What Brought Me To NOW
You know those moments you look back on and it was just one thing you did that set you on a very long course? I have vivid memories of quite a few. This one, the year was 1992 and I needed a job. I had signed up with a temporary agency and they sent me on a job interview at A.N. Rusche Distributing Company. This was before everyone had access to the internet so all I knew was that they were a wholesaler/jobber of fuels and lubricants. Little did I know, once I passed through those beautiful wooden doors and into the spectacularly decorated entry, it would lead me on a life-long path in the Oil and Gas Industry.
I spent ten years at Rusche, starting in the accounting department. After a couple of years, I went to work in the Rusche Fuel Control division where I was given the “opportunity” to be the Pricing Specialist. Which meant that if a customer was upset about their pricing, I got the call. It didn’t take me long to figure out that our program needed to be explained to the person reviewing the management report so that they understood, it wasn’t the price per gallon that was important but more importantly how many gallons they were buying. Hence my promotion to Customer Relations Manager for Rusche Fuel Controls, which I loved because it gave me the opportunity to work hand in hand with the customer making sure they were getting the most benefit out of our product. I had two great mentors during this time, Peggy Roark and Erin Applegate. They saw potential in me and gave me opportunities and guided me along the way.
I left Rusche to stay at home with my children for a little while and even drove a school bus for a couple of years. The downturn in the economy in 2009, once again found me looking for a job. My mentor, Peggy had recently purchased a sales training company and had an appointment with O’Rourke Petroleum Products. During her appointment, Mush Khan asked her if she knew of anyone with cardlock sales experience she could recommend. She thought of me and I applied and got the position. For the next nine years I held the titles of Sales, Business Development Manager and my passion for providing customers with excellent service led me to my position of Regional Lubricant Customer Service Manager.
During this time, Mush and I worked closely on a lot of different projects. We would visit customers weekly, checking in on how well we were doing as a company from the customers perspective and looking for areas of improvement. It was an exciting time to be a part of O’Rourke Petroleum. They were growing and O’Rourke was celebrating their 80th year in business and we rolled out a rebrand. I loved talking about O’Rourke and the great things we were doing. And then Mush left to pursue other opportunities, my heart broke.
But here comes Peggy again. She was now President of Petroleum Express, a Houston based common carrier for refined petroleum products. She felt like she needed my help and offered me a position as VP of Strategic Development and Implementation. How could I say no? I loved the transportation piece of the industry and was able to contribute in relationship management, recruiting and sales. I found a whole new appreciation for dispatching and the drivers. They truly are the heart of any transportation company. It was our goal to always do the right thing by the customer.
Due to some tragic personal events in my life I found myself longing for the good old O’Rourke days and Mush’s leadership. And as I put that out in the universe, my phone rang, it was Mush. He had recently become President of The NOW Network and offered me a sales position to recruit carriers onto our software. How could I possibly pass up the opportunity to work with him again? I could not and I don’t think he was going to let me either. I recall during our interview being lost as a goose trying to understand exactly what The NOW Network did and how I could fit in. I had to tell Mush, I am not a “tech” type person and Mush told me “Tami, I don’t need tech, I will hire tech, I just need you”. He knows that my unwavering desire to satisfy the customer is what gets me going every day.
So here I am, once again, being challenged professional and personally and ever so grateful. It has been wild roller coaster ride, ever changing, always something new…just the way I like it.
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