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Glenn Lopp named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce Glenn Lopp as the recipient of the Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the First Quarter of 2021. Glenn has been with Kottke Trucking for two years and has been in the trucking industry for over 15 years.

Glenn’s nominator said: “Glenn is one of those go getter drivers that always approaches each task with a “we will succeed” attitude. He exemplifies what a good American Trucker should be. He is a strong asset to Kottke Trucking and embodies the spirit of what the Jim Doering Award of Excellence is all about.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. Glenn is the First Quarter recipient for this award and is now a finalist for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award.

Congrats, Glenn! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

Ben Schmidt named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce Ben Schmidt as the recipient of the Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the Fourth Quarte of 2020. Ben has been with Kottke Trucking for over five years and has been in the trucking industry for over 13 years.

Ben’s nominator said:

“Ben is a great dude and is someone that will always go the extra mile to make sure the job gets done. He is a great member of the #BleedingBlue team. Ben’s qualities greatly reflect those that are looked for with the Jim Doering Award of Excellence.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of Excellence are also the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award. Mike and Sabrina Lopez were our First Quarter recipients, John Johnson was our Second Quarter recipient and Boogs Fellows was our Third Quarter recipient.

Congrats, Ben! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

Robert “Boogs” Fellows named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce that Robert “Boogs” Fellows as the recipient of the Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the Third Quarter of 2020. Boogs has been with Kottke Trucking since the acquisition of Wayne T. Fellows in August 2019 with experience in that firm for years prior.

Boogs nominator said, in part, the following:

“He believes in the power of teamwork and is always ready to jump in and do whatever is needed if it benefits the greater good of the company overall or of any of his co-workers, even if it comes at the expense of home time for him. If we are short a local driver for an off-day delivery, he volunteers. If we are short an OTR run and need a local driver to pinch hit, he volunteers. If he is done with his pickups in Miami but still has room and one of the other local drivers still has picks left, he calls and asks if he can make some of the other driver’s pickups so the other driver doesn’t get home as late as he otherwise would. If we need help with organizing paperwork or an extra pair of hands somewhere, he is the first to raise his hand.

“He is a constant company “cheerleader,” always trying to raise morale when others are down and assure everyone that even if you’re having a bad day, it’s the exception, not the norm, and better days are coming if we all work together.

“Simply put, he may not have joined the Kottke Trucking family the conventional way, but make no mistake, he is as strong of a company man as you’ll find. He believes in the company, he believes in the vision, he believes in the mission, he believes in the people, and most of all, he believes in the heart. Perhaps that is because it seems to me that his huge heart is what drives him and what makes him such an outstanding driver, excellent co-worker, and even better man.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of Excellence are also the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award. Mike and Sabrina Lopez were our First Quarter recipients and John Johnson was our Second Quarter recipient.

Congrats, Boogs! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

Kottke Trucking, Family and Friends Raise $10,025 for Trucks and Toys

It is no secret that 2020 hasn’t been the best of years, but we always find it important to find things to smile about. We at Kottke Trucking are smiling today. We are proud to announce that Kottke Trucking employees, friends and family raised $10,025 worth of toys and goods for Trucks and Toys this year!

Over the past three holiday seasons, the generosity throughout the Kottke Trucking family has raised just over $29,000 in the effort to make the Christmas and holiday season a little brighter for kids in need in both Minnesota and Florida. The organizations receiving these donations surround our terminal locations helping us help the people directly in our communities. We proudly donated to the following organizations this year:

  • Renville County Santa’s Closet (MN)
  • McLeod Country Holiday Project (MN)
  • Common Cup Ministries (Hutchinson, MN)
  • Paul’s Closet (Hector, MN)
  • City of Davenport Sharing Christmas With You (FL)
  • The Mission of Winter Haven (FL)


To see a donation total like this in a year as crazy as this is truly astounding. It shows how great of people that we are lucky to be surrounded by in the Kottke Trucking family. Be it your donation was big or small, we thank you. Every bit helps make the season a little bit brighter.

There are multiple people who put so much time and effort into the Trucks and Toys campaign and we thank you for your hard work and dedication to this great cause. Be it that you’ve worked on it since day one or just jumped in recently, you are total rock stars.

