Vol. 11 No. 6                                                                                                                   Monday January 23, 2012

Women Of Swiss World Cargo

Women leaders at Swiss WorldCargo (left to right)—Lisa Doo, Manager Beijing; Maria Campanella, Senior Marketing Communication Executive; Silvia Cappelli, Senior PR & Online Communication Executive; Annette Kreuziger, Senior Manager, Head of Marketing; Julia Dellinger, Manager Business Intelligence; Christine Barden, Senior Manager, Head of Transportation Processes and Lalin Sabuncuoglu-Janssen, Managing Director, Head of Market Europe.

   The great chef Julia Child defined “swish” as informal; posh—"a swish pastry shop on the Rue du Bac," she once wrote.
   There are other meanings for that slang word, but the lady who acted as Julia in a movie and now as Margaret Thatcher in a new film (she is nominated for yet another Academy Award for her portrayal in Iron Lady), Meryl Streep, once walked up to us and asked “How is my Swish?”
    The Grand Dame was wondering about Geoffrey II, who acted with her in a stage rendition of Mother Courage & Her Children.
    Geoffrey II played the character “Swiss Cheese” in Tony Kushner’s stage version of the Berthold Brecht anti-war masterpiece a couple years back.
    So now, "Swish" is also an endearment, unless you want to argue with Meryl Streep.

