inside of a cooler to find out how a process is done. I will write down the metrics in regards to time, employees, and any other data or information that will be beneficial to improve our own processes or recommendations for the clients.
Q: What has shocked or surprised you about the produce industry?
How small it can be. After attending different trade shows, symposiums and day-to-day visits and engagements with clients, I find it is incredible how they all know each other and how long most of them have been in the produce business.