As the Kottke family, this cause is especially near and dear to our hearts. This was one of the programs that Duane and Connie loved so much and dedicated a lot of time to. They would be so proud to see how much this program has grown and the love that it has shown across our communities. To anyone that has helped support this cause over the past 20-plus years, we thank you. We are blessed to have the best employees, friends and family we could ever truly ask for. As great as this year’s campaign was, as we always say, we hope next year’s is even better. As Duane would say, “Let’s go!”

May your light shine bright this holiday season! Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas!

Pictured below: Members of the Kottke Trucking team shopped at Target in Hutchinson, MN to purchase toys with the monetary donations from this year’s Trucks and Toys drive. Thank you, Target, for your support!

Marlene drops off a portion of the toys with the folks at Renville County Santa’s Closet!

John Johnson Named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipient

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce John Johnson as the recipient of the Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the Second Quarter of 2020. Johnson has been with Kottke Trucking for over a year and a half and has been a great presence in our Kottke Trucking family from the start.

Johnson’s nominator said the following:

“JJ is an amazing guy. His dedication and loyalty to the job is great. He never fails to put a smile on everyone’s face with his sense of humor. The day is always brighter if you get to spend some time with him. Above all, JJ is dependable. The qualities of a great truck driver and a great person.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of Excellence are also the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award. Mike and Sabrina Lopez were the recipients in the first quarter.

Congrats, John! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

Celebrating the supply chain this Labor Day

As we get ready to celebrate Labor Day, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on how the entire supply chain has came together to ensure people across the country have the supplies they needed.   It has truly been a year of teamwork, so I asked several friends to tell me what this Labor Day means to them and how their team made things happen.

I would like to add how much I appreciate being able to work with you all.   From our team at Kottke, to our customers, and my friends across the industry: You are the reason I love doing what I do, and I am thankful to have been in this industry for over 25 years.  Happy Labor Day, friends!

Chris Kozak, Tyson Foods – This will be a very special Labor Day celebration for all of us at Tyson Foods.  This holiday symbolizes the contributions workers make to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. So many members of the supply chain stepped up over the last seven months. Everyone from plant and warehouse workers to truck drivers and office staff literally kept our country fed at a critical and vulnerable time in our nation’s history. This will be the most significant Labor Day holiday I will have ever celebrated in my 30-year work history in this industry.

Dan Bohlman, Butterball – The year 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges and difficulty to our personal and professional lives. Our team has displayed astounding resilience and commitment to their day to day jobs and supporting the greater purpose of helping deliver our quality food products to our customers. I’m proud to be a part of a team that supports one another and is dedicated to reaching our collective goals.

Kelly Patrick, Kennesaw Transportation – I am so proud of our entire team for their determination and dedication to keeping our drivers safe and rolling.  Our drivers went above and beyond 110% to help deliver to our customers and help other drivers on the road to keep the big wheels rolling thru a pandemic.  #WeLoveTruckers #TruckDriversDeliverExcellence

Charles Bostick, Vantix – Absolutely we have gone above and beyond to keep the quick service restaurant business going and certainly our partnerships with organizations such as Kottke has been the foundation of our ability to create a sustainable food supply-chain.  Despite COVID-19 setbacks volumes have remained consistent. Requiring tremendous sacrifice by both my team and the drivers that our partner carriers employee.

Charlene Keller, Choptank – Our team has done an exemplary job of keeping our customers informed on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis regarding changes in the market that affect capacity and pricing. The team has seamlessly adapted to a new COVID-19 world, negotiating new contract rates and remaining positive throughout these tough conversations. I am very thankful to be a part of such a great team.

Bruce Koele, Heyl – I was so proud of our entire team!  From planners dealing with anything but normal customer shipping patterns to our drivers, who despite anxiousness and fear of the real impact and effects of the virus, did not hesitate to continue to do their jobs with pride and continue to deliver food and essential products around the country without missing a beat. We have all learned to adapt and do things differently but by tackling the issues head on and communicating with our customers, together we have been able to overcome many of the challenges brought on by the pandemic!

Anthony Megale, Burris Logistics – To keep the supply chain moving and the Distribution Centers open, Burris Logistics had all non-essential employees work from home starting in early March. Only warehouse staff, drivers, transportation team members, and leadership were allowed to stay on site.