      Fast forward to last month in Zurich.
      Here I am in the cafeteria at Swiss WorldCargo Headquarters with these lovely women; they are a vital part of a team effort to market an effective global air freight operation, an operation that is consistently rated among the best, most admired in the world and always seems to turn a profit.
      “Pretty Swish” I am thinking, as silk rustles about the room and we meet for a straight-from-the-heart air cargo throw down—a tell-it-like-it-is four square.
      Some Q&A before our buffet luncheon reveals that these ladies are both in the moment and well equipped to continue building their success in business and the fortunes of Swiss WorldCargo.
      Also beneath the gracious welcome and hopeful comments, there is some rock hard seriousness.
      This is a determined bunch, brought together and developed as part of a cohesive working team that herald from all over the globe.
      They are smart and beautiful and are very quick to say that a woman’s rise to the top is based on merit and an even playing field, and not driven by what are generally viewed as self limiting quotas.
      Julia Dellinger, Manager Business Intelligence, is one smart cookie.
      “Air cargo is quite a complex and interesting industry, but to me that is what makes working here exciting,” says Julia Dellinger.
      “No two days are the same as we go about the business of delivering solutions to a myriad of shipping challenges.
      “What really stands out for me is that, by and large, the people in the air cargo business are a real pleasure to work with.”
      “I also enjoy spending some time in the cargo warehouse occasionally,“ Julia Dellinger smiles.
      Ask Annette Kreuziger, Senior Manager, Head of Marketing, what attracts her to air cargo and right away she says “the education you receive and friends you make and see again and again at industry events such as Transport Logistic.” (Held in Munich, Germany every other year-next in 2013)
      “Air cargo is very much a people business, with many frank and open individuals.
      “Often the feeling is that I am part of a big logistics family.
      “To me, logistics is both interesting and challenging.
      “I have recommended to everybody, including my colleagues in the passenger side of the airline, to get into air cargo,” says Ms. Kreuziger.
      Lisa Doo, Manager Beijing, has just joined the cargo team this day in Zurich, but to hear her speak she may as well have been there for years.
      “I am the first in my family to go into the air cargo business.
      “After graduation from college I decided to go into logistics.
      “At that time I did not have the whole picture of logistics, so I took a job at a forwarding company.
      “Step by step I gained experience in the business, serving also as a GSA before joining Swiss WorldCargo.
      “The move from the forwarder side to the airline business was easy and natural for me.
      “If there is one thing that I have learned during my ten years, it is that there must be great attention paid to teamwork between all parties.
      “I am especially fond of the fact that even though I may not have regular face to face encounters with our customers, the overall spirit of cooperation and trust has been built up through many experiences in the process.
      “We feel that by working together with people in other lands, we are helping each other and from that solid foundation, real friendships are built,” Lisa concludes.
      There is no question that when it is about building bridges of understanding in China for Swiss WorldCargo, Lisa Doo does it.
      Christine Barden, Senior Manager, Head of Transportation Processes, manages to balance the rearing of a newborn baby with a soaring career, thank you very much.
      And her take on the everyday experience of her role of building the Swiss WorldCargo franchise is delightful.
      “It’s quite nice, actually, to be a woman in air cargo today.
      “You have to be up to the task, professional and with a total grasp on what you are about.
      “But often there is a cordiality in how business is conducted that is quite pleasant, especially in the way men greet us and increasingly listen to what we have to say.
      “I am often in meetings where everyone else is wearing a black suit, but that is also changing in 2011.
      “Air cargo that operates six miles up is really very down to earth, and as everyone else here has said, the industry is by and large a people business.
      “Air cargo has little of the shine, glitz and glamour of the passenger business, but in dealing with people who are pragmatic and also know what they are doing, it is quite attractive to me.
      “I can say having just given birth seven months ago to a beautiful baby daughter, I would tell her that working in air cargo logistics is a great career.
      “I am fortunate enough to have been working with a couple of female interns who also like the business, so I can also suppose that female numbers in the industry will continue their upward trend in the coming years.
      “The secret of just how rewarding the air cargo experience can be should be heard by women everywhere,” said Christine.
      Silvia Cappelli, Senior PR & Online Communications Executive, has overseen the emergence of SwissWorld Cargo on the Internet as a dynamic and forward thinking resource.
      “Logistics was actually not in my plans at all.
      “Just like many things in life, I got into air cargo by chance.
      “Firstly, I never thought I would be fascinated by this industry because by reputation or fiction, air cargo logistics is known as a ‘tough guy’ business, which is the exact opposite of where I would fit.
      “But then as logistics opened up to me, the industry revealed itself to be about all the basics in life: transportation, the world, and of course some really great and constantly interesting people,” said Ms. Cappelli.
      Lalin Sabuncuoglu-Janssen is one of five cargo division heads and as Managing Director Head of Market Europe, she is also a recent convert to air cargo.
      Lalin, who hails from Turkey, is glad she made the move.
      “I joined the air cargo logistics business one year ago after spending 21 years in the airline passenger business.
      “I wanted to stay in an international business and was curious about air cargo logistics, but really had no clue about it.
      “I always teased Oliver (Oliver Evans, SWC Managing Director) that the Swiss WorldCargo team is like a tribe that travels, eats and always seems to do everything together.
      “So naturally I wondered if it would be tough to become part of this family, but I quickly discovered it was easy.
      “Today I agree with a colleague who said of air cargo logistics: ‘You either will run away from it within three months or you will continue for a lifetime.’
      “Well, I am still here, having decided the direct, innovative and, as said here, people-driven aspect of the industry is quite attractive.
      “People get to the point, make quick decisions and implement their ideas rather than sitting on them, and of course this is also an international business that to me is quite appealing.
      “In air cargo logistics here, you work for an airline, have a great amount of freedom and are connected to the entire world.
“But lets face it, the experience of being a woman in air cargo is not without some surprise.
      “At TIACA one supplier stood in front of me and declared, ‘It’s a man’s world!’
      “So of course I told him straightaway: ‘I don’t care!’
      “His reaction in stopping that line of thought, at least in our conversation, confirms to me at least that standing up for your beliefs can be educational.
      “Change comes slowly, but women are increasingly part of the air cargo logistics business worldwide.
      “Quite often now I am dealing with other women on global accounts at big international shipping companies who are my opposite number.
      “Even the warehouse, which is by most counts a male bastion, has opened up.
      “My belief is to get into the warehouse where the shipments move when I make calls.
      “Everything is opening up to us and that can only make the industry better,” concluded Lalin.
      Maria Campanella, Senior Marketing Communications Executive, is a familiar face at every major world cargo event that Swiss attends, as it is her task to make sure the show goes on when it comes to exhibitions.
      “Actually, my first choice was not air cargo logistics, but rather marketing.
      “But the marketing choices here a dozen years ago were air cargo or look for another job, so I joined and today am glad to say everything has worked out quite well.
      “Indeed, I am still here, able to do every aspect of marketing for the Swiss WorldCargo global product, including Internet, brochures, and trade shows.
      “We handle the entire package from top to bottom and that, as it turns out, has been an advantage all around,” said Maria.
      Asked what can a woman do in air cargo that a man cannot, Maria says instantly:
      “We are woman and we know what men want.”
      As she speaks and everyone laughs, she looks at Oliver Evans, so following that lead we invite the boss to have the last word:
      “As a global Swiss company, we need to make use of all of our resources, including speaking the languages and understanding the cultures of the world.
      “That means having our doors open to everyone equally, and by last count roughly 50 percent of the talent in the world are women.
      “So we will continue to seek out people of particular talent and drive from all cultures, and as mentioned that will mean an even greater role for women at Swiss WorldCargo.”
     There's another definition for 'swish' which has more to do with the onomatopoetic virtues inherent in the word—swish can be the rustling of soft fabric moving against itself, or an object rapidly passing another, or, most appropriately, the sound of a basketball passing through a hoop unimpinged. FlyingTypers thinks this last definition best describes Swiss' mounting success stories—one perfect shot after the next.



