Employee Spotlight: Sarah Hudson – BIG Shoes to Fill
Gulf ports are in the news more often as shippers and retailers look for relief from congested east and west coast ports as record imports arrive from China. That the logistics industry is finally acknowledging there are entry points away from Los Angeles/Long Beach and NY/NJ shouldn’t surprise any of us, least of all Sarah Hudson Regional Sales/Ops Manager, BIG Logistics Houston – she herself was an east coaster who found herself to be a Texan at heart.
If her trajectory to Texas via Maine and then Cal. State Fullerton was a mostly straight line, her career in logistics was not.
“I was a boarding school brat, grew up running around Kennebunkport, Maine and idolizing my father. He was a risk-taker and absolutely brilliant, but once you hear his story… well, it’s a wonder I’m in this industry,” Sarah laughs.
Sarah’s father was retired and comfortable when he made an investment in a shipment the day before President George HW Bush declared war in Kuwait and the vessel was seized by the US Government. Sarah’s father was belly up and went back to work in logistics moving from Maine to California and then finally to Houston where he started up a forwarder and made Sarah an offer she couldn’t refuse.
“I’d done the one thing he always warned against. I quit a job in a restaurant without a backup plan and went crying to him. He asked me to work for him for two years just to see if I liked it and twenty years later we had a tight family business. The dream was a rewarding career where we could have our family included.”
With her whole family together each day, the loss of her father left Sarah adrift and heartbroken. Without her hero and fearless leader, Sarah felt lost.
“Vinod Baliga sent his condolences when my father passed away and then waited a bit to offer me a place here at BIG. He knew I needed a place to carry on my father’s work. I wanted to build something from the ground up and apply his ideals to my own success. That’s how I keep him with me and I know he’s proud. Every day is a lesson in how to live without him, peacefully.”
Sarah’s dedication is paramount to the success of the BIG Logistics Houston office. Her industry knowledge and work ethic can only be described as Texas Strong. She brings big ideas and key solutions to the area, driving success for her local team and the area.
Industry rich with energy, agriculture, plastic resins, and finished goods, the Port of Houston is growing exponentially. It’s almost a race between the growth of the port and the growth of the warehousing and distribution expansion in Houston. Following the population growth of the south Texas city and capitalizing on the ease of turning containers, Houston is a key strategic point for successful ocean shipping in the future.
It might seem that Sarah is all business, but much like Houston, she’s got her priorities set. “I have the chance to set an example for my own family, just like my dad did. I have a 30-year-old, a 21-year-old, a 20-year-old, and a 16-year-old to whom I get to pass on this knowledge. This is the legacy that my dad left. Not only the success and love of logistics but the family atmosphere, the dedication to an industry much bigger than ourselves, and the idea that family doesn’t end at home.”
While she didn’t mention it herself, we also notice that, just like her beloved father, Sarah’s indomitable spirit takes after him in one other key way: No matter the difficulties, we can get up, we can start over when we have to and we never give up.