Jenniffer Suwinski-Russ is a Client Services Manager based out of the Blume Chicago office. In her Blumer Spotlight, she discusses her role, what she likes about working for Blume Global and why she does what she does.
What’s your current role for Blume Global and what are some of your key responsibilities?
Currently, I serve as the Client Services Manager out of the Chicago office. Some of my responsibilities include ensuring customer satisfaction levels are the best they can be; ensuring committed KPIs are met; and working with several internal parties on new customer implementations, product releases and related projects to support the growth of the Blume network. I am also responsible for the continuous development of my team, which is something I am very passionate about.
What are three things you like most about working for Blume Global?
- Blume has a clear, innovative and ardent vision of the future of the organization, which everyone aligns to. I feel it sets us apart in the industry.
- That we have several rapidly evolving products, which by nature presents significant opportunities to get involved in various projects—allowing for personal and direct contributions to the growth of the organization.
- The company culture, which lends itself to a flexible work-life balance and an ego-free zone. We’re all aiming to achieve success together!
What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful for the love and health of my family and friends, particularly my two wonderful boys (8 and 12 years old). I am also grateful for the mistakes I have made, the support of my team, democracy, nourishment, sports, art, a good blanket, clean socks, my iPhone and Chicago water. These are things I cannot live without and also bring joy to my life.
When you were in high school, what did you dream of becoming?
I was very much interested in printed art, advertisements and photography during high school. In my junior and senior years, I took graphic arts—design, roller bed/press printing, negative development and silk screening. This was the most enjoyable class of my high school career. At this point, I decided I would become a graphic artist/designer. Not the most glamorous job, but I enjoyed the creative outlet it provided to me at the time. Additionally, I dreamt of being a super mom one day. And that dream came true!
What events in your life have led you to your current role/job today?
Well, halfway through college, the graphic design industry entirely shifted to desktop publishing, which changed the required college courses and would have required an additional 36 credit hours to obtain my degree. I wasn’t on board with that and was simultaneously learning that the job positions immediately available to me were heavily restricted in terms of creativity, therefore my interest quickly diminished from a career perspective. My father suggested I try international logistics. At that time, supply chain degree programs were nonexistent and so I started working at the first company who made me an offer. This was Kuehne & Nagel, which today is a Blume Logistics customer!
When things don’t turn out the way you planned, what is the first thing you do?
It can be disappointing and difficult to accept, so I try to take a logical approach. I typically ask myself a series of questions identifying if it is something I have control over and how I can turn it into an opportunity or motivation. Sometimes we find that the outcome was better than our original plan…And then I go home and drink wine!
When you have to make a difficult decision, what do you lean on?
Data, intuition, people and lists! Depending on the situation, I will see what data is available to support or validate a decision. In the absence of data, I may use my intuition combined with experience-based feedback from other expert resources on the subject. A mental (sometimes even typed) list of pros and cons to gain a higher level of confidence in the decision is always helpful, too.
What is one piece of advice you can give to anyone?
If you want to change the culture around you, lead by example and make it infectious. I often tire of hearing the same complaints over and over without seeing any change from the individual longing for the change. It can start within ourselves.
Please finish the sentence:
If you knew me, you would know that…I have been in international logistics for 24+ years. Please don’t do the math.