Here from The New Yorker a photo taken by Brigette LaCombe captures Mutter Meryl Streep (hand-up) on our son Geoffrey Arend II with Fredrick Weller and Alexandria Wailes.


     History is alive on the walls of Lambert St. Louis International Airport, as some murals have been restored that trace African American airmen who trained at the Tuskegee Institute and soared into combat to help the U.S. win air battles during World War II.
     “Black Americans in Flight” was painted by St. Louis artists Spencer Taylor and Solomon Thurman to highlight the contributions of African American achievements in aviation from 1917 to the space age.
     The Tuskegee Airmen are prominently featured in the mural, which features 75 portraits including Eugene Jacque Bullard, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr, Clarence “Lucky” Lester, and Wendell Pruitt, a St. Louis pilot who received a Distinguished Flying Cross after downing three planes and sinking a destroyer.
     Supporters of black aviators are also featured, including Eleanor Roosevelt and President Harry S. Truman.
     “Black Americans in Flight” was recently cleaned and restored in its original location in the Terminal 1 Bag Claim. Lambert has also unveiled extensive renovations around the 51-foot mural to enhance its visibility, with a new waiting area that is located directly across from a major concourse exit for arriving passengers.
     Lambert will hold a formal rededication for “Black Americans in Flight” on February 16 during Black History Month.
     Stay tuned . . .


Get On Board Air Cargo News FlyingTypers
For A Free Subscription
Click Here To Subscribe


