Category Archives: people

Adrian Valdes

Senior Account Executive | Dallas, TX

When it came time for me to decide on a career path, I knew that I wanted to seek out a sales opportunity. What I didn’t know was that PLS would find me, and I would become an industry expert five and a half years later.

I graduated from Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma where I played football. Immediately following graduation, I moved to Dallas, TX, where I began coaching football and wrestling. After a few years of coaching, I posted my resume online and PLS reached out to me. It was the perfect fit for my career interests and background, and I was excited about the opportunity to get involved with the logistics and sales industry.

I became drawn to the idea of a sales career because I always considered myself a social person who enjoyed communicating and connecting with all types of people.

I quickly realized that sales and coaching involved similar approaches. In coaching, I had to work with all different types of players and determine what worked and what didn’t work for each of them through problem solving and communication. I wanted to utilize this background in my professional career, and PLS allowed me to do that. I was able to communicate with different prospects or clients to see which points of contact were successful, and I could use my problem-solving skills to join two clients in need of business together.

Obviously, I knew that money was involved in a sales career, but I had no idea of all of the potential opportunities that would appear right in front of me. Opportunity is what drew me to PLS, along with the industry exposure and chance to connect with different people all over the country.

When I first started out at PLS, I never really considered it a career possibility until I understood how well I fit into this industry. I quickly realized that this market has its ups and downs, but after years of exposure and gaining insights, I love that I can now play the expert role in my position.

My favorite part of the day is being the informative, go-to contact for a client.

I enjoy analyzing the market and explaining the forecast, predictions, and direction of the industry to customers. It is very rewarding to see the cumulative progress that I’ve made at PLS, and it’s refreshing that the possibilities are endless here. There are so many more sectors that PLS can get involved with outside of the transactional, day-to-day operations of brokers. It’s amazing that I’ve learned so much, but there’s still much more to learn.

PLS has helped shape my career and given me the starter kit necessary to become a logistics and sales professional. One of the major things that PLS does to help me excel in my career is to bring together all of the top sales representatives on a bi-annual basis to discuss industry trends, forecasting and different tactics used. At PLS, we are all able to learn from each other, which is something that has helped to drive my career and continues to shape my success.

My advice for someone entering a sales position is to educate yourself on your own. There is only so much that a structured curriculum can offer you when you first start out with a company. Don’t be naïve in thinking that this company is giving you the one-all solution to everything within that industry. You must take the initiative to educate yourself and invest in yourself to become an industry expert – read up on material, case studies, blogs, etc. Take the opportunity to create a career out of what’s in front of you.

We are born with sales in our blood, but the industry is made of individuals that have taken time to hone in their skills and invest in themselves.

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Dan Rocknage

Satellite Office Leader | Pittsburgh PA

Following college graduation, I jumped into a sales position at PLS. When I first started, I never really considered myself as a salesperson but knew that if I worked hard, I could be successful. For a while, I struggled to find my way at PLS. I was living paycheck to paycheck and realized that if I was going to make this career work, I needed to step up and make a change.

My manager at the time expressed a simple piece of advice that transformed my entire outlook on selling.

He told me to stop trying to sell like a car salesperson, and instead, find a way to start selling myself.

This piece of advice presented me with an entirely new perspective that truly made me realize how much control I have over my career.

I used this advice to my advantage and started to excel and even set PLS records. Fast forward eight years, and I am still working at PLS in the Pittsburgh office and have accomplished my goal of a management position. In this position, I have assisted account executives to achieve higher job status’ as well as encourage them to work hard every day.

With all the great moments in a management position, there are also many overwhelming and stressful situations. I found out rather quickly that you either sink or swim, and I am not the type of person to sink. I am the type of person who will come out swinging for success if trapped in a corner.

One thing that motivates me is improvement, for myself and other people around me.

Sales is a constant movement, and once you realize that concept, it makes the job a little less difficult. For me personally, I have an office of over 40 people who started in their positions not sure that this would be the best career path. I took this as a challenge to encourage them to keep improving, and most of them have proved they are meant to be in the sales industry.

Many people ask me what skills are needed in order to be a successful sales rep, and I can honestly tell you that everyone in the Pittsburgh office has unique skills that are all keys to success. One skill that everyone has in common, and it can sometimes be difficult to identify in a person, is the ability to accept failure

If someone says no, keep moving forward. If an opportunity isn’t there for you, find the next one.

