“Leadership,” and what it means to incorporate management skill in everyday life, was the issue addressed by Women in Logistics at a forum in San Francisco last month.
Hosted by the Port of San Francisco, the event featured four highly successful logistics professionals from diverse sectors of the industry.
All seemed to echo sentiments and findings contained in LM’s 35th Annual Salary Survey, which noted that while job satisfaction remains the primary reason for today’s logistics managers to stay with one company, salaries are barely keeping pace with inflation.
Geli Burgin, Chief Financial Officer for CM Squared, Inc. and WIL’s Vice President, observed that striking a comfortable “life-work balance” is especially challenging for women with in the Bay Area.
“There comes a point that demands for world travel become too severe,” she says. “And that’s when you must become creative.”
And creative, she’s been. With has over 20 years’ experience specializing in operations, supply chain, management, and finance, Burgin is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and holds a master’s degree in finance from Stanford University. She is now an avid sailor and member of the sales team for Atomic Tuna Yachts – a luxury yacht brokerage.
For Heather Sherlock, head of global logistics & distribution for Uber, the journey is just beginning with a rigorous itinerary keeping her on the road all the time.
“My team is truly global, managing company shipments in and out of nearly 70 countries,” she says. “But you have to take the time to mentor your subordinates while on the fly. It’s crucial to share the time when you can.”
He own career highlights include freight forwarding, logistics, and global trade compliance for Eagle Global Logistics, CEVA Logistics, and Crane Worldwide.
Louise Bohmann, head of trade compliance for Google, observed that today’s logistics managers are “always on stage.”
“But I agree that giving back to the community is important. Mentoring is part of that story.”
Bohmann is an international trade and customs professional with expertise in global trade regulation and compliance, indirect tax structuring, market access, and supply chain management.
Captain Marie Byrd, Commander, Sector San Francisco United States Coast Guard, told the audience that she might not have accomplished all that she’s done with good mentors…including men.
“Even in the military, having good teachers and instructors is crucial,” she says. “Many people helped me reach my current leadership role, and no one should try to do this alone.”
Captain Byrd assumed command of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco on March 2019. She serves as the Sector Commander and Captain of the Port for San Francisco and Northern California. She leads over 850 Active and Reserve Coast Guardsmen, operating Cutters, Search and Rescue Stations, and Navigation Teams, a Vessel Traffic Service, and a Marine Safety Detachment. Her leadership spans from the Oregon border to the San Luis Obispo County line, much of Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming. This includes over 2,500 miles of shoreline within the San Francisco Bay and its tributaries.
Among those in the audience who listened with interest was Mary “Meg” Glynn, owner for MG Container Services in San Rafael, CA.
“Because becoming a leader requires so much networking and support, I champion organizations like WIL,” she says. “It really represents a community of service and dedication to our industry.”
About the Author
Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]