Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2022 Central Plains Award Finalist  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

EY Announces Dan Berardi Of Priority1 as an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2022 Central Plains Award Finalist

Little Rock, AR May 2nd, 2022 – Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Dan Berardi, CEO Of Priority1, was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2022 Central Plains Award finalist. Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who think big to succeed. 

Berardi was selected by a panel of independent judges according to the following criteria – entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact – among other core contributions and attributes. 

“It’s an honor to be recognized with so many other accomplished companies as a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Award and share this honor with the entire Priority1 team. Priority1 was founded with an entrepreneurial spirit that is still echoed throughout the organization today. Our team’s commitment to results and unwavering dedication have led to our success. We’ll use this unique and prestigious recognition as fuel to continue combining incredibly talented, motivated and diverse people with remarkable technology to disrupt the transportation space.” — Daniel Berardi, Chief Executive Officer. 

The company’s mission is to be the innovator and leader in establishing customers, employees and vendors by exceeding their expectations through its people, technology expertise and value. Priority1 measures its success by how well the company can simplify your logistics needs. 

Regional award winners will be announced on June 25. The regional winners will then be considered by the National independent judging panel, and National awards will be presented in November at the Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in June 2023. 

For over 35 years, EY US has celebrated the unstoppable entrepreneurs who are building a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous world for all. The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized more than 10,000 US executives since its inception in 1986. Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners have exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of fellow alumni and other members of the entrepreneurial community in over 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources. 

Sponsors 

Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are presented by PNC Bank. In Central Plains, sponsors also include Colliers International, Donnelly Financial Solutions, Haynes and Boone LLP, Roach Howard Smith & Barton, D CEO, Marquee Events, and Vari.  

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®  

Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. 

It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. National overall winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title. ey.com/us/eoy 

About EY Private  

As Advisors to the ambitious™, EY Private professionals possess the experience and passion to support private businesses and their owners in unlocking the full potential of their ambitions. EY Private teams offer distinct insights born from the long EY history of working with business owners and entrepreneurs. These teams support the full spectrum of private enterprises including private capital managers and investors and the portfolio businesses they fund, business owners, family businesses, family offices and entrepreneurs. Visit ey.com/us/private 

About EY 

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. 

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate. 

Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today. 

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com

Ernst & Young LLP is a client-serving member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited operating in the US. 

About Priority1 

Priority1 is a privately held, non-asset-based logistics brokerage provider that introduces proprietary technology to small and medium shippers, aiding them in managing their transportation spend more efficiently. The brokerage leverages its volume of over 1.5M annual shipments to create unique partnerships with asset-based carriers in the North American freight market. Priority1’s industry-leading technology and group purchasing power provide its customers with the necessary tools to control its freight and transportation costs while improving visibility in their distribution network. To learn more, visit Priority1.com

Media Contacts: 

Lydia Caddy 

Priority1 

marketing@priority1.com  

1+ (215) 444-6654 

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Employee of the Quarter: Lydia Caddy

Priority1 is honored to announce our next Employee of the Quarter after successfully closing out the first quarter of 2022: Lydia Caddy.

Lydia joined the P1 team almost two years ago as our primary Digital Marketing Specialist. Her role is a crucial infrastructure of Priority1’s culture and brand. She spearheads many essential projects for external marketing, including all of Priority1’s social media accounts and website design. Simultaneously, she oversees the successful management of brand awareness, creating and implementing marketing material for all departments, monitoring SEO, and various other tasks.

Lydia wrapped up a significant project at the tail-end of Q1: the entire re-design of Priority1’s new website. Nearly a year-long task, she and multiple stakeholders collaborated to create a website from the ground up, highlighting P1’s unique culture and voice in the transportation space.

“When I first started, this was something I was looking forward to helping implement, and seeing it come to life was a wonderful accomplishment for our team and our company. I loved this project because I was able to work alongside some amazing people who work for Priority1. The best part was bouncing ideas off each other and having everyone give input to the site as we wanted a well-rounded website that all Priority1 employees could be proud of.” — Lydia Caddy, Digital Marketing Specialist.