The people that succeed the most here at PLS are the ones who make the decision day one that they are going to be successful.

My favorite part of my day is coaching and sitting down with reps to identify strengths and weaknesses that make them unique and help them to succeed the best I can. I love the opportunity to get to know all my reps and encourage them to keep working hard in their position. I love seeing my sales reps be successful.

To the future of PLS: Here is the reality. This is not what I call a quick sales job. You must be willing to put in the effort and time to be successful. If you want an opportunity to develop and improve your sales skills, improve other businesses bottom line, or build relations with other companies, then PLS is the place for you. This is an industry that has been around for years and will be around forever. You need to prove to your customers that you are different and worth their time. You must be willing to work hard, and if you work hard you have the potential to grow quickly and will be rewarded. If there was a blueprint for sales, everyone would have it, but there isn’t. It all comes down to putting in time and effort.

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Mary Sweeney

Mary Sweeney

Mary Sweeney | Senior Account Executive | Pittsburgh PA

I was first attracted to the sales industry because of the energetic and lively environment. When determining my future career path, I knew I would quickly become uninterested with effortless everyday tasks of an office job. I wanted to be challenged, so I chose to go into sales because of the high intensity of the industry.

 I love that the sales industry is constantly changing and that you must always be on your toes to succeed and move forward. 

I was immediately drawn to PLS for the growth potential and convenient location right in the heart of the South Side of Pittsburgh.

From the beginning of my career, my manager was fantastic and helped me realize that even though cold calling may not be my favorite thing to do, it truly opens doors. With guidance, I began to succeed very quickly and have now been with PLS for over two and a half years.Mary Sweeney

Around my one-year anniversary with the company, I rolled into the position of Senior Account Executive, earning a strictly commission-based salary. While I am proud of this achievement, it does not stop me from continuing to work hard towards achieving my goals.

There are a few skills I think are vital in order to be successful in the sales field

You need to be outgoing and able to communicate effectively and efficiently. It is important to have that drive to keep going even when things become difficult. 

You could go through the motions if you wanted, or you could strive to be better than the person next to you; that is what will set you apart from the rest.

My career in sales at PLS has pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped develop the skills I need to be successful. 

At PLS, we aren’t being micromanaged, you either adapt or you fall behind, so it’s important to stay on top of your work and figure out what is good for you personally. My favorite part of my daily routine is easily our end of day office meetings. Everyone comes together to celebrate achievements and acknowledge those who have excelled in the office each day. Helping others is important to me, especially in my work. Logistics is often undervalued, but everyone deals with shipping at some point and it often causes stress. It is worthwhile if you are an expert that can provide guidance to your customers. I’ve become an expert in this field because of the great support system of mentors and co-workers at PLS.

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Domenic Lubrano

Senior Account Executive | Pittsburgh PA

I knew that I wanted to go into the sales industry because I was attracted to the idea of controlling my own success.

I liked that I was going to get out of this career whatever I put into it, and I had plans to work hard and succeed.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, I knew I wanted to stay close to home and PLS quickly stood out as the perfect environment for me. I saw an opportunity for immense growth within the company, and I had a desire to learn and be successful within this industry. I know that I made the right choice with PLS because I enjoy working hard every day and reaping all the benefits in return.

My favorite part of the day is starting off each morning by tracking shipments and outlining my daily goals. I like to plan my days out in advance so that I know exactly what tasks are ahead of me and determine everything that I need to accomplish. This is especially helpful in this industry because every day can look different. By planning out my daily goals, I am able to take action and see the steps that I’ve taken toward achieving my success.


The most rewarding part about this job is seeing the direct impact that you can make within the industry.

As you grow your book, you start to see all your hard work come to life. You build your own relationships with customers and see them continue to utilize PLS services to fit their needs. You become satisfied because you’ve earned their trust and engaged in valuable transactions. It’s very rewarding, and you can pride yourself in knowing that you are succeeding in your role. Within the sales industry, there are bound to be circumstances that don’t go smoothly.

When things become stressful, the future that I see at PLS is what keeps me going.

Knowing that there is potential to keep learning and growing within this career makes it easier to deal with the minor complications that arise. In this industry, you can’t sweat the small stuff. You just have to move on and continue learning from the situations that are going to make you an even stronger player in this field.

