Ken Kish, formerly of Pacer International, tapped into TMSA for branding expertise and best practices.
Kish came across the association through a brochure he received in the mail. “I was intrigued by the brochure and the information I might be able to tap into, so I decided it was worth it to join,” he said. “Once I became a member, I found a wealth of materials, white papers and PowerPoint presentations on the organization’s website. The best practices available were very helpful throughout this branding exercise.”
In addition to these benefits, TMSA offers its members the opportunity to participate in its annual Compass Awards, an awards competition that is the highest level of professional achievement and recognition in marketing, sales and communications within the industry.
Pacer won the highest honor of Best in Show in the business-to-business category for its Smoother Moves Calculator at the 2011 TMSA Compass Awards. According to Kish, the TMSA Compass Awards are great because it’s a non-political, independently judged peer awards program. “The winners are chosen based on the merit of their programs or projects that are presented in their Compass Award entries,” he said. “We were up against some of the top shelf companies in the industry that have much larger budgets than we do. You don’t have to have the biggest budget to do the best work and be recognized.”
In addition to the impartial process of the awards program, Kish stated that winning a Compass Award validates your company’s work. “What is better than your peers saying your campaign or project is the Best in Show or the best in its category?” he said.
Kish explained that in addition to the Compass Awards, being a member of TMSA provides Pacer with valuable exposure, enables them to be connected with the top marketing, sales and communications executives in the industry. “When you take the four pillars that TMSA stands for—knowledge, connections, recognition and solutions—I feel Pacer, and myself as an individual, have truly benefited from all four.”
Mike Brown was ready for a change in his career. TMSA helped him to make it - and to build his business.
How did he get started blogging? With advice he got from a contact he met through TMSA.
“We had a group dinner at the 2007 conference. The person I was sitting next to told me about all the blogging she was doing,” Brown said. “Out of that initial conversation, I started a blog about six months later. That blog—which became what is now Brainzooming.com—has been a great tool to build awareness about my innovative strategies and creative work, especially after I made my career transition.”
TMSA has also provided Brown with many speaking opportunities, where he has given presentations on topics as diverse as NASCAR, internal branding, marketing innovation and the use of humor. From those initial sessions he has moved on to become a nationally recognized speaker; in fact, his first paid speaking engagement was the result of a referral from a TMSA colleague.
“TMSA has been a great venue for sharing my experience and perspectives on business topics,” said Brown. “It gives me the chance to give back to the industry while creating great networking opportunities, as well.”
One of those networking experiences led him to someone he plans to work with soon.
“A project came up with Brainzooming, and I needed a social media expert to be involved. I was happy to be able to reach out to someone I already knew and respected through TMSA,” Brown said. “There are many people who claim to be social media experts, but it was great to be able to tap into someone I know has credibility in that area.”
For anyone thinking about joining TMSA, Brown would advise you to do so.
“It’s got a really cool blend of advantages,” he said. “It will give you greater knowledge of the vertical transportation market segment you’re working in, and will also take you much deeper into marketing and marketing communications subject matter.”
Tom Nightingale leverages connections made through TMSA to advance his career.
“The relationships I had built with Con-way people and the knowledge I had gained through TMSA gave me much better visibility and insight into the opportunity so I could hit the ground running,” he said.
After 20 years in the industry with companies including Schneider National, UPS and CSX, Nightingale accepted the post and served as Con-way’s Chief Marketing Officer. In 2010, he reached his eighth year as a TMSA board member and 12th as an enthusiastic TMSA participant. He particularly enjoys the organization’s annual conference.
“The TMSA annual conference creates another venue for me and the rest of the Con-way team to develop relationships with editors and publishers,” Nightingale said. “Face time with the media community is important. In the tight-knit world of transportation and logistics, the connections you make end up paying dividends in many forms.”
Presenting at the annual event also has been a productive undertaking for Nightingale. “Any time you present, it forces you to codify what you’re doing and reflect on things,” he said. “Sometimes you’re doing things well, and sometimes you find that there’s room for improvement. It also allows you to position your company nationally as a thought leader in front of an esteemed audience of industry participants and the media.”
For any transportation marketing professional thinking about joining TMSA, Nightingale would advise doing so.
“It’s a great investment in your career, your future and your network,” he said. “As a wise person once told me 20 years ago, don’t wait for someone else to invest in your success.” And this advice holds true for Nightingale. Today, he's President of GENCO Transportation Logistics.