Family and being true to yourself are key to Alicia Yandell Hamilton.
Yandell Truckaway is not what someone might think of a trucking company.
“We are innovative, technologically based, but we remain true to our values from 1945,” she said. “Safety and service.”
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: Worked in high tech sales in San Francisco after graduating college, started as a shipping and receiving clerk at our warehouse in Benicia in 2006.
EDUCATION: B.S., agribusiness, California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo, 2005. Minor in wine and viticulture.
I have worked for my family business since the summer after I graduated eighth grade. In the back of my mind, I always knew I would end up working for the family business. Upon graduating college and at my dad’s request, I went and worked for a high tech firm, after a year there and not having any kind of passion for the work, I came “home.”
In September of this year, I will have been with the company for 10 years as a full-time employee.
MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE PAST YEAR OR SO
Over the past year and a half, we have made quite a few investments to take our company into the future. We purchased state of the art trucks, adopted a new Transportation Management System, created a mobile application to communicate with our drivers, and opened our first centralized headquarters. I think the main accomplishment is that we are not what the general public would think of as a trucking company, we are innovative, technologically based, but we remain true to our values from 1945 — safety and service.
WHAT IS THE ACHIEVEMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
My main achievement is having happy employees. I will always say that our greatest asset as a company is the people that we hire and retain. I can honestly look around our office and know that the people working for Yandell Truckaway and SC Warehouses are happy to be there. We recently lost a long term employee to cancer. He was with us for 20 years and since he was 19 years old, the way that his fellow colleagues rallied to support him and ultimately celebrate his untimely death was another reassurance that we have truly created a family amongst our employees. That is an achievement I am very proud of.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE TODAY?
I think that being in business in California is a challenge. We are a state unique and unlike any other. Our laws and regulations have created a unique business atmosphere. Many of our customers have left California in search of “greener pastures;” however, we do not have that luxury, so it is a matter of accepting these business challenges and working with them so that we can remain in accordance with the law, but also stay competitive.
WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOU: I would hope that anyone who knows me would describe me as a passionate person, whether it be my family, my job, my friends, or my beloved Golden State Warriors, I am passionate.
AS A SUCCESSFUL FEMALE PROFESSIONAL, WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES YOU FACED AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I work in a very male dominated industry. Trucking and warehousing is probably not one of the top career choices of little girls, so I am unique in my own right being a woman. Often times I do not think that I am taken seriously because of my gender; which is a stigma many women battle; however, being in an industry that is so male driven can oftentimes be challenging. I think that remaining true to who I am and not succumbing to stereotypes is important. Regardless of my gender, I am well educated in my field and can speak intelligently, having that confidence in my background has definitely propelled me to where I am today.
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR PROFESSION WILL CHANGE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
It is important to me to educate other women about the trucking and warehousing industries. Jobs in our industry are not limited to truck driving… you can be an accountant, lawyer, sales person. The list is endless. I hope more young women follow me into our industry and in order to do so they need to be made aware of the opportunities.
WHO WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MENTOR?
My dad. No question. He is the hardest working individual that I know and it has been a joy, a pleasure, and an honor to work beside him for the past ten years. Not only is he a successful businessman but he has also been the most incredible father to myself and my two siblings. He has taught me how to see the bigger picture in life and not get caught up in the everyday minutia.
In addition, he has taught me that having morality is more important than money at the end of the day. It is our collective belief to be honest and fair in business. I think this is the greatest lesson he has taught me.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG WOMAN ENTERING YOUR PROFESSION OR THE WORK WORLD TODAY?
I think that being confident in yourself and being steadfast in your beliefs is paramount. I think that with social media, the instant gratification of having everything right now can cause younger people today to lose sight in what is truly important at the end of the day. If you can stay true to who you are and not get caught up in what is going on around you is vital. Surround yourself with people who build you up and let you be yourself.
MOST ADMIRED BUSINESSPERSON OUTSIDE YOUR ORGANIZATION: I have had the opportunity to work with Sharon Ruebens, our CPA, for the past few years, and as a woman she has truly inspired me. Not only does she have a successful practice, but she also has balance in her life. She has a family, is able to travel, and exercises.
Exercising may seem like a funny answer, but I feel like in order to have a sound mind, you need to have a sound body. Sharon has demonstrated to me what it is to be successful but also have balance.
TYPICAL DAY AT THE OFFICE: One of the things I love most about my job is that every day is different. There is no typical day or routine as the needs and wants of our company are ever changing and my schedule changes due to demand. The one thing that is constant regardless of the day is my morning phone call to my dad to check in and see what we have on the docket for the day.
BEST PLACE TO WORK OUTSIDE OF YOUR OFFICE: The gym at 5:00 am. I can read my emails and prep for what is ahead of me for the day.
CURRENT READING: Books on how to raise a toddler. I have a 2-year-old son and another baby boy on the way. Any outside reading that I do pertains to them.
MOST WANT TO MEET: Kate Middleton.
SOCIAL MEDIA YOU MOST USE: Instagram. I follow a lot of beautiful travel sites. The stream of pictures on Instagram are overall positive. I also don’t find Instagram filled with as much “noise” as Facebook.
STRESS-RELIEVERS: Working out. Working out has and always will be my number one and really only stress relief.
FAVORITE HOBBIES: Spending time with my family.