As Priority1 grows rapidly, Lydia is driven to aid the company with consistent and flawless marketing material while upholding a cohesive brand. She enjoys delving into analytics and uncovering what works and what doesn’t. She also strives to keep up with ever-changing marketing trends to continue producing impressive work. Her advice for new employees is to “always ask questions and go above and beyond to find ways to add value to the company.”

“Lydia is a true asset to every department of Priority1. In addition to her keen eye for design, she has played a significant role in building out Priority1’s brand. I’m grateful to have an employee that is always willing to go the extra mile and showcase her dedication to Priority1.” — Wendy Brightwell, Vice President of Talent Acquisition.

Lydia has a passion for athletics and professional sports outside of the office. She often watches and follows sporting events, rooting for the Arkansas Razorbacks or Green Bay Packers. Outside of practicing her golf swing any chance she gets with her husband, Evan Caddy, she played softball during her youth and won three state championships at North Little Rock High School. Her tournament team later went on to win a World Series. Lydia’s most admired person is her mother, who inspires her daily. “She has always been and continues to be my biggest cheerleader. I hope that I can be half the woman she is one day. She is intelligent, creative, strong-willed, and the most loving mom I could ever have.”

During her undergrad years, Lydia was an active member of Up ’til Dawn, an organization that raised money for St. Jude. During her time there, the program successfully reached its fundraising goals each year and raised a record-breaking $106,000. After graduating, she continued her passion for philanthropy with St. Jude and is now a member of the Justin Moore St. Jude Golf Classic Committee.

Congratulations from all of us at Priority1 for your incredible accomplishments, Lydia. As our Marketing Department’s leader, you have achieved immeasurable success, and we are thrilled to recognize you for your dedicated work and achievements.

Tune in next quarter to see who Priority1 names Employee of the Quarter for Q2 of ’22!

BY: CAELA FUGATE

EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER: CAELA FUGATE

Whether you need help with a time-sensitive project or answers to a complex problem, Caela Fugate is considered your “go-to person” for solutions here at Priority1. We are proud to announce that Caela is our Employee of the Quarter for Q4, 2021! Joining Priority1 just under two years ago, she has been an absolute asset as our Executive Assistant. Her continued success at Priority1 includes writing our current blog feed with informative news articles and, most recently, planning our incredible Annual Sales Awards & Banquet held in Las Vegas! When asked what she loves most about Priority1, Caela expressed, “To put it simply, the people. We have an incredible group of individuals who strive for the utmost success every day. Outside of my family, my motivation also stems from witnessing such a young group of people create bright futures for themselves.” 

Among many things, she is responsible for completing numerous and varying tasks from start to finish for many members of the company. These tasks can include creating Pipedrive and ZoomInfo accounts, compiling and editing monthly blog posts, project planning and execution for high-profile events and corporate training, spearheading content creation for two websites, general reporting, assisting our CEO in vital tasks, and much more. Caela’s advice to new employees is, “There’s an endless supply of life lessons, successes, and opportunities at Priority1. Don’t simply search for them; seize every single one.” 

When asked about Caela, Dan Berardi, CEO, shared, “Caela has been a terrific fit for Priority1.  Caela is an excellent communicator, well organized, and has incredible follow-up skills. Her most significant strength is her ability to anticipate needs in the business before they become issues.” 

Caela graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a BA in Creative Writing and Professional Writing. She is a first-generation college graduate bred from a microscopic Italian family in the pit of Louisiana. Both a pastor and Marine’s daughter, Caela expressed, “I’m motivated by my long-standing goals and generational grit. Every day I take a moment to remind myself where I came from, what I’ve overcome, and the few who were always in my corner, including my incredibly supportive husband. He’s my biggest motivator, reminding me every day how proud he is of how far I’ve come in such a short period.” 

When Caela is not hard at work at Priority1, she’s with her husband, Grant Fugate, probably watching a Marvel/Disney movie and battling for space on the couch between her two dogs: Cleo, a four-year-old English Bulldog, and Koda, a one-year-old white German Shepard.  

