Sara Gold is the Sr. Business Development Manager for Lower Mainland Vancouver at Van Kam Freightways, where she’s been working for the past 19 years! She spends her day connecting with customers, nurturing relationships, and ensuring their shipping needs are met. We spent a day with Sara to see what a typical day looks like for her and learn about her passion for building relationships in the transportation industry.
Sara exuded enthusiasm and cheerfulness as she arrived at our meeting point, ready to tackle the day’s tasks. Without delay, we set off to attend her first meeting of the day. Sara’s contagious positive energy was evident when we reached her customer’s office. The office staff was happy to see Sara and engaged in friendly conversations like they’d been pals for years.
“I’ve been working with many of my customers for a while now, and I’ve built a great relationship with them over the years. When my dogs were still pups, I’d bring them here, and they loved them. Sometimes when I don’t bring them, they ask me to go back! But my dogs are so big now, maybe too big to bring along,” she jokes. “Building relationships with customers is key to success in any business, and that’s what I try to do with my customers. It makes my work more enjoyable,” she explains when asked about her approach.
Earlier in the year, Van Kam released our popular Wall Calendars for 2023. As expected, our customers placed orders for them in a flash. However, a few of Sara’s customers missed out on getting their hands on one, and she wouldn’t let that slide. So after our first meeting, we headed out to deliver calendars. “It’s the little things that count,” she says.
Sara brought in the calendar at the second location, and the customer was elated to receive it. He promptly stood up to hang it on the wall in his office. Though our meeting was brief, it was apparent the calendar made his day. “Showing customers how much we value them through small gestures makes a difference in our relationship,” Sara adds. “The calendars are a major hit, and I’ve received so many order requests that I ran out of calendars quickly. But I promised to get some for those who missed out,” she concludes. A promise she kept.
We were expecting a quick drop-off during our next stop, but things took an unexpected turn when the customer informed us they had just booked a pickup and delivery through our E-Services platform and were worried because the delivery status wasn’t known. But, no worries, Sara stepped in to take care of everything. She immediately called Van Kam’s dispatch, and the customer was relieved that the pickup had already been done and the shipment was on track for next-day delivery. She also set up the customer to receive live notifications of their deliveries going forward.
“I like to think of myself as a problem-solver in the office,” Sara says with a smile. “Van Kam also makes my job so much easier with the E-Services platform where customers can request pickups and quotes online and even track their freight. My customers love the platform because it’s convenient and easy to use,” she says further.
Her problem-solving skills don’t stop at work. She also is the go-to person for her family, receiving several calls from her sons about some things that needed attention while we were on the road. “It’s both a blessing and a curse,” she jokes. “But I’m happy that people know they can always count on me for help,” she continued. Sara is truly a jack of all trades and always ready to lend a hand. Whether at work or home, she’s the go-to person for those needing a problem-solver.
After a few meetings, we took a break from the road and headed to Wings in Burnaby for lunch and a little catch-up on paperwork. Over a plate of delicious wings, we chatted about her experience at Van Kam Freightways and what she loves about working with the company. “Since joining Van Kam, the company has consistently demonstrated its commitment to its employees,” says Sara. “They truly care about their people, and are always so supportive,” she says further.
Sara shares a particularly touching memory of Van Kam’s unwavering support during a difficult time in her life. “A few years into working here, my son was diagnosed with cancer. The company went above and beyond to support me, giving me the time I needed to care for my son without any pressure,” she recalls. “My son is cured now, of course, and I will always be grateful for the support Van Kam provided during that challenging time,” she adds with a smile.
“Time to go find some new customers and move some freight!” Sara beams as we finish lunch. Sara is all about finding new opportunities to transport products for Canadians. “There’s a lot of freight to be moved,” she says. We pursued several leads within the area and wrapped it up by courtesy visiting one of Sara’s customers. It was a chance to catch up, share some laughs and even take pictures for this story.
Sara is among the many talented women working at Van Kam Freightways, and we’re thrilled to have her on our team. With International Women’s Day approaching, we celebrate the remarkable, hardworking women whose contributions have made our company successful. We’re grateful for the diverse perspectives and experiences our female colleagues bring to the table and for their positive impact on our workplace culture.
Thank you, Sara and all the women of Van Kam Freightways!