I have worked very hard to be in the position that I am in now. I continue to give mine all by coming in early each day and staying until my work is finished. I am constantly striving to reach my goals and better myself each day. My internal drive has shaped the success that I’ve experienced here at PLS, and I’m happy to say that my hard work is paying off. Soon, I will be advancing to a senior account executive position and I’m excited to see how much more I’ll learn and grow within this role.

If you are thinking about going into a career in sales, my advice to you is to be determined, dedicated, and always be on time. As I mentioned before, don’t sweat the small stuff. Just stay focused on your long-term goals and continue to communicate effectively. Always continue to grow your network and build relationships that will help you succeed.

I’ve learned many valuable skills throughout my journey at PLS that is going to help me succeed in any future career position that I may hold. I’ve had the opportunity to work with pieces of customer service, accounting and sales all wrapped into one job. These different areas have all enhanced my skills in order to be successful now and in the future.

At PLS, we continue to learn and grow every day so that we are able to better ourselves and the company as a whole. One important thing that I’ve learned during my time at PLS is that everyone is extremely helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and never be afraid to meet and talk with new people. If you are dedicated to what you do, you will succeed no matter what.

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Andrew Sweny

Senior Account Executive | Pittsburgh PA

The best part about my job is the people I work with and the fact that you don’t sit around for years waiting for a promotion or pay raise, you get paid based off your job performance.

PLS stuck out to me while I was job searching because I could tell there was a lot of opportunity within the company that would allow me to grow and be successful quickly if I gave it my all. I’ve always been into sports and seen myself as a competitive individual, so I liked that PLS was a competitive sales environment as well. On top of that, I liked the fact that with this opportunity, I was going to get out of it what I out in. It’s a great feeling when you see all of your hard work pay off and reap the rewards of it. 

When I first started at PLS, I had an outgoing and experienced sales manager that made a huge difference in my perception of the job and outlook on the industry. I looked up to him and the other seasoned account executives that I was working with to learn as much as I could and gain as much exposure as possible. I felt very fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of great influences when I first started. They were always there to lend advise or give me a hard time when they saw me slacking to keep me headed in the right direction. I believe a huge reason why I’ve had my success at PLS is that I’ve been surrounded by people who have continuously motivated and encouraged me. At the same time, ultimately this job comes down to self-motivation and a long-term/positive mindset.

The best part about my job is the people I work with and the fact that you don’t sit around for years waiting for a promotion or pay raise, you get paid based off your job performance.

The fact that I get to control my own destiny makes coming to work every day worth it. On top of that, I’ve made some great friends here at PLS and made a lot of good connections with people from offices all over the country.

There are times in this job that can be frustrating just like any job, but keeping yourself motivated and focused on long-term goals is very important and helps me to stay motivated. If you get caught up in the day-to-day, week-to-week or even month-to-month processes, you can get discouraged and worn down very easily. I have goals like buying a house, getting a new truck and traveling to new places, and remaining focused on these helps me to overcome some of the stress and difficulties that can come with this position. When I started sales, I had a manager that told me the way to view your success here is to project yourself into the future and view your success from a long-term perspective, focusing on “where you’re going” and the “direction you’re headed” instead of getting caught up or discouraged with where you’re currently at. Not getting caught up in the highs and lows of this job and remaining even keel is a big part of it as well.

My favorite part of my day is coming through for our customers when they need it most. There are often times that our customers are in tough situations where they have no other options but to rely on us to help them be to achieve their objectives. Being able to come through for a customer who needs my help and knowing I was able to provide them a solution can be very satisfying.

PLS has helped me learn how to tackle a wide variety of issues every day. My organizational, communication and strategic planning skills have improved tremendously since starting this position. I talk with hundreds of people each day, so it is important to get my message through to customers in a concise and professional way. I am confident that I can take the professional experience I’ve gained here and applied to other aspects of life or whatever professional experiences I have in the future.

My advice for anyone going into a career in sales is to find your internal drive and motivation.

You have to be a go-getter in this industry; it’s a grind and it’s hard work, but it will pay off if you go at it and play your cards right. Simple as that. 

You need to have a competitive nature and positive outlook, but also remain realistic. Early on in my career, there were many days I questioned if I was in the right career field, but I put my head down and kept working hard. Now, seeing all my hard work pay off has been a very rewarding and satisfying experience. There are going to be some tough days ahead of you, but there are also going to be some of the best days of your life. If you keep those long-term goals in mind, you will continue to move upward and in the right direction to success. If you’re ready to grind and work hard right out of the gates, you’ll have a great shot at success here.

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