In celebration of Women’s History Month, we sat down with some of the women at The DeWitt Companies to talk about their role and experience working in the logistics industry. These are just a few of the talented women who have helped our companies become industry leaders, and continue to ensure our businesses run efficiently on a daily basis.

Here are their stories:

Tanielle Igros, Account Relations Manager

Approved Freight Forwarders

How long have you been in the field of logistics?

Before I worked at Approved, I came from the transportation world. I actually worked for an airline for 15 years as a passenger service agent. I’ve been with Approved for the last nine years.

How did you get into the field?

I moved to California from Guam, and my sister-in-law worked for Approved. They were looking for employees, and I started in customer service. I understood the concepts quickly because, instead of moving passengers, we were moving freight. It was easy for me to understand all the pieces of the puzzle, and it helped me fit in really well at Approved. As the company grew, I grew within it. I became the Data Entry Supervisor, then the Dispatch Manager and now I’ve been the Accounts Relations Manager for three years now. I’ve learned just about every kind of position within the company, so I understand all the pieces—and I love coming into work.

What does your current position entail?

As the Account Relations Manager, I supervise the Account Management team. We’re the main point of contact with our customers on a day-to-day basis. Anything and everything you need to know as a customer—tracking, updates, questions, help with the customer portal—comes through our team.

What’s your favorite thing about working in logistics?

There’s always something new to learn. It’s never-ending. You think you’ve learned it all, and then you get thrown a curveball and you have to figure it out. I like researching. I find it interesting. There has to be an answer. You just have to dig for it, and that’s what makes logistics fun: I’m always learning.

Lee Ann Brusca, General Manager, Freight & Trucking

Royal Hawaiian Movers

How long have you been in the field of logistics?

40 years. I’ve been with Royal Hawaiian Movers since 2017. I made my first trip out to Hawaii in the year 2000, and I fell in love, like most people do. I figured Hawaii imports everything, so I should be able to find a job there. I got to a point in my life and thought, “Now’s my time,” so I bought a one-way ticket. I started as a Military Outbound Clerk with Royal Hawaiian. Very shortly after that, the General Manager of Freight position came up and, just recently, the Trucking Department was added on.

How did you get into the field?

Quite by accident. I met a cousin of mine for an after-work cocktail. She was working for a company called Church and Dwight, which makes Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. The traffic manager was there, and he said he was going to be looking for a traffic clerk. I took the job, reporting into the Finance Department since the position involved auditing their freight bills.

From there, I moved on to a chemical company where I did international air, ocean import and export and small package services—pricing, rating, negotiating, moving cargo and everything you can imagine that goes along with that. I went on to work for a steamship line—the Atlantic Container Line—which was my entry to sales. I also worked for a number of freight forwarders, as well as a few retail fashion import companies.

After I moved to Hawaii, I called the guy who moved me here and asked him if he knew anybody here I could talk to about a job. He got me in touch with Edward Wong, President of Royal Hawaiian, and the rest is history.

What does your current position entail?

Unless you’re in the industry, no one knows what “supply chain” means. I like to tell people I ship stuff from Point A to Point B. My team and I help businesses stay in business.

What’s your favorite thing about working in logistics?

It is a mind-opening sector to be in. What I mean by that is most people go about their daily life without thinking much about where things come from. They go to stores and they just think things get there.

But when I see a product, I know where it came from, I know who made it and I know how it got there. So if somebody told me, “Oh, I bought this wooden picnic table and chairs,” I know it probably came from Vietnam. If there’s some new intimate apparel on the market for women, it more than likely came from Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. That’s the fascinating part, and it makes this world much smaller for me.

Lauren Tokushige, Pricing Manager

Approved Freight Forwarders

How long have you been in the field of logistics?

8 years. I started at Approved in 2012.

How did you get into the field?

I graduated in 2009 during the recession, and there weren’t many jobs out there. I thought I would work for a non-profit and save the world, but there was no money there [at the time]. I took some temp jobs, and I started at Approved initially as a temp. I came on to help a team member who was going on maternity leave, and she needed someone to run reports, answer phone calls and assist with quotes. They hired me on permanently a few months later, and I’ve been with the company ever since, mostly in the quotes and pricing realm, although I did a little bit of inside sales, too.

What does your current position entail?

As the Pricing Manager, I oversee the quotes team for domestic freight, including Hawaii and Guam. So any time someone needs a quote, or there’s a new opportunity with a potential customer, my team and I work closely with the Business Development Team to price it out and help them win that new piece of business.

What’s your favorite thing about working in logistics?

Every day is something different—a new challenge. There’s always something happening, and I’m never bored. It’s always fast-paced, it keeps me thinking, and I’m definitely not doing the same thing every day, which is something I enjoy.

Leila Duenas, International Traffic Manager

DeWitt Guam

How long have you been in the field of logistics?

I’ve been with DeWitt Guam for 21 years, but I’ve been in logistics for about 25. Previous to DeWitt, I was with a company called TNT that handled air courier shipments.

How did you get into the field?

I was really young at the time, and I happened to apply at TNT. I got started out doing more of the billing and tracking of the air shipments, but I also got to know a little bit of the actual logistics of booking the shipments as well.

What does your current position entail?

As International Traffic Manager, I do a little bit of everything. I schedule pre-move surveys on the island for both household moves originating on Guam, as well as local moves. I do the research to put the quotes together—ocean freight rates, trucking rates, etc.—and then I handle the entire move from Point A to Point B. I book the ocean freight, ensure the shipments gets cleared at whatever destination port it’s sent to, arrange for the delivery at the final destination and work with our customers to make sure everything gets delivered as promised.

When we assist with relocations abroad, I also find local delivery agents to complete the moves for our customers. That can be pretty interesting at times when you’re dealing with remote countries!

What’s your favorite thing about working in logistics?

Dealing with all walks of life. Getting to know all these different people that you would probably never meet otherwise. You never know what kind of person you’re going to run into. I get the onesies and the twosies who keep you on your toes and ask questions that make you think, “Wow, I’m going to learn something new today.” I just really enjoy working with people. I’m a very shy person, but I find that I am quite a bit more open when I get the chance to talk to customers, so I really enjoy that part.