If you’ve ever seen the hit TV show, ‘This is Us,’ you’d understand why Jack Pearson reminds Caela of her most admired person and the impact he had on her life, her father. After striking out on his own at 16, he entered the Persian Gulf War as a 19-year-old Marine and escaped an under-ground mustard gas attack in the Kuwaiti desert. As a result of the gassing, he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s Disease at 35. Until the age of 18, Caela spent most of her time taking care of his medical needs and supporting his mental health before his passing in 2016. Caela says, “He was an otherworldly figure, and despite the crippling pain of his disease, I never once heard him complain. I’ll carry him with me always.” 

Caela’s passion for writing will ultimately lead to a personal goal of one day making a name for herself in the writing world and publishing a memoir. She lives by a personal mantra she first heard quoted while watching the late-great Robin Williams deliver it on screen in Dead Poets Society: 

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

Caela is undoubtedly writing her own verse here at Priority1, and we are excited to see all that she will continue to accomplish. Thank you, Caela! Tune in next quarter to see who we name as another rockstar here at Priority1!

By: Wendy Brightwell   

Fall Freight Frenzy

How is the shipping industry faring this holiday season? 

As families across the country break out their multi-colored pumpkins and compile their ever-growing shopping list, exciting preparations have begun for the holidays. Although, with the ongoing supply chain disruptions, port congestion, and driver shortage, the holidays could look quite different this year for the freight industry. 

Out of Stock and Short on Time 

It’s no secret that we are experiencing a global supply chain disruption brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the early stages of the pandemic, the automatic assumption was for people to scale back their purchases, but the result was far more unexpected. With travel and entertainment unavailable, US consumers spent their leftover cash on goods instead. The shipping world did not come to a screeching halt but barreled forward at an unprecedented pace, which has resulted in tight capacity and extreme congestion within our ports. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “About 860,000 inbound containers arrived into the LA and Long Beach ports on average each month this year, 24% more than the typical monthly volume in the five years leading up to the pandemic.” Convenience and comfort are also in short supply when considering the expected shortages, less selection, and higher prices for numerous holiday items like gaming consoles, TVs, toys, and more. Freight companies are feeling the heat this fall as shelves become more and more sparse due to the hiccupping supply chain, rise in e-commerce, and unforgiving expectations to deliver sooner rather than later. How does the truck driver shortage pile on top of this, and how does it impact the industry? 

Driver Shortage or Demand Increase? 

Though there has been a shortage of truck drivers since the 80s, the freight world is feeling the impact of fewer and fewer available drivers now more than ever, considering the 25% of truck drivers brimming retirement. Could this be a driver shortage, or has the demand for freight surpassed our standard driver supply? Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, reports the trucking industry is short 80,000 drivers, believing the answer lies in hiring a much younger generation. The average age for a truck driver is mid-to-late 50s. In comparison, others argue that the trucking profession’s 90% turnover rates caused the shortage. Regardless, the freight industry is experiencing a monumental impact from the supply chain disruptions and lack of drivers, resulting in rising rates and tighter capacity. 

Industry Impact and Rising Shipping Rates 

Supply and demand determine the current freight rates, and in this current market, the demand is higher than the supply can meet, which has resulted in record-high shipping rates and stalled shipments. To put it into perspective, as of November 11th, the average composite index of the World Container Index, assessed by Drewry for year-to-date, is $7,335 per 40ft container, which is $4,714 higher than the five-year average of $2,621 per 40ft container. Based on anticipated projections, shipping prices will hover in their current range well into 2023. 

“As of November 11th, well over 100 container ships sit at anchor or berth in the Southern California Ports, causing a bottleneck of freight that can not reach the mainland. With the new dwell time fees and the holidays looming, congestion rises to critical conditions. At an already busy time of year for the ports and retailers desperate to ship their products before the holidays, inland transportation from Southern California will spike, causing demand and rates to increase like we have not yet seen ever before.” — Chris Olsen, Senior Vice President of Truckload.  

Now is as important a time as ever for businesses to prepare for the holiday freight frenzy and utilize an innovative and reliable Transportation Management System (TMS). Priority1 prides itself on providing each of our customers with access to our powerful TMS, equipped with state-of-the-art Application Programming Interface (API), impressive less-than-truckload (LTL) quoting, dispatch, and real-time tracking based on check-in status. With so much uncertainty this holiday season, one thing is clear: your product is always our priority. 

