Ashley Slater moved from Anchorage to Palm Beach for a ‘change of scenery.’
By Hilary Reeves
Ashley Slater began her career at TOTE Maritime Alaska in Anchorage. After four years, she decided she needed a “change of scenery.”
“(In Alaska), I saw the value and importance of working for a company with outstanding business ethics and noticeable integrity, and I decided I wanted to stay with a Saltchuk company,” she said.
She moved to South Florida, joining Tropical Shipping as an Intermodal Pricing Analyst.
“I’ve been with the company for six months,” she continued. “Because of the industry knowledge I learned during my time at (TOTE), my transition was relatively smooth, but it is interesting and sometimes challenging to go from working for a company with 120 employees to a company with thousands.”
Slater grew up in Durham, North Carolina and attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, majoring in history. She graduated college in hopes of working for a museum and moved to Alaska where she successfully landed a temporary museum job.
“Due to the shortage of museum jobs in Alaska, I decided to give something else a try,” she said. A friend directed her toward a position at TOTE.
“I was hired as a General Staff Assistant,” she said. “I was able to learn how to do the daily functions of almost all the Anchorage departments and after 10 months was promoted to Documentation and Rating Supervisor.”
After a few reorganizations, she became a Customer Service Supervisor responsible for areas including customer service, documentation, freight claims, local and line-haul scheduling, equipment control, vendor purchase orders, and vendor invoicing. Around the time Slater was first promoted, she was tasked with leading a project to replace the company’s transportation operating system in Anchorage, an experience she looks back on proudly.
“It was the first time I’d ever done project management, and was successful in identifying a system that would fit our needs – which happened to be the system we were already utilizing for booking, thus saving money – building and documenting even the smallest processes and procedures for each end user involved, conducting end-user training, and successfully completing ‘go live’ with the project team while still focusing on my daily responsibilities as a department supervisor,” she said. “I’d like to thank the leadership team at (TOTE) Anchorage for all that they invested in helping to make me a better team member, leader, and person all around. The lessons I learned there have been invaluable to me in both my professional and personal life.”
As Slater starts in at Tropical on a project to develop training materials for the Intermodal, Dispatch, and National Pickup departments to aid in onboarding and cross-training within the department, she said she has few regrets about the course of her life thus far.
“My husband and I love it here in Florida, and I plan to keep developing my career at Tropical wherever I’m needed.”
If she were to have taken a different path, she points to interior design.
“I never saw myself working in the transportation industry. I didn’t think it would be something I would make into a career, but I quickly learned that I really enjoy logistics. It’s challenging and dynamic which are two characteristics that are very important to me in a job.”
“I would definitely be an interior designer,” she laughed. “Interior design is a passionate hobby of mine. I enjoy helping friends and family members make their homes beautiful and special. I never saw myself working in the transportation industry. I didn’t think it would be something I would make into a career, but I quickly learned that I really enjoy logistics. It’s challenging and dynamic which are two characteristics that are very important to me in a job.”