Spotlight on… Donna Mullins, Vice President, Kale Info Solutions

CargoForwarder Global’s ‘Spotlight On…’ series hears from people working in one of the multitude of jobs within the air cargo industry. There are so many different stakeholders involved in ensuring that cargo flies from A to B safely, efficiently, and on time. This week, Donna Mullins (DM) from Kale Info Solutions, explains what her function entails, who brought her to our industry, and what advice she has for those considering a career in air cargo.

Dedication and willingness to learn are important. Image: Donna Mullins

CFG: What is your current function? And what are your responsibilities?

DM: Vice President, Kale Info Solutions. My responsibilities include the overseeing and implementation of logistics software – specifically Airport Community Systems; revenue generation and expense budgeting; customer success; employee training and retention; marketing; sales; sales support; basically everything! [Laughs]

CFG: What does a normal day look like for you? Or is there such a thing?

DM: My day starts with a team meeting to review and discuss the internal and external successes and concerns of the previous day and how to address any challenges to the techno world we all have come accustomed to working and living in. Research and proposal preparation are regular parts of the day. Training, training, and more training – with technology we are constantly evolving, enhancing, or modifying to keep up with a very fluid environment, therefore training is an ever going part of the success process.

CFG: How long have you been in the air cargo industry, and what brought you to it?

DM: Well, to tell you how long, I would have to give away my age… which I don’t mind doing because I’ve earned every year of it. [Smiles] I’ve been in the international trade and logistics industry for 40 years. I started with an importer of record right out of high school. Janet Jenkins, my aunt, worked for them and she got me in this business. I thank her every day for introducing me to such a wonderful and exciting career.

CFG: What do you enjoy most about your job?

DM: Helping people. I know that sounds cliché. But since I was a young girl, I wanted to be a teacher. Although I did not go into the teaching system, I am an Adjunct Professor at a local college, and I do have an online course for Customs Brokers under my Mullins International Academy LMS. With Kale’s Cargo Community Systems, I am able to help vast numbers of people in the value chain immediately with cargo throughput efficiencies. Being a recovering Customs Broker myself, this is something that makes me very happy as I am intimately aware of the struggles to keeping legitimate cargo moving rapidly.

CFG: Where do you see the greatest challenges in our industry?

DM: Work ethics. This has been a diminishing value in the workplace. I’m not talking about diversity and inclusion work ethics, I’m talking about work ethics that push individuals to be the very best they can in whatever position they hold. Workable.com describes work ethic as: a set of values guiding professional behavior, encompassing integrity, responsibility, quality, discipline, and teamwork. Our work ethics range in many categories such as appearance, attendance, attitude, character, communication, cooperation, organizational skills, productivity, respect, and teamwork. Work ethics also include honesty, trustworthiness, transparency, accountability, confidentiality, objectivity, obedience to the law, and loyalty.

CFG: What advice would you give to people looking to get into the air cargo industry? Any particular training they should aim for?

DM: I tell everyone I meet, to be successful in the international logistics and trade industry, you need two specific skill sets: dedication and willingness to learn. I, myself, attended the ‘school of hard knocks’ as when I was just getting into the logistics and trade industry, there were no classes geared toward this specific industry. Therefore, these two skill sets helped me to be successful. Actually, I was 54 years old when I obtained my college degree – after owning a successful 3PL, Alpha Sun International, and a compliance training and consulting firm, Mullins International Solutions – and it was in Theology. Kale Logistics hired me, not because of the technology knowledge, but because of the logistics knowledge I had acquired using these skill sets, and they knew I would apply them in my position with Kale Info Solutions, too.

CFG: If the air cargo industry were a film/book, what would its title be?

DM: Airplane on a Roller Coaster

Many thanks for your insights, Donna!

If you would like to share your personal air cargo story with our CargoForwarder Global readers, feel free to send your answers to the above questions to cargoforwarderglobal@kopfpilot.at We look forward to shining a spotlight on your job area, views, and experiences.

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