Culture and Communication: Thoughts from the Next Generation of the #CreteFam

Look around the Lincoln headquarters—and at terminals throughout the country—and you’ll see people with a wide range of ages and experiences. Recently radio host Mark Willis featured Crete Carrier on his “Three under 30” special on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Trucking. Asset Manager Ashley Hagerbaumer, Recruiter Katie Worley, and Customer Development Leader Joey Jones shared their perspective as “under 30” members of the #CreteFam. Crete Carrier President and COO Tim Aschoff joined them for the program.

Throughout the program the themes of a family culture at Crete Carrier and the importance of communication with drivers and colleagues emerged.

Katie came to Crete Carrier in part because of a literal family connection. Her grandfather knew Duane Acklie.

“Once he showed me and explained to me some of the family aspects of the company…I was sold,” said Katie.

When Joey graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan he was looking for an opportunity to grow with an established nationwide company close to home.

“I felt it was really important to find that family aspect,” said Joey. He liked the fact that company leaders are down-to-earth people who you might see having lunch in the company cafeteria. “I thought that was really cool when I first started. That was one of the things that really drew me was that real community you get from a Nebraska business that you might not get somewhere else.”

Ashley started her career in banking, but when she was looking for a change a friend steered her to Crete Carrier. She says her banking experience helped her transition to her role as an asset manager.

“Having to communicate with people in banking is important. Building that relationship, having people trust you with their money,” said Ashley. “Being able to transfer those skills to my job as an asset manager has been a lot easier than I had anticipated because I’m good with people. Just letting them know I care, and having that relationship, helps.”

Ashley says being an asset manager can be stressful, “But it’s a good kind of stress.” She likes taking on new challenges for her drivers every day. “My whole goal is to make your life (as a driver) as easy as possible. Make sure you’re on time, make sure you’re productive, and make sure you get home on time.”

As a recruiter, Katie likes being the first point of contact for a driver considering Crete, Shaffer or Hunt. And she wants those drivers to have all the facts they need to make a decision. “We want them to feel 100 percent confident with this career choice,” said Katie. Staying in contact with drivers and building a relationship over time important to her. “It doesn’t need to be a rushed process. Just be patient, take your time. Make sure everyone’s comfortable from the beginning to the end of the process.”

Joey has been with Crete Carrier for more than 4 years, and held several positions before moving into his current role. He sees a lot of opportunities for young people getting started or looking for a change.

“There are plenty of things for people to do…operations, driving, customer relations, sales, marketing. We’re just like any other business. We have a lot of different places for someone to get into and see what really works (for them),” said Joey.

Communication has been important for Joey in all his roles. In his current position he doesn’t have a lot of direct contact with drivers, but says a recent call from driver Jeff Barker illustrates why it’s important to always keep those channels open. “We had a great conversation about what we can do in the office to help them out. He called something out that we’re now looking at from a larger perspective. It’s those kinds of instances where we can all learn from each other and continue to push forward.”

Take a few minutes to listen to more from the “Three under 30” segment on our Soundcloud page.