NU Alumnus Featured in Mohawk Global Logistics Newsletter

November 13, 2013  |  by Lauren Agnello

(L to R): Tom Troia, Chris Lindstrand, and Kelsey Polanski.

Chris Lindstrand, a 2010 graduate of Niagara University’s supply chain management program, was featured in the Mohawk Global Logistics summer/fall 2013 employee newsletter. Below is the information on Lindstrand as it appears in the newsletter.

Chris Lindstrand was born 25 years ago in Queensbury, N.Y.

Queensbury is in the eastern portion of NY, so I decided to go west to Niagara University for a complete change. At first I was double majoring in History and Accounting. One day a man named Dr. Kling, who was head of the Logistics Dept. at Niagara, did a presentation on, of all things, a simple ketchup bottle. He talked about everything from how the bottle was made, the cap, the plastic itself, the ingredients in the ketchup, how it got transported to store, etc. He then asked us to imagine a whole grocery store full of items and how they got there. Someone had to manage and arrange the movement of these items, and it cost a lot of money to do so. it was so interesting to me that right then and there I decided to switch my major to Supply Chain Management.

Dr. Kling started a program of undergraduate study for about 10 of us. We dug in deeper learning about supply chain. He then had us go into the workforce to sit side by side with knowledgeable people in the industry. Through Dr. Kling’s networking, my mentor at that time was Chris Cuddy of Mohawk Global Logistics. I drove to the Syracuse office to meet with Chris. He taught me so much! I came back with the best experience out of the whole group. Dr. Kling said it was exactly the experience that he had envisioned.

Chris and I stayed in touch and right after graduation I sent my resume to Mohawk and Sherie Cuddy called me for an interview. It turned out it just wasn’t “my time” yet with Mohawk. Shortly after, another position opened up and I interview with Sherie and Gerry McDevitt for Import Coordinator. This time I got the job, and Carla Holmes became my mentor on air freight. Carla was a great teacher! I learned so much about customer service, empathy, respect, caring, and particularly how to communicate. I then got involved in the transportation end of things with Carla. Then it was time for the Buffalo office to open up, and Carla, being from Buffalo, relocated there. This left me to take over all Rochester Transportation and Brokerage that she and I were handling.

Greg Manciocchi then left Rochester to move to Chicago. I applied for Greg’s position as Import Supervisor. It wasn’t yet “my time” again, as the job went to Noah Racich. If anyone was going to get the job besides me, I was glad to see it was Noah! With Noah’s departure, from Syracuse to move back to Rochester, it never crossed my mind that he had now left an open position there. Sherie recommended me to replace Noah in Syracuse. I was contacted by Syracuse and Jeff Parker but wasn’t really sold on the idea of moving to Syracuse. I didn’t know anyone there, I liked Rochester, but in the end I realized it was too great an opportunity to pass up.

I started in Syracuse in October and had the worst first week. I moved in at 10:00pm on a Sunday and was done unpacking at 1 a.m. on Monday. Two days later I was off to Buffalo to take my Customs Broker Exam with very little time to prep for it. (Chris passed the Broker’s exam in October). It was an interesting first week. I found I took to Syracuse right away! I love the people I work with and the clients can be challenging, but for me it’s a new challenge. I’m now dealing with ocean freight for the first time. It’s all very exciting.

In March, Natalie Kersey, our Import Manager at the time, announced that she would be leaving Mohawk. I was approached by Natalie and Jeff Parker about promoting to Import Manager. Everything was happening quickly, but I thought of it as just another challenge. Then recently, Don Quinn, Syracuse’s General Manager, came on board. He has been a huge help to me in my new role! I have so much yet to learn and it’s been a whirlwind, but I’m up for it and look forward to all the challenges and new experiences with Mohawk. I’m thankful everyone’s sharing and mentoring.

Interview by Cindy Sardella, corporate manager of HR at Mohawk Global Logistics.