Check out Priority1’s previous blog post covering our solutions to the top challenges in shipping in and outside of the holidays.  

By: Caela Fugate

Employee of the Quarter: Wesley Bland

With the third quarter of 2021 successfully closed, Priority1 is thrilled to announce our next Employee of the Quarter: Wesley Bland. Over a year prior, Wes joined Priority1 as a Data Engineer and has hit the ground running ever since. Before entering the technology field, his background was rooted in 15-years of automotive painting. However, Wes currently spearheads numerous responsibilities as an active member of our development team, including vast reporting and maintaining the successful flow of Priority1’s databases.  

Wes currently resides in Sherwood, Arkansas, with his spouse, Amanda, and their two children, Onalee (6) and Jex (4), who he calls his greatest motivation. He is driven by ultimate customer satisfaction, claiming his direct customers are “the other employees of Priority1, along with our customers’ employees.” He takes great pride in how his reporting makes the lives and careers of his peers more seamless and less strenuous while simultaneously impressing Priority1’s current customers.

A monumental milestone for Wes occurred during the completion of the shipped statistics table displayed on the Cabo TMS Dashboard. During the creation process, there was a hesitancy among the sales staff to trust the data provided in the completed dashboard because the numbers deviated from the standard. However, after Priority1’s leadership confirmed the table’s stellar and dependable accuracy, Wes’ hard work came to fruition. 

Though Wes’ highest motivation is his family, he takes inspiration from his mother, who he calls “the glue that held our family together.” A woman of immeasurable value and grit even as she supported her late husband through an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before his passing, Wes’ father passed down a message to his son, which still impacts him. “The key to living a fulfilling life is always to put [your] family first and to love what [you] do for a living.” 

Outside of the office, Wes has a passion for sports, fantasy football, and follows his favorite sporting teams religiously, including the Arkansas Razorbacks and Chicago Bears. When he’s not cheering on the Hogs, Wes and his wife are full-time little league parents. They often shuttle their two children to and from various activities and events so they too can find their passions. 

Passing on his own piece of advice to new and current Priority1 employees, Wes encourages them to enjoy the ride and remember your hard work will consistently be rewarded. When asked for his favorite quality about Priority1, Wes emphasized his team’s infectious enthusiasm. “I love the positivity and the contagious energy. Everyone I interact with daily is always friendly and extremely positive. I’ve never worked somewhere with so much positivity. I also love being a charter member of Phillionaire and the Data Dawgz.” 

According to Phillip Scholtes, Vice President of Technology, “Wes has proven to be one of the most impactful members of the technology team. He has provided Priority1 with countless reporting improvements, efficiencies, and optimizations to both our TMS and the organization as a whole. In a world where data is king, I’m confident that Wes will continue to position Priority1 as a leader in the digital freight era.” 

Congratulations from all of us at Priority1 for this incredible accomplishment, Wes. Your achievements within our development team have been immeasurable, and we’re thrilled to shine a light on your diligent and impressive work. 

Tune in next quarter to reveal who Priority1 will name our final Employee of the Quarter for 2021! 

By: Caela Fugate

From One Driver to the Next, Thank you. National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 2021

At Priority1, we are taking the time to celebrate and commemorate our hard-working truck drivers during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, which falls on September 12th through 18th, 2021. This year’s celebration takes a special significance in all businesses and homes for those dedicated drivers who continued to stock our shelves and stores during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This week is a prime opportunity to witness our appreciation to the 3.6 million professional men and women who not only deliver our goods safely, securely, and on time but also keep our highways safe.

“Americans in all fifty states have taken extraordinary steps to show their appreciation for the important work that professional truck drivers have done as we navigate our way through the coronavirus pandemic. From children passing out lunches, to “I Heart Truck” signs across America’s highways, the public has taken notice of the essential role truck drivers play in their lives.” — American Trucking Associations (ATA) 

Wondering how you can pass on a special thank you to truck drivers across the country? Donating to any of the non-profits/organizations below can genuinely impact a driver’s life right from your home!

