President’s Message

Anne Reinke

COVID-19 CHANGED HOW we work, live, go to school, travel, and enjoy family and friends. Some of these changes will be temporary (please, no more “Zoom” high school reunions), and some perhaps permanently (no more day-long travel for a one-hour meeting). You all have had business disruptions, times where you were holding on by your fingernails, and personal impacts due to this epidemic.

One of the many things that COVID-19 disrupted at TIA was the Leadership Academy. A brainchild in 2019, the Leadership Academy’s mission was to provide an “Executive MBA” style of education to those brokers and 3PL professionals who were mid-level in their career and had significant potential to grow into a leader in the broker/3PL space.

The Leadership Academy “beta group” started as an in-person program, where those participants came together to establish connections that ultimately could lead them to be the next generation of TIA Board Representatives and exemplars in the industry. The program ended as a virtual program, which, while certainly an acceptable substitute, did not provide as much of an opportunity for meaningful relationship-building.

“Having the ability to relate to and share ideas with other industry professionals who experience similar challenges in their roles is extremely valuable in my desire to continue my growth as a leader and a manager,” said Mark Fiorini, CTB, President of Westgate Global Logistics and a participant in the Leadership Academy beta cohort. Further emphasizing how rewarding the relationships were, he noted, “I intend to maintain these friendships for a long time. I am thankful to have met everyone in the group.”

We have reached a new stage of COVID-19 where the epidemic is becoming endemic, where vaccinations are increasing, and while “Zero COVID” will likely never be in our future, and new strains may cause concern, we are mostly leading a more open life. We have been given the gift of time to understand, in this case, how to re-start the Leadership Academy so that it achieves its mission.

Starting this month, we will be enrolling the second cohort of the Leadership Academy, and the intent will be to meet in person in September, November, and January. Designed specifically for current and future managers who work as freight brokers, the TIA Leadership Academy includes three, three-day classroom sessions over five months held at TIA headquarters in Alexandria, VA. In addition to the in-person sessions—lead by industry-leading subject matter experts—the TIA Leadership Academy also includes online distance learning in each subject area coupled with hands-on practical applications.

The ideal candidate for the Leadership Academy would be up-and-coming leaders within their organization, who are highly motivated, team players, and focused on continuing their growth and development. Our members’ best traits are their entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm for continuous improvement. The Leadership Academy provides training and resources for those industry stand-outs and adds to their professional skillset.

We hope you will look at this Leadership Academy re-boot and consider it a development opportunity for someone on your team. Of course, any questions you have, please don’t hesitate to ask me or Cindy Amos and Jonathan Baker on our Education team.

Finally, as we head toward membership renewal season, we again want to thank you for your continued support of TIA. This year we saw a remarkable number of new members, more than 200. They joined because of the value they saw in what we provided and the relationships they have with current members like you who speak to the benefits of TIA membership. Thank you for your contributions, advocacy, and industry firepower – you all make the difference.