Yesterday was retirement day for Yvonne Duff, who has been involved with CalArk sales/marketing department for well over 20 years.
Jim Moore, CalArk’s VP of Sales and Marketing, says there’s “no way to determine the revenue she has been directly or indirectly responsible for” but that “she’s been responsible for much of our success and growth over the years.”
Jim didn’t believe that was the best of her characteristics, though, adding that “she should be most proud of the way she has carried herself. Her work ethic, honesty, and integrity have been exemplary! She’s had a great attitude with every task and project presented to her.”
Rick Richards echoed that sentiment. “Anyone who knows her well will tell you she is as sweet, kind, and as good hearted as anyone we will ever meet, and more importantly a faithful and devoted Christian.”
Mary Cundiff, who originally hired Yvonne to help set up CalArk’s telemarketing for our sales department, is a long-time friend of hers. She says that when others might curse over stress, Yvonne prays, that when some might see the bad, Yvonne “always notices something good in people.”
Everyone who worked with Yvonne has a fun story to share, including one Rick tells about her accidentally trapping two friends from Maybelline in Mary’s car for a minute when they left the child locks engaged on their way into a restaurant. Mary relates a hair-raising trip to New York City that involved driving directly into the one part of town they’d been told to avoid. They then accidentally charmed a parking attendant into keeping an eye on the luggage in their car when they were hurrying to a meeting and told him that in Arkansas it wasn’t necessary to hide bags when one’s doors are locked.
Her friends and coworkers at CalArk hate to see Yvonne go, but everyone wishes her all possible enjoyment of this newest life chapter (and occasional visits when the mood strikes her). Thank you for being part of the CalArk family, Yvonne!
Wreaths Across America is a charity that delivers Christmas wreaths to the graves of veterans across the nation. CalArk is honored to participate by providing a truck that delivers to the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, Alabama.
Alexis Pohl, whose 22-year anniversary as a driver for CalArk is today, and her husband and passenger Liam, have a combined 35.5 years of military service between them. As they have in previous years, they came to our Little Rock headquarters to pick up an empty truck and drove to Richland, Mississippi to load up with 551 boxes of Christmas wreaths.
The next morning, about 120 miles later, they arrived at an Alabama Welcome Center on I-20, where they met up with their motorcycle escorts for the day. The Patriot Guard often escort military funeral processions and were joined at the meeting point by American Legion riders.
From there, our drivers and their support drove 140 miles in the 42°F cold to reach the cemetery, where volunteers including veterans, current military service members, and family members met them to unload the boxes of 5-6 wreaths each.
Alexis and Liam provided coffee for the severely chilled bikers while the volunteers distributed the wreaths throughout the cemetery, then headed back toward home feeling, as Liam said, that it was “an honor to recognize those who hadn’t come back home after their service.”
CalArk is proud to have such dedicated employees and to participate in a program this holiday season that recognizes those who gave all.
Santa stopped by CalArk headquarters in Little Rock on Friday to take gift requests from employees’ kids and ask them some pointed questions about their behavior over the year.
While you’d think he’d be too busy for visits to his favorite logistics company this time of year, he’s no procrastinator and has spent all year preparing for his Christmas Eve last-mile deliveries. It makes meeting his deadline in style a breeze.
Like Santa, at CalArk we pride ourselves on being ready for major events ahead of time. That’s why we follow mandates like today’s ELD requirement long before the last minute. CalArk began using ELDs in our trucks over five years ago to increase compliance and strengthen our operational model.
Because we got a jump start on today’s mandate, our operations team hasn’t been scrambling to find the right solution but has developed and improved programs that make the best use of time on the road. Our fantastic drivers stepped up to the challenge of learning the new system, working with operations to discover issues and establish processes that ensure strong performance.
This is great news for our drivers, who can achieve more, have increased their time management skills, and are now expert old hands at using technology still new to many in the industry. It’s also great news for our customers, who benefit from improved productivity, reliability, and up-to-date information.
Not surprisingly, our efforts improved compliance with the FMCSA BASIC measuring our Hours of Service, with incidents decreasing by a whopping 40% in the last five years. That means safer drivers and a better reputation for CalArk, leading to more business and further opportunities for employees.
Preparing early means looming deadlines like today’s ELD mandate represent pride for our operations team and drivers instead of panic. We’re not saying Santa suggested the idea of early implementation, but when he borrowed a truck, he definitely approved.
On the off-chance that you need to bank some good deeds to make it onto Santa's nice list (or if you just like helping others during the holidays), why not participate in our Red Cross blood drive right before Santa arrives?
It only hurts for a second, then you get the warm contentment of knowing you've made an enormous difference in someone's life. Or made a place on the nice list. We don't judge. Just come by the big room at CalArk between 10am and 2pm.
By this time of year, Santa Claus has offloaded most of his management responsibilities to particularly responsible elves so he can make public appearances and take gift requests from children who have been behaving themselves since at least Halloween.
At CalArk, we're in luck! In solidarity for those who deliver gifts on trucks instead of sleighs, he's agreed to visit us on December 15th from three to five pm. It turns out Santa appreciates better than anyone how much work and organization go into freight shipping and logistics. His warehouse isn't quite as big as our 650K square feet, but it's close. To be fair, he has a lot of space-saving magic, but who are we to quibble about whose warehouse is better?
Bring your kids and get pictures!
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