Truckers Final Mile 

Due to their unpredictable occupation, truck drivers are more likely to experience nonfatal injuries than other professions. In 2018, 840 drivers died in the United States alone. When tragedy strikes on the road, Truckers Final Mile reunites truck drivers and their families in the event of loss of life, debilitating injury, serious illness, a crisis at home, or the need to make mobility improvements at a driver’s home. They are available 24/7 for assistance and will verify any task within four hours of submission. The charity also offers grief counseling with an on-staff Chaplain or an Independent Grief Counselor through their voucher program. 

Meals for 18 Wheels 

Ever wonder how a driver locates a hot meal during a bind on the road? Meals for 18 Wheels is an organization comprised of volunteers covering 48 states and Canadian areas to deliver hot meals to drivers. Suppose a driver finds themself without food, broken down, or sitting overnight at a customer’s location due to circumstances beyond their control. In that case, this organization works around the clock to pair them with a volunteer to deliver a hot meal. Truckers can contact Meals for 18 Wheels from anywhere in the country, and a central coordinator will locate a nearby volunteer to provide a home-cooked meal as soon as possible. However, please note this is a holiday-heavy organization and a temporary service for drivers as they are only allowed to provide aid three times in six months.

St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund 

Every American relies on truck drivers to deliver goods and stock our stores. However, have you ever wondered what could happen to a driver if an injury leaves them without work? The St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF) aids over-the-road/regional semi-truck drivers and their families when an illness or injury has recently left them out of work. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment to providers for household living expenses such as rent/mortgage, utilities, vehicle payments, and insurance. The SCF provides all applicants with information on negotiating price reductions with medical providers and hospitals but does not directly pay for medical bills. The organization has assisted more than 3,200 truckers and provided over $3.5 million towards drivers’ expenses.

Today, take some time to donate to the charities above or simply thank a truck driver for their dedication to providing goods and services nationwide. From all of us at Priority1, thank you, truck drivers, of America!

By: Caela Fugate   

Top Tier Services for LTL Shipping

At Priority1, we are dedicated to making our customers’ experience our top priority. By providing access to cutting-edge technology, dedicated back-office support, and on-the-spot customer service, Priority1 sets itself apart in the 3PL world. Specifically, in our Key Account Rep (KAR) and Pricing Departments, we adjust our processes to provide supreme services at an unparalleled pace.

“Our team is dedicated to making sure our customers receive the best freight experience possible. The Key Account Rep team does not settle on just being ‘good’ at their jobs; they strive to be freight superstars. Everyone on the team takes the time to build customer relationships and listen to the customers’ needs. When we can understand the customer’s business, we can provide a tailored approach to the freight audit process.” — Deirdre Guice, Vendor Relations Manager.

Priority1’s KAR team coordinates the freight bill and audit process, intending only to bill our LTL customers when we are confident of an accurate invoice. Though we are aware this vetting process is far from the norm, it ensures that our customers receive an accurate and completed invoice for their records. It is not uncommon, specifically in LTL, for a shipper to receive an invoice and utilize it to invoice their customers only to receive another invoice later because an additional service was performed while the shipment was in transit. When this happens, it creates a cumbersome and complicated situation for the shipper as they struggle to go back and secure additional funds from their customer successfully. Ultimately, they absorb the extra cost, but because we attempt to provide an accurate invoice at the forefront, Priority1 minimizes this troublesome situation.

“In the over-arching environment we are in, the access to quality carriers with competitive rates is what sets the top 3PLs from the pack. The work we’ve done to date to establish and maintain these relationships is the foundation of our business, and without these relationships, our agent network and sales teams wouldn’t have anything to sell.” — Grant Crawford, Chief Financial Officer.

In our Pricing Department, Priority1 also ensures we maintain our relationships to provide our customers with competitive pricing in an ever-changing freight market. According to Will Sison, Priority1’s Director of Pricing, “[Priority1’s] carrier partners are always looking for ways to serve our customers better. Through cutting-edge technology, P1 is making strides with the latest pricing methods available.” Those methods also include dynamic, dimensional, industry-specific, and customer-specific pricing. Regardless, Priority1 strives to go above and beyond for its customers, starting with the right price.

“While the current pricing environment is extremely fluid and unprecedented, Priority1’s pricing team works to balance our customer needs with our carrier partner needs…and the pricing we have available is a collaborative effort to service those needs.” — Will Sison, Director of Pricing.