Kung Hei Fat Choy—Year of the Dragon
     It is apparent to almost anyone traveling on business that there isn’t enough time to enjoy authentic local scenery.
     Dinner that hasn’t been worked into the business schedule becomes an after-thought, a quick twelve-dollar burger served on a tray with a moist towelette in some forgotten hotel room.
     We are so quick to let business travel spoil the excitement that comes with going to a new place. The town you’ve been zipping through for the past couple of days could be the grist for your memory’s mill, and sometimes culture shock can be cathartic.
     At the very least, a side step journey into town can afford a little life experience and a few polite conversations with the locals.
     I recall a Sunday alone at the downtown Mandarin Hotel in Taipei, right near Nanking Road. The Mandarin is a crew hotel. Pilots and cabin crew have a reputation of being tight with a buck.
     Most pilots like to maintain a fairly high profile life style, while cabin crew never has any money. Sometimes I think cabin crew invented stew. They always seem to be planning potluck dinners.
     The old joke: “Hey, this food tastes different. Did somebody wash my bowl or something?” barely affords a chuckle from these chowhounds.
     The Taipei Mandarin is always a good buy. The place is clean, if a bit faded. The restaurant, which serves Chinese and American breakfast around the clock, is always a good bet.
     The Mandarin is also equipped with a staff of husbands and wives who seem to live and tend to individual floors.
     You can be sure a staff member will see you to your door following check-in, and don’t be surprised when your arrival is heralded with hot tea and cookies.
     Once I stumbled into my room after a 19-hour flight and dived straight into the shower, only to discover my disheveled heap of clothes had been neatly pressed and hung.
     Lots of ex-patriot fliers and business types stay at the Mandarin.
     Anytime, day or night, Sky King is meeting under the gaze of Terry and the Pirates and Smilin’ Jack, all comic book heroes of 1930-40’s aviation.
     After arriving late one Saturday and working all of the next day on a story, I decided it was time to get out.      The T.V. was rattling on in Chinese and English alternatively, about some sporting event that no longer held my interest. I decided to take a walk to find something to eat and maybe pick up some bottled water.
     It was drizzling lightly, a warm, early spring evening. Sundays anywhere are the same.
     It doesn’t really matter where you are in the world. There will be more places open on the day after the apocalypse than on any given Sunday.
     I stopped at a small restaurant that looked busy. Business in a restaurant is a good sign in any country. The first thing I noticed was how the place smelled.
     This joint smelled great.
     A couple of beers and a plate of fried rice later, I left my small side table completely satisfied.
     Around the corner from the restaurant I found a group of people laughing and joking in the staccato tics of quick and easy Chinese conversation. For a moment I thought that I had missed the place the cool crowd supped. I felt a need to get the name and address of said cool place so that I could return at a later time. I began to make my way to the group.
     It was then that a familiar sign struck me, a sign emblematic of gaudy, tacky Americana: the flashing red and white striped logo of T.G.I. Fridays. I laughed, and wondered if my joke was funnier than the joke shared by the cool crowd. I had not come halfway around the world to eat burgers and fairy food.
     Now, whenever it’s time to hit the road again, I think of that damp Sunday in Taipei. It reminds me to get out and experience more of the local scene.
     I always wonder about people who come to New York from other parts of the world insisting that the best restaurants are in Manhattan, simply because they’ve read that somewhere.
     Let’s set the record straight.
     Any stiff can read a review and fork over a lot of cash.
     The idea is to get out, get fed, have some fun and not get stuck paying through the teeth.
     Try something new, even if it’s in small amounts.
     Live a little.
     You may not pass this way again.
     The Chinese food being served up near our offices at LaGuardia Airport in Flushing, New York City is incredible, and you can basically eat until your hands get tired for just a couple of bucks.
     I would go so far as to say that several of the places in Flushing are better than the majority of restaurants in Manhattan and, I dare say, in Taipei as well.
     Since this is the season to celebrate Chinese New Year, and New York is a great city for Chinese food, here are some tips for where to go the next time you land at JFK or LaGuardia Airport. These restaurants are just a short cab or bus ride from the airport hotels.
     If you are dining alone you may feel funny about it. Get a prop. A book or magazine is fine, but if you’re really dexterous bring your Palm to fiddle with while you wait for your meal. Look up every now and again to check the scene out. Maybe you will find yourself talking to a complete stranger, maybe it will just be time spent following the pattern in the wallpaper. Regardless, you will leave yourself open to the environment without being bored.
     Just remember, like any good scout, you must be prepared, in every sense. You may think you have everything covered, what with your magazine and your Palm, but always be ready when the host asks you if you might consider sitting at a table with other diners to make more room. Anything can and will happen.
