A Conversation With Tracey Raimondo, CITT, Vice-President Logistics at Normandin Transit
Questions for LQ’s Executive Interview Series have been prepared by members of LQ’s Board and friends of LQ.
LQ: You have chosen logistics as a profession. Do you see yourself as a pioneer in the industry? (Melissa Gracey, President, DTA Services)
Tracey Raimondo: I don’t see myself as a pioneer in the industry. However, I chose the logistics profession at a very young age by following in my father’s footsteps. As a teenager I worked summer jobs in a transportation company, starting with compiling mail and delivering it to different departments. I realized that they were having fun in a very dynamic environment. I am the third generation of my family to be working in the supply chain and logistics industry, and I am still happy today about my choices. My father never got tired of it either, having worked in this industry for over 50 years. In fact, he is now teaching logistics classes at a local CEGEP/college in Quebec.
LQ: How do you select mentors to help you in your logistics career? (Pamela Benkert, Vice-President, Global Supply Chain, Kodak)
Tracey Raimondo: Since the beginning of my career, I have been fortunate to have great mentors. I never actually had to select them. They seemed to find me. Over the years I have had very good advice and support and I still benefit today from their wisdom.
In the past two years I have learned a lot from my colleagues and the owners of Montreal-based Normandin Transit and I am always happy to share my own experiences with others. If I had to choose, I would look for mentors who are leaders with knowledge, experience, wisdom and a good network of contacts. These types of leaders will often go out of their way to help others.
LQ: What would you do to inspire other woman to join the logistics industry? (Melissa Gracey)
Tracey Raimondo: I have participated in different educational clinics, conferences and events and I have spoken to different first-year logistics college classes and promote this industry as well as relay my passion for this career. One teacher, I remember in particular, had asked me to speak about the success of women in our industry. After going through this exercise and presenting, I realized that regardless of gender, hard work and dedication are the key ingredients for success.
Education is a tool that is very important this industry. I graduated from CITT in 1996 and my CITT accreditation has definitely helped me be who I am today. It has given me different managerial tools as well as opportunities to network and meet people from across Canada. If someone asks me what’s required, irrespective of gender, to succeed in today’s market, I would reply, “Be passionate about your work, be ready for any challenge, participate in your company’s activities, stay current, understand your company’s objectives, focus on results and do your best.
LQ: What specific actions have you employed to ensure that the organization’s vision is embraced throughout the employee base? (Susan L. Oaks, Vice-President and Partner, A.T. Kearney)
Tracey Raimondo: Normandin Transit works hard at selecting competent, knowledgeable and dynamic individuals. Because we chose “la crème de la crème” at the beginning, we have trust in our people and give them latitude in their decision-making. Our employee base is our best asset. We also invest time and effort in our team. We have one person whose role is to keep abreast of new legislation, changes in safety and regulations in this industry in Canada and the United States. She continuously holds individual information sessions for the drivers. Every person in our organization has the ability to make a difference. Constant communication is our key.
LQ: What leadership styles work best in this kind of economy? (Tom Nightingale, Vice-President, Con-way)
Tracey Raimondo: Today, everyone is sensitized to the economy and the different challenges it brings to businesses throughout the world.
For some, the economic instability has created a sense of insecurity, and this has brought people closer together. At our firm we adjust our leadership style to the different needs of the team members. Moreover, the owners and the managers encourage the involvement of everyone. They offer coaching, guidance and support for the staff.
We also encourage and guide our colleagues to do their best; we emphasize their qualities and contributions and tell them that we appreciate their hard work because we want to help them achieve their highest potential. We respect the different needs of the personnel and trust their good judgment to help them become leaders as well.