If you are interested in booking with Priority1, please reach out today to partner with a 3PL that guarantees a seamless shipping experience from start to finish.

By: Caela Fugate

Priority1 — Moving Forward

Priority1, a modern transportation company that prioritizes experience without cutting corners, takes great pride in every one of its motivating offices nationwide, including its corporate headquarters located in Little Rock, Arkansas. Previously, these corporate locations were spread out over three separate offices in varying parts of Little Rock. However, in an exciting effort to merge our headquarters closer together and further our overall productivity, Priority1 has completed a corporate-wide relocation.

“We are extremely excited about upgrading to our new facility. We believe the facility we have built is a showpiece all of our employees can be proud of and thoroughly enjoy. We are confident that our office culture will propel Priority1 as a nationally recognized leader in the 3PL space and stake our name as the leading employer in Central Arkansas.”  — Chris Olsen, Vice President of Truckload.

As of May of 2021, Priority1 now holds two corporate locations in the hub of Downtown Little Rock, separated by a single crosswalk. In this incredible expansion, Priority1 has progressed from mere humble beginnings to occupying the entire sixth floor of the Lyon building—an area of over 22,000 square feet.

“Bringing Priority1’s offices together in Downtown Little Rock creates productivity and cultural synergies that will propel our future growth. As we look at our previous track record of success, future growth opportunities, and required cadence of personal interaction in a post covid work environment, I am excited to have the team together as we march towards increased expectations.” — Daniel Berardi, Chief Executive Officer

Projected to grow by over 90% in 2021, Priority1 is taking massive strides in providing its staff with the resources, technology, and office culture necessary to further its journey as an influential infrastructure in the transportation industry.

By: Caela Fugate

Employee of the Quarter: Nathan Sebren

As Priority1 closes its record-breaking first quarter of 2021, it is time for another Employee of the Quarter highlight. This quarter, Priority1 takes great pride in showcasing the hard work of Nathan Sebren as one of P1’s dedicated Truckload Logistics Specialists. Before joining Priority1 over six years ago, Nathan graduated from Bryant High School and currently resides in the Benton area of Arkansas. His position includes aiding the Truckload Sales team and Agent Channel in quoting and setting up shipments while producing the best solutions for Priority1’s customers. Nathan has proved to his team time and time again that he has an unparalleled dedication to constant growth and the grit for success. In December of 2020, which he called the best month of his career, Nathan successfully partnered with a customer who provided Amazon goods. His motivation for success stems from an innate nature to provide for his family.

“I look at [my position] as a career, not just a job. As far as getting it right? I’m not sure if I have it right just yet, but I still learn every single day how I can better myself to make the best impact possible with our customers.” — Nathan Sebren, Truckload Logistics Specialist.

Nathan strives to make a positive impact on a day-to-day basis. His driven nature originates from the best advice he has received. “Even the hardest problems you face have an ending, good or bad. Make the best of what is presented to you and work on a resolution instead of stressing out over what happened.”

Nathan’s father is a monumental influencer in his life and has been “a great help in showing [Nathan] how to be a great human being and love anyone and everyone, even when it’s hard.” Outside of the office, Nathan enjoys getting back to nature and partakes in hunting and fishing seasonally. Nathan also shared a brow-raising fact with the P1 team. While island camping in his youth, he was tragically struck by lightning on the outskirts of Lake Ouachita, located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Though Nathan made a full recovery, the memory sticks with him daily.

“I couldn’t be prouder of Nathan’s personal and professional growth over the past six years. Nathan was shaking as he answered the phone on the first day, and now he is one of the most respected members of our Truckload Operations team. There is nothing more rewarding as a manager than to see an employee like Nathan recognized for his hard work and success.” — Matt Watson, Truckload Logistics Manager.

Nathan hopes to work his way up into management in the near future. He often recalls the beginning portion of his career when the Truckload team consisted of just a handful of individuals. He looks forward to additional growth inside of P1 and more record-breaking quarters. Nathan’s best advice for new hires is to “be yourself and do not be afraid to ask questions.” From all of us at Priority1, thank you, Nathan, for your hard work and commitment to our Truckload team. Tune in next quarter for another employee highlight!