The work from home policy started in early March and continues to this day since Burris team members have remained effective during these challenging times. We are happy to report that none of our 15 distribution centers had to shut down. As it turns out, the non-essential employees are very essential to the operations. During these challenging times, increased demand required our team members to work longer hours, ensuring that food remained on our retail partner’s shelves. Additionally, we deployed staff from our sister brand, Honor Foods. Honor Foods experienced a downturn in business when restaurants were not allowed to open. We are grateful to function as ONEBURRIS, shifting team members to other brands to keep all Burris employees working. We also partnered with other local foodservice providers by temporarily employing their warehouse staff and drivers in our distribution centers to help pull Burris loads. The collaboration was a win-win, as it helped keep other workers in the community employed and food on the shelves during the increased demand of these unprecedented times.

Eric Kruse, Kwik Trip – For me, Labor Day is a time to thank the working women and men of the world who help us enjoy all of the luxuries we have grown so accustom to here in America. For my industry it is a supply chain to thank. Thank the famer or manufacture, Thank the warehouses and loading crews, Thank the drivers who haul the loads, Thank the logistics folks who coordinate the schedules, Thank the retailers who sell the product and now days Thank the person who loads the groceries into your vehicle or the driver who delivers them directly to your home. I’m very proud to be an employee of Kwik Trip who has great company values. While these are my opinions, I’m glad to work for a company that holds their guests, suppliers, employees and communities in high regard. Thanks for all you do.

Mike Puckett, Overdrive Logistics – I would say the way the team worked and preformed during Covid would be what made us most proud. We had 80% of our office working from home and learning to communicate electronically with each other rather than the face to face we are so used to. Sure we had phones, but it doesn’t replace the face to face interactions.

Nelson Munoz, Jr, Kuehne + Nagel Inc. – Regarding my team, I very proud of how they help us accomplish our goals on a daily basis.  With our customer focus on pharma we were one of the groups within my organization to have not missed a beat during this pandemic. I have gotten numerous compliments from customers for each of my team members on the job they do.  Whether it is for their responsiveness to the customer needs, following up after hours, making that extra call to ensure a critical shipment moves, while still managing to support and back each other up while working remotely. I couldn’t ask for a better team.

Heather Hawkins, Kinexo – Our operations group at KINEXO is a team that works closely together to make sure our customers get the top rated service they deserve.  It has been a tough task to adapt to a mandated work-from-home environment while continuing to service our customers’ needs, which have also been impacted by the pandemic. I couldn’t be prouder of the way our team has performed in this crucial time.  Their dedication is truly amazing!  Go KINEXO!

Kyle Kottke, Kottke Trucking – I grew up in a family where my father told me the honor of celebrating Labor Day and honoring the working folk is to work the day.  Needless to say, unintentionally my father programmed me to think that Labor Day was a normal day in the calendar.  Then as 2020 came to hit the calendar and so much change, uncertainty, obstacles, life/work balance, customer demands, driver desires and the meeting place of all of that has made me appreciate every single member of our team.  It has been a joy to watch the blue collar industry stand up and be the pulse of the American spirit and economy.  So while I very likely will celebrate this holiday by working my shift, I will be reflecting on a new meaning of Labor Day to me.  Happy Labor Day to your readership!  May our next year celebration bring us less change and more joy!

Mike and Sabrina Lopez Named Jim Doering Award of Excellence Recipients

Kottke Trucking is proud to announce Mike and Sabrina Lopez as the recipients of our Jim Doering Award of Excellence for the First Quarter of 2020. The team has been with Kottke Trucking for just shy of a year and a half and have made their presence felt quickly in our family.

The Lopez team had multiple nominations for the award. Their nominators said the following:

“This team continually displays a very positive can-do attitude. Regardless of the task given them, they approach it with a positive spirit and enthusiasm second to none. They are the epitome of #BleedingBlue. They are among the top performers and always willing to step up and take on any task regardless of the unpleasantness or difficulty. In other words, they take on the good and the bad with equal enthusiasm.”

“Sabrina and Mike are always there when we need help. They know how to run their hours and they take care of issues on their own, if they are able. They are always thinking of the greater good for the company, never put themselves before others. They are always early, they are exceptional at keeping track of their hours, they have the knowledge and they use it. They never get mad or upset and always will go the extra mile.”