     Chinese restaurants in New York have lots of big, round tables. If a restaurant starts filling up with loners, couples and small families, it is not unusual to find strangers sitting together at a table. It works great when you’re alone and it’s busy because almost everyone gets seated right away. And you get an easy, insider look into the different lives inhabiting the city. Plus, if you just had a tough day in business there is nothing better than the anonymity of a table full of merciful strangers.
     Chinese restaurants always bring a pot of tea and a menu, giving the diner a relaxing couple of minutes to check things out.
     Family style dining is an easy and appropriate meal at any Chinese restaurant in New York. It always feels like going back to summer camp and sitting at a table with a variety of choice meal items. If you’re sitting at a table with a meal already in progress it’s like seeing the Lotto numbers before they are run. If you observe your new best friend and fellow diner coveting your Bok Choy, don’t be afraid to tell him how it tastes. Sharing what is good is always a great icebreaker.
     Here are a few places worth remembering:
     Joe’s Shanghai. 136-21 37 Ave. Flushing NY 11354 (718) 539-4429 www.joesshanghai.com
www.joesshanghai.comLocated smack-dab in the middle of the ‘New Chinatown’ in Flushing, Queens, Joe’s Shanghai has been hailed as a real treasure of the area. On balance this is the best Chinese restaurant in New York. Less formal and more family oriented, Joe’s features steamed buns of pork or crab. They are served a dozen to an order inside wicker baskets. There are those who duck in simply to partake in that delicious delicacy. Joe’s also serves delicious Shanghai fried rice, a lightly turned and simply prepared dish with small bits of scallion and egg. Scallion pancakes are an excellent accompaniment to any meal at Joe’s. Joe’s is constantly rated in the top ten New York Chinese eateries and serves until 11 p.m. weekdays and midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Just around the corner from Joe’s is C&J Restaurant.
     C&J Restaurant, 136-14 38th Ave., (718) 353-3366.
     C&J Restaurant is a great choice for business meetings and full-service presentations with all the trimmings. Half a block away is Homefood, at 38-05 Main Street, a narrow and deep place with cooked ducks hanging in the front window. The foods is very good, quite plentiful, and dirt-cheap. Luncheons are all you can hope for at less than five bucks.
     Another aspect to enjoying Chinese food is Dim Sum. Dim Sum is served almost everywhere, especially in the better Chinese restaurants.
     One such place, Gum Tong Gung at 133-30 39th Avenue in Flushing, does it better than anywhere else. Dim Sum is served is predominantly served earlier in the day and especially during lunch, but at Gum Tong Gung you can get a variety of delicious choices anytime.
     Carts laden with round, metal Tiffin-like pans are wheeled out carrying dozens of different kinds of Dim Sum. The wait staff circles the restaurant offering the different choices, only leaving to refill their stock. If you don’t like something, you don’t have a whole dish to contend with. If you love something, you can just keep choosing it, and all the while your waiter will keep track of what you have ordered.
     Steamed dumplings with shrimp, chicken or beef; friend eggplant roll; pork congee with preserved egg; braised duck feet; turnip cake - there are a hundred choices on the menu.
     Gum Tong Gung seats up to 250 people, though from the look of it I imagine I could open a gym and house the S.S. Titanic at the same time.
     On Sundays it is worth the trip just to see the servers wheel around the room. They are a show in and of themselves.
     At $1.95 to $3.00 a serving, Dim Sum, that small taste of delicious Chinese cuisine, is a bargain.
     The Flushing area is a hot zone for Chinese food, and at this point you could close your eyes and point and still hit an excellent restaurant. But Flushing has also become a “destination” of sorts.
     Not only is the food great, but also it’s so easy to just check into a hotel and go shopping, or see a movie. The train into the city lies in the heart of Main Street, close to all restaurants and shopping, and one stop from The Mets at Shea Stadium.
     Savvy business travelers can take the Q48 bus from LaGuardia right to the center of town.
     A cab from JFK costs less than six dollars anytime.
     Flushing also offers a variety of Japanese, Indian, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Korean Food.
     The Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel at 135-20 39th Avenue has 173 rooms and is centrally located. It is the perfect full-service place to set up operations. (718) 460-666; North America, (888) 268-0717; Hong Kong, (800) 90-0376; Taiwan, 0080-10-3852.
     Wherever you find yourself landing, after a two or ten or fourteen hour flight, soaking in the shower and washing the business out of your body, remember to get out and explore your surroundings a little. There is more to this world than business; there are all the many hours in between.
     Wishing all our readers a Happy New Year “Kung Hey Fat Choi!” as we celebrate The Dragon and venture out in these gray, short New York days of January 2012 and live a little.


If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Click On Image Below To Access