By: Caela Fugate

Seven Tips for Landing a Career in Sales

As spring is in full bloom for most of the country, job hunting and interview season will be in full swing in the coming months. With this in mind, Zach Kyle, Priority1’s Senior Vice President of Sales, has released seven noteworthy tips for anyone attempting to jumpstart a career in sales. Whether you are a recent college grad looking to secure your first post-graduation gig or an experienced sales representative, each of these tips could aid you in obtaining a sales-related position within an established company.

Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date.

An updated LinkedIn profile and solid resume are essential starting points. Sales Recruiters and Hiring Managers are constantly combing through LinkedIn profiles for new talent, so make sure you take the extra time to create a unique product that will attract these people to your profile. For additional benefit, you should also research “Sales Recruiters or Headhunters” in your local area as these companies will be able to bring new sales opportunities directly to you.

Build your interview skills.

Interview at as many places as possible. Good interviewing skills come with practice and repetition, so give yourself more opportunities to flex that muscle. Through these interviews, you will also obtain exposure to numerous sales roles and companies across many different industries. It is vital to educate yourself on what is out there to find what is the best fit for you.

Practice, practice, practice for every interview.

Come fully prepared for your interviews. You do not need to know every detail about the company you are meeting with and their hiring role, as they will explain that to you. With that said, make sure you have some basic information about the business and the person you are meeting with, preferably written down in a notepad that you bring to the interview. Presence is also essential, so dress sharp, bring that energy, and smile, smile, smile! Show off those beautiful, pearly whites because we all want to see them. Also, be prepared to deliver a strong briefing about yourself and your background, even if it is your first job post-graduation. Storytelling is vital in interviewing, and it is crucial that you can tell your story effectively and chronologically. While at the same time, you should maintain a genuine tone and simultaneously sell yourself by being yourself. Finally, once the interview wraps up, always end each interaction by setting up a date and time for the next steps. Close every time!

Know the job description.

Upon considering a position, make sure you fully understand exactly what you will be doing before making any decision. If you like what you hear after your first in-person interview, inquire if you can shadow current reps and your future manager for at least half a workday, if not an entire workday. You always want to inspect what you expect before signing an offer letter.

Love your leader.

Pick a leader, not a company. Success in sales means different things to different people. To some, it means financial stability. To others, it might mean furthering their leadership opportunities. And to you, it may mean less work and more personal time. Whatever your motivation is for choosing a career in sales, make sure you find a leader that understands what you want and one that will do everything in their power to help you get to where you want to be.

Be confident in your decision.

It’s always a good idea to discuss each opportunity you consider with your loved ones. They are the single source of emotional support you have more often than not. So, their opinion matters, but you know what is truly best for your career path at the end of the day. Though deciding a course for your career can be daunting, be confident in your direction, and the rest will follow.

Weigh the pros and cons.

Finally, take the time to research a company, including the reviews left by previous and current employees. However, in the same instance, take anonymous internet reviews with a grain of salt and do not let one or two passive comments influence your decision. Use your best judgment to sift through the reviews and weigh the pros and cons of a company. Throwing it back to the previous tip, be confident in your decisions and managers. What did not work for some might work for others!

If you’d like to learn more about career opportunities, culture, and news at Priority1, visit our Careers Page now for more information and apply today! 

By: Caela Fugate

Employee of the Quarter: Jessica Smith

Each quarter, Priority1 aims to highlight a hard-working, dedicated employee who continues to fly high above their pre-set expectations. This quarter, Priority1 has the great pleasure of highlighting Jessica Smith. Originally a local of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Jessica’s formal title is Financial Services Analyst, but her job description leans more towards Accounts Receivable. She manages a portfolio of direct and indirect sales accounts, working as a liaison between Priority1, the sales teams, and Priority1’s customers. Jessica is a problem solver through and through, and her second employment anniversary will be in March of 2021.

“Jessica is a huge asset to the Financial Services Department and Priority1. She is always going above and beyond to provide excellent customer service to both internal and external customers.” — Carrie Alexander, Financial Services Manager.