The Jim Doering Award of Excellence was established in 2014 in honor of Kottke Trucking’s first employee and nearly 40-year employee Jim Doering. The award is designed to honor a driver each quarter that has the same great qualities that made Jim such a special man. The four winners of the quarterly Jim Doering Award of Excellence are also the finalists for the Duane and Connie Kottke Distinguished Driver of the Year Award.

Congrats, Mike and Sabrina! We thank you for your hard work, dedication and for #BleedingBlue!

A conversation with Michigan nurse Jane Dotson

Jane Dotson was drawn into the medical field over 25 years ago after her father was involved in a near-fatal auto accident that required months of surgery. The hospital where he dad’s life was saved and where she was born just happened to be the same one where she started her career. Throughout her career, Dotson has worn many different hats and seen many different things. She’s been a hospice nurse, a dementia nurse, a psychiatric nurse and is now a nursing supervisor in a subacute physical rehabilitation center.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way her Michigan hospital delivers care, including the halting of visitors per the Governor’s mandate. COVID-19 put an invisible barrier between the caregivers and their patients. “Essentially, we began keeping our patients in a 6-foot invisible ‘bubble’ and were only allowed to enter it to provide direct physical care. We initially isolated all patients in their rooms where all care and therapies were provided. As we learned more about the virus patients have been allowed out of their rooms if they are wearing masks and maintain 6-foot social distancing space,” Dotson said. “A serious side effect of COVID-19 is depression among patients. Since January, we have witnessed an increase in tearfulness and angry outbursts. We attempt to comfort and reassure patients when they are in distress over the social isolation, but comfort hasn’t been well received when it is from a gloved hand, or from 6 feet away.

“One patient I care for is deaf and can lip read but wearing masks limits some of us to only writing to communicate with her. She is attempting to teach us some basic sign language, but she says she misses being able to see people talk and smile.”

The facility that Dotson works in housed and cared for COVID-19 patients for a few weeks in an isolation unit created on a separate wing of the building. Strict entry and exit rules and restrictions were in place for the entire facility, along with additional very strict rules and restrictions within the unit itself.  A pervasive fear of the virus resulted in several members of the staff asking not to be placed in the COVID unit.

“I personally believe that if you go into the medical field, you should not be allowed to refuse to give care to someone if you are provided the tools to do so safely,” Dotson said. “So, I agreed to care for COVID-19 patients because I felt it was safer caring for known carriers of COVID-19 patients while wearing full PPE next to coworkers wearing full PPE.  Fortunately, none of the COVID caregivers I work with contracted the virus.”

Working in an isolation unit with all the different safety requirements was very stressful for Dotson. Her and her co-workers had to be mindful of every moment during their shift. After a few weeks of caring for COVID-19 patients, Dotson says she and her co-workers became less fearful of the virus and more frustrated with the isolation and the effects on their patients.

“It became emotionally challenging for me because my heart broke for those patients who didn’t have anyone on the outside to call or do window ‘visits’,” Dotson said. “I had one patient tearfully say that she felt like a leper and she just needed a warm hug.”

Thankfully, the COVID-19 unit where Dotson works has been empty for a few weeks now. Dotson hopes that they never need to use it again.

Dotson is from Flint, Michigan and says that their community has come together and has been very supportive of medical personnel since the pandemic began. She sees that unity as a positive that the community can take forward after this chapter.

“I’ve been out in public with my uniform on and have had people thank me for my service to the community. I find it mildly embarrassing but also rewarding,” Dotson said. “Our facility has had numerous donations of PPE and even meals for staff throughout this ordeal. I am happy and proud of our community for the first time in a very long time.”

Things have gone back to normal for Dotson, as much as they can with mandates still in place in the state of Michigan. Long before COVID-19, she was already in the habit of using hand sanitizer frequently and being cautions to not touch her face with her hands. “I know the kinds of microorganisms that lurk in our world and I live in caution, but not fear. I just want to be able to return to a normal life where there are no mandates.”

Dotson said this interview was an unusual opportunity for her to express her thoughts with someone other than a fellow coworker of a family member. She wanted to take the opportunity to pass along this message to the truck driving community: “Thank you for your service to our nation. None of us could survive if there weren’t professional truck drivers on the road day and night. I respect each and every one of you for what you do. You don’t always have it easy, but you keep on trucking. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.”

A Conversation with Taylor Wilson of Gypsy Threads

Like many small and large businesses, Gypsy Threads physical store was closed for two months during the Covid-19 shutdowns.   However, as soon as it was possible to do so the shop doors were re-opened to the public.

