Valerie Graf

Brokerage Operations Manager

Brokerage Operations Manager | Pittsburgh, PA

I grew up outside of Boston and went to the University of Pittsburgh, with a double major in Spanish and Sociology. After graduation, I stayed in Pittsburgh with my husband, eventually becoming a proud mom and yoga instructor. Six years ago, a position opened up for a Bilingual Logistics Coordinator and I’ve been here at PLS ever since!

After a few years, I moved up to Client Service Supervisor and now serve as the Brokerage Operations Manager for all offices. I came in with no knowledge of the industry, but I was a really hard worker.

My first year was very much an educational experience, and it was a great team environment that was cooperative and understanding. Not being afraid to ask questions helped me grow in my role.

PLS has given me the opportunity to learn and take on responsibility. I now have a lot of confidence in taking ownership of issues and trusting my instincts. If you come ready to work every day, the results won’t come overnight, but they will come. You must pay attention to your boss and your team’s needs and what you need to do to succeed. If I don’t know the solution to an issue off the top of my head, I at least know where to look for answers.  Today, I feel like I can speak from a place of expertise, which I couldn’t do when I first started.

The most rewarding part of my job is helping my team make more money. Everyone wants bonuses, and I enjoy being an asset that can help them hit their numbers.

I work with a lot of young and hungry people who are excited to start building their career, and I want to assist them in any way I can. My favorite part of my day is tracking my team’s progress, organizing team meetings, training, and identifying who has an aptitude for what. It is rewarding to play matchmaker between my reports and other people at PLS who have a lot of knowledge to share. I want to do everything I can to help my team succeed.

The people who are the most successful here are the ones who are willing to put themselves out there, ask questions, and are self-motivated. Most importantly, it takes curiosity. The logistics industry is gigantic and there is a lot to learn. If you come in every day and work, you’ll see the results and you’ll see the money.

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