A significant milestone of Jessica’s career occurred in June 2020 when she smashed her goal of less than 25% on beyond terms, ending with 11% total. Jessica is motivated by “the profuse ability we have to change our circumstances at any given time.” When asked, she compares life to standing in an endless valley. “When you’re standing in the valley, looking up at the peaks, it can seem intimidating, but when you just take one step, then you’re already one step closer to an entirely different view.”

Jessica sows her positive attitude into province or family with two children, two dogs, and a house on four beautiful acres of land. Hiking, fishing, and road trips are the mere tip of her passions, including studying law. With a bachelor’s degree in Science from the University of Central Arkansas, Jessica plans to attend law school this Fall. Her advice for new employees is short and sweet: take ownership of your position by using your problem-solving and analytical skills.

“The one thing that drew me to Priority1 was how it takes care of the employees. From great benefits, incentives, flexible schedules, and understanding management teams, it is effortless to give your all, plus some, for a company that does the same.” — Jessica Smith, Financial Services Analyst.

From all of us at Priority1, thank you, Jessica, for your hard work and commitment to our Financial Services Department. Tune in next quarter for another employee highlight!

By: Caela Fugate

Culture at Priority1

Priority1 is a modern transportation company that prioritizes experience without cutting corners. We intertwine this policy throughout our company, including how we treat our employees. Priority1 strives to go beyond simply offering jobs. We foster careers by creating a stable and ever-growing working environment. We hire talented individuals who will provide the best support and quickly adapt to the rapidly changing world of logistics. These talented men and women drive our business, and we are committed to their success. With that in mind, we strive to provide them with the best benefits, profit-sharing opportunities, and a family work environment.

Unmatched Benefits 

At Priority1, we have an array of lucrative benefits offered to all our full-time employees. These benefits can range from dental insurance to a 401(k)-retirement account and more. The health and safety of our hard-working employees rank above all in our minds. Because of this, we also provide medical insurance with a premium paid at 100% for your family. This benefit is the most appreciated and indispensable, especially for Priority1 employee Hunter Alford.

“My wife and I recently had a beautiful baby girl.  We were in the hospital with my wife for seven days before her birth, and after my daughter made her appearance seven weeks early, she had to spend 24 days in the NICU receiving care as a preemie. You can only imagine how expensive the medical bills were racking up during that time.  Our insurance providers were extremely helpful, being just a phone call away and consistently sending us letters in the mail explaining what was going on with the billing. We are still in the process, but with Priority1’s benefits, they have covered close to 100% of the medical bills that we have gotten so far, which is phenomenal. It is great to know that you work for a company where the owners care about their employees and are willing to take money out of their earnings to provide health care for their employees.” — Hunter Alford, Inside Sales Representative

Below is a complete list of our offered benefits for P1 employees. 

  • Competitive pay 
  • Medical insurance (with a premium paid at 100%) 
  • Vision insurance 
  • Dental insurance 
  • Prescription medical drug program 
  • Life insurance 
  • Short & long term disability  
  • Profit-sharing plan
  • 401(k) plan 
  • Paid holidays & vacation leave 

Profit-sharing 

Historically, Priority1 has also offered a 15% annual profit-sharing opportunity to every employee. Our unique profit-sharing opportunities allow each employee a transparent look into our company and promote productivity and loyalty amongst each department. 

According to a Human Interest blog post, “In a profit-sharing plan, an employee receives a percentage of a company’s profits, either in cash or company stock, based on the company’s quarterly or annual earnings…Profit-sharing is a great way for owners to share business profits with the rest of the company and compensate them in a tax-friendly way — both employers and employees benefit from this approach.” 

We have found each employee benefits from this by incorporating a small piece of their hard work into the growth of the business, thus feeling more connected and included in the company’s inner workings.

Family Atmosphere 

Priority1 has a work culture unmatched by other industry-leading companies outside of our high-quality benefits and profit-sharing plans. We have an open-door policy that allows every employee to come to their superiors for assistance and advice. Our CEO, Daniel Berardi, or our VP of Truckload, Chris Olsen, welcomes each employee into our corporate office with a building tour and personally introduces our new hires to the current staff. In our minds, each position is valued and provided with the resources necessary for success.

So, if you are considering a position at any of our nationwide locations, please apply today to get started! 

By: Caela Fugate