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Town Hall Recap: The Case of the Traveling OL USA Library

At a Town Hall meeting last month, OL USA President Alan Baer spoke about the pandemic’s impact on the shipping industry and the company’s changing culture. He also surprised a few people when he announced plans to donate a portion of his library to any interested staff members. But while the announcement may have appeared strange to some new attendees, it thrilled Karina Gutierrez, an Import Specialist based in Long Beach.  She reached out and took Baer up on his offer.  “I sent him an email basically telling him what I like to read,” she said. 

Alan’s Library 

Baer’s bookshelf is an OL USA staple and towers over him in every meeting. He keeps it stacked with multicolored tomes on every topic imaginable and noted it is not all business – the collection includes cookbooks, spy thrillers, sports books among other classics.   “Books are written to be read and shared and not to sit on my shelf or in piles on the floor” Baer said.  When asked how it made him feel to fulfill the request he said,  “The books are better being read multiple times and hopefully we can pass them along inside or outside the company.”   

 

Karina’s Office Space 

One of the reasons Karina applied to work for Oceanwide Logistics in the first place was its remote work-from-home opportunities. When she first joined OL, she was so excited to start working from her home that she designed her own home office. The space most notably features bookshelves that Karina built by hand.  But despite her extensive collection, after construction she did not have enough books to fill all the shelves. When Baer offered portions of his library on the company’s town hall, Karina knew this was the perfect opportunity for her to fill them.  

Culture Starts with Leadership 

Karina is fluent in Spanish and currently learning Italian. She hopes to continue improving her skills in both languages by reading more.. Her favorite topics include nonfiction, poetry, world history, business, and language.  Gutierrez looks forward to receiving the books and even likened their arrival to Christmas. But on a deeper level, it showed her how much the leadership at OL USA cares about their employees.  

“He’s not like this big boss on the top of a tall building and it’s hard for you to reach him as an employee, I think it’s a great way to show his employees, ‘this is me; this is my personality, and I am happy to provide whatever makes you successful while at OL USA.’”   

 

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About OL USA 

OL USA is one of the fastest-growing bonded NVOCCs in the world and has service contracts with the highest-rated ocean carriers.  Through our integrated network of agents across the globe, we have a presence in all major trade and business centers. Working with importers, exporters, and freight forwarders, we can move their goods quickly and efficiently and provide a breadth of door-to-door services worldwide. 

OL USA offers our clients a single-source experience from beginning to end, along with the technology to handle today’s globalized market. OL USA is Local, Around the World.  

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