The owner of Gypsy Threads is Taylor Wilson. I first met Wilson in 2009 while I was working with her mother in the transportation industry. Wilson was in high school then, playing sports and creating her own fashion designs and accessories.  Now at 27-years-old, she has owned her own retail clothing store for two years.  As a young entrepreneur, she has managed to bring her small business through some of the most trying times in economic history.

After high school, Wilson attended North Georgia College & University in Dahlonega, GA. Marketing was Taylor’s major and during her senior year she did an internship in Los Angeles’ fashion district.   Having always had a love for fashion, she realized that she wanted a career where she could use her marketing skills alongside the fashion.

After finishing school, Wilson returned home where she and a roommate started their own social media marketing company, which they still operate today.   At age 23, in addition, to bartending, waitressing, and being self-employed, Wilson got a part time job handling the marketing for Gypsy Threads.   About a year later, she was hired to manage the store and handle the marketing. She then gave up her bartending and waitressing gigs and devoted herself to Gypsy Threads along with her own social media marketing business. Then in April 2019, Wilson was presented with the opportunity to purchase Gypsy Threads. She didn’t hesitate to take the leap.

Wilson’s dream location for Gypsy Threads was to be on the famous, historic downtown square in Gainesville and in a few months a rare opportunity came as a coveted store space on the square came available.   Once again, Taylor didn’t hesitate to take the chance and relocate the store.

January and February were spent gutting the store space on the square and completely remodeling it. Fortunately for her she had a lot of help from family and friends who were eager to help make the young entrepreneur’s dream come true.  Then came March. The week Gypsy Threads was scheduled to open at the new location the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in Governor’s orders for all non-essential businesses to be closed. Resulting in Gypsy Threads having to remain closed.

Fortunately, Wilson and Gypsy Threads had a very supportive customer base who continued their support with online ordering.  After two long months, when the day rolled around that Gypsy Threads could open their doors it was a very exciting time.  With the move, Wilson had really been able to make the store her own, with her own vision of what she wanted her store to look and feel like to her customers.   She says the Gainesville community is very supportive of their small businesses and she contributes her success to that great customer base.

When you hear Gypsy Threads, you can probably surmise that the shop carries unique styles that customers may not find elsewhere.    Stepping inside you will find a lady’s boutique featuring primarily boho-style clothing and accessories.  The fashionista in Taylor is always looking for cool new lines to carry, but for the most part she has stayed with what has worked. “I have stuck with the lines that were carried before I owned the store,” Wilson said. “What people loved about the store was the styles and quality of the clothing, so I definitely did not want to stray too far from that!”

Wilson says that her store it is small enough that her customers feel safe.   She has stations set up throughout the store with hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray and Clorox wipes.   If a customer comes in wearing a face mask she puts one on also, to make them feel comfortable, but if her customers are not wearing masks she does not mind.

When asked what is the best part of owning her business,  Wilson said “I love having a personal relationship with the customers. I have a lot of customers who come in with an item from their own closet and let me or my employees help find the perfect outfit to go with it! Aside from that, it’s like having a huge closet so, of course, that’s fun!”

“A huge thanks to all the people in the transportation industry! My mom was in the transportation industry for over 10 years, and I know it can be stressful,” Wilson said. “Without them, most small businesses, and large businesses, wouldn’t have survived. Not only through Covid-19, but also we have to have you for normal day-to-day business!”

Gypsy Threads can be found online at, Facebook and Instagram or in person at  210 Bradford St NE Gainesville, GA.

This piece is part of Ada Brewster’s conversation series. Previously, Ada has chatted with Kottke Trucking drivers Laurie and Buz Scutt, Dan DiGrazio with Butterball and Mary Weaver of Mary’s Southern Grill.

A Conversation with Todd Gilbert of Valley Companies

This week, Kyle jumps into the Conversation Series… I called an old friend to see if he and his views saw anything different than mine and with his spot in the industry being so different than mine, I had nothing to lose. The takeaways from the call were interesting, wide, and enlightening to me.  I asked his permission to share those takeaways with you.  Enjoy my conversation with my friend, Todd Gilbert of Valley Companies.

How are Things Going?

