In this month’s Team Member Spotlight, we hear from a high-achieving member of our customer sales team who has one of the most unique journeys through the transportation industry. He’s motivated by problem-solving and always finds efficient ways to overcome challenges.
Tommy Nickels brings experience from his time in the Navy as well as his time as a delivery driver, handling 1000 boxes a day for FedEx. This multi-faceted background directly informs how he interacts with customers and continues to earn their business and their trust. We’re so excited to hear from Tommy and celebrate his contributions to the Velocity Transport mission!
How long have you been with Velocity Transport and how did you find out about Velocity?
I’ve been a part of this team for just over a year. I came across Velocity through some advertising followed by cold outreach and was immediately taken with the start-up atmosphere. It seemed like the perfect mix of an exciting opportunity and knowledgeable leadership. I just could feel the growth potential.
What’s your role on the team?
I’m a customer sales rep with my own book of business. What keeps me motivated to succeed in this role is the continual problem-solving nature of the job, as well as the challenge of finding and keeping new business.
My mindset is always to handle each new day and its challenges as they come. I really just enjoy the challenge of freight brokerage and juggling so many priorities.
What was your background in transportation prior to Velocity?
I started in transportation logistics in 2003. I was a FedEx driver for about six years and delivered to a brokerage that was just starting. I started talking to them, interviewed with them in my FedEx uniform, and got the job. I’ve been in brokerage every since!
How does your background as a delivery driver still impact you today?
Being a delivery driver taught me to push past my mental and physical limits and think on my feet. It also taught me resilience. I had to move 1000 boxes each day for six years. You have to find strategies to keep that interesting and to find success in that role.
How does your military background inform your approach to work?
The biggest element of my Navy training that is still top of mind at Velocity is attentional to detail. You HAVE to have a mind for the little things to be successful in freight brokerage. Beyond that, I’d say placing a high value on coming through for people and finding unique efficiencies have stuck with me from my Navy career.
How have you adjusted to working from home during this remote reality?
Honestly, the transition for me has been just fine. I’m a strategist and planner by nature, so working from home has given me time to think and really focus on the customers I’m serving. When people aren’t in the same room, collaboration obviously gets more complicated. But the unsung value of working remotely is that everyone self-curates what they have to say. Everyone thinks more before they speak.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work, under normal circumstances?
My biggest hobbies are chess, poker, and boxing. Really, anything centered on strategy and competition is something I’d probably be interested in.