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Job description: As president of a small company, Mink is involved in every facet of the company. Her duties include establishing policies and procedures, implementing long-term planning and strategy, initiating employee development programs, generating marketing materials and developing business with existing and new customers to provide rail-car sales, rail-car leases, transportation consulting or management services.
Education: Studied journalism and business management at University of Northern Colorado; graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a degree in business management.
Nominator’s quote: “Julie’s leadership acumen, attention to detail, quality control and work ethic, combined with her ability to anticipate customer requirements, have contributed significantly to Tealinc’s rapid growth over the past several years.” — Darell Luther, Tealinc Ltd.
Why did you go into railroading?
I started my career in railroading when I was a sophomore in high school. What began as a summer high-school job quickly became a long-term career for me. I was hired by Darell Luther, president and founder of Fieldston Transportation Services, in 1996 and worked for the transportation consulting company until I graduated from high school.
Back then I filed tariffs, ran customer traces, contacted railroads regarding bad orders or out-of-route equipment, and completed administrative tasks. I took some time off to pursue my degree and other career interests and came back to the rail industry with Darell Luther in 2005 to work for Tealinc Ltd., where I’ve held positions as vice president, vice president marketing and administration, and manager value creation.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
My greatest career accomplishments have been the development, refinement and installation of Tealinc’s e-commerce program; formulation and execution of marketing strategies; and development and refinement of our extensive market database. Personally, I am most proud to consider my co-workers family and my customers as friends.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the tenacity of my peers. The rail industry can be challenging and the camaraderie of my co-workers, my competitors and my customers turns every day challenges into opportunities for me to grow and learn both professionally and personally.
What is a little-known fact about you?
At the age of 12 I lived in Costa Rica as an exchange student for 12 weeks. I lived with a Costa Rican family, attended private school with my host sister and was fully immersed in the Costa Rican culture. My host family spoke minimal English so the Spanish immersion quickly made me fluent in Spanish. It’s been 25 years so my Spanish isn’t as good as it once was, but I can still comprehend most spoken and written Spanish.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I most enjoy time with my family hiking on the high plains or in the mountains, four-wheeling, cross-country or downhill skiing. Last summer I was introduced to fly-fishing and quickly fell in love with it.
What advice would you share with a first-year railroader?
Realize the immense resources this industry has to offer and develop a strong support network. The majority of the people in our tight-knit industry are honest, friendly and helpful — and appreciate providing guidance to those who are patient enough to learn and courageous enough to ask questions.
What do you hope to be doing in five years?
I look forward to running a company with the same strong reputation as Tealinc Ltd. has today, while continuing to make transportation by rail more fluid and more enjoyable for shippers, receivers and railroads.
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