It was no surprise to have Todd tell me how good things were with his family and how truly blessed he was.  I had to go with another question in to get to his business.  He spoke fondly of his team and how proud he was of the grit they continue to show.  He said he was disappointed on how COVID has made a couple divisions miss seasonal timing in certain markets and the way our government continues to operate in a vacuum.  Todd continues to wonder why Government will not learn or lean on those like us who are making safe, consciousness decisions for our team members, customers and society.

There is no doubt that Todd and his views align with mine perfectly.  We both agree that supply chain has shown many ways that others could look at with ways to deal with adversity.

Teams Dealing with Change

Both Todd and I went into remote teams and dealing with the change with much concern.  We both are enlightened that we got this right, with limited, if any, problems, and able to execute the heck out of the changes.  We are both in agreement that the workplace probably looks different in the future.  However, we both had a little issue painting a completely clear picture of it.  We agreed that as this transition continues post-COVID it will be powerful and transformational to many workers, how they work and what they do.

I found it very interesting that because of Todd’s team culture, his team was able to flex and cover non-traditional roles, something that probably doesn’t work as well if his staff was still in the office.  I was completely impressed with his stories of how his team figured out the will.

More of the same, but yet different

I found Todd’s words powerful when he said that our drivers don’t want to be called heroes, but they just want to do their job.  He finds that his drivers answer his thanks with a no thanks needed, thanks for the job.  They just want to do their job and be part of the solution.

Next topic from Todd is how his company continues to evolve in exciting new ways (watch for big things from Valley Companies), but still the driver remains in the center of that.  He talked about diversification opportunities, controlled growth, efficiencies and how they are going to do things better.  It motivates me to be more creative in my approach.

The Power of Trend

I must admit, I am not a huge trend guy.  I track using comparatives and results versus goals.  Todd was telling me that how they started to talk about trend during these COVID times and that has allowed him to rally his teams around things that matter.  It has also motived his trend that his business is up in all measurements of trend over the past seven weeks.  That is completely impressive.  One that he and his team should be proud of.

Easy take away for all: Talk about trend!

Family Business

I have always looked at the opportunities that family business has allowed me that you can’t get anywhere else in life.  I talk openly of my time with my mom and dad.  The many lessons they taught me that prepared me for life.

If was fun to talk with Todd about the same experiences.  It came up early in our conversation that supply chain has exercised resilience better than almost any other industry.  It was fun to hear our conversation come full circle to how our family businesses were better prepared in our minds for the deep changes due to our resilience that was taught to us through our parents and in our family and our business.  It was fun to talk about those lessons that we learned.  I encouraged Todd to continue to listen to his dad, Jerry. Everyone knows I would love to talk to my dad.

Think of things that are important and make them more important

As I was talking with Todd, it became clear that one thing we have done well through this time is to identify what is important to each of us and make them more important.  Sounds simple.  Have you tried it?

If you have not yet, consider this to be the one thing you can do better for yourself.  Todd and I are fans of John Maxwell’s book “Intentional Living”.  Maxwell speaks of your circle and how to manage it.  Both Todd and I spoke to increasing our influence in ways that matter to those that are in our circle.

Have you intentionally looked at your life and what makes it up?  Where you spend your time, who you spend it with and what you are doing?  You should.  You will find out interesting things about yourself.

My wish for you is that you fill your circle with people like Todd.  People you can call, talk shop, appreciate the investment of time and spirit into each other.  If you do not see this in your circle, go find it!

This Father’s Day Weekend

If your father is still with us, please express your appreciation, love, and thanks.  If you came from a home in which your father was a true influencer of your life and in a positive way – please share that with your father.  It is that man’s ultimate compliment.  Tell them why you are thankful and how their influence has made you better today.  Todd gets the chance to tell his father his thanks and gets to share the story of this article and how resilience came to the surface in our conversation.  Do the same.

If you are a father on this Father’s Day weekend, look at things that you are doing, could be doing, and should be doing to mold the children in your life.  It does not matter if they are one, 16 or 40; you have an influence on them and use it for good things.

If your father is in a family business with you or your children are in a business with you; express your thanks for being able to work together, learn together and remain a quality family – all at the same time.  Express your desire to be able to continue to do all these things, simultaneously and successfully going forward.  Share a moment of appreciation of how darn cool it is to be able to work with family!

Remember, leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less.  Use yours wisely!

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Kottke Trucking, Inc.