North Bay Business Journal asked 2019 Women in Business Awards winner Andrea Biagi Bailey to fill us in on her background, responsibilities and community involvement, and insights into what makes her a notable professional in the region.
Professional background: Transportation Manager (Can Division), Warehouse Manager (Can Division & Napa Wine), Sales Manager (US)
Education: CSU Chico, bachelor of science in health science, minor is business administration.
Staff: 10 direct reports
Tell us about yourself and your company: Biagi Bros is a family-owned and operated nationwide logistics company. We have 30 locations in 13 states providing transportation and warehousing. When I started at Biagi, full time in 1995 we had five locations in four states.
I’m honored to have been afforded the opportunity to work with my family over the past 25 years, continuing what my father and uncle started 30+ years ago, helping to grow the business into what it is today and to continue working towards future growth and success.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
None of my accomplishments are mine alone. But negotiating five service contracts in five separate locations with the same customer for additional five-year term totaling approx. $150 million in revenue was a major accomplishment which I lead.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Being a part of a successful multi-generational business. I do not take credit for this alone but certainly something I am proud of.
What is your biggest challenge today?
Keeping the family feel of our business as we continue to grow.
As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
Being a woman in a male-dominated industry. Like most women, I faced being the only woman in a meeting, at a conference table etc… But it didn’t and does not discourage me or make me bitter. I’ve learned to navigate the male infested waters without being label a bitch. I’ve spent years listening (not always needing to talk), and carefully choosing my battles (not allowing emotions to decide). And as a result I hope I’m respected by my male peers.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?
I think there will be more women in logistics. In the last 25 years I have seen more and more women in my industry. And not just at my level. When I started 25 years ago we had zero female forklift drivers at Biagi. Today 14% of our forklift drivers are female. Change is good!
Who was your most important mentor?
Janis Stradley, VP of Logistics Constellation Brands – Beer Div (retired).
When I was a warehouse manager in LA in 1995 Janis was my customer. There were some service issues and during the course of our meeting I was so upset I cried. At 23 years old I didn’t understand business relationships. And could not understand why this fellow woman (my “sister” in business) was criticizing me.
Over the next 20 years I learned so much from her. Work hard play/hard is my favorite lesson but the most important lesson she taught me is that you can foster some amazing friendships in your career but business is business…its okay to be emotional but never let them see you cry.