Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies.
Introducing John Husby, Regional Sales Manager at Lynden Transport in Tacoma, Washington.
Name: John Husby
Company: Lynden Transport
Title: Regional Sales Manager
On the Job Since: 2013
Superpower: Passion for solving challenges
Favorite Movie: The Godfather
Bucket List Destination: Angkor Wat, Cambodia
For Fun: Traveling and meeting different people
How and when did you start working for Lynden Transport? Have you worked for or done projects with other Lynden companies?
I began working for Lynden November of 2013. I have worked with several other Lynden companies on various projects. I knew of and worked with Lynden prior to that in my position managing air freight as Cargo Manager for Alaska Airlines. I was employed there for 15 years and Russ Walker was my sales rep. I got to know the people and the culture at Lynden. I always thought if I didn’t work for Alaska Airlines I would like to work for Lynden. I was talking with Russ one day about shipping freight from Anchorage into Fairbanks using Lynden Transport’s network, and Russ mentioned that they were hiring for two salespeople. At the time my sons were teenagers and I was getting up at 4 a.m. and going to bed at midnight pretty much seven days a week in my role as manager. It was a lot of time away from my family. Not a good life and work balance. I admired both Alaska Airlines and Lynden for their dedication to helping clients with their shipments, so I decided to start a new career with Lynden Transport.
What is a typical day like for you?
I’m in the office two days a week for operational teams and sales meetings. Our job in sales is to be out in front of customers, with a limited time in the office, so that’s where I am most days. Traffic is challenging in the Seattle area, so I try to be strategic in timing appointments and meetings. I spend most of my time connecting with customers and working with our Operations, Customer Service and Sales Teams to perform at a high level. I give a lot of credit specifically to our Fife operations and customer service teams. They are professionals and we are fortunate to work with them. I also am blessed to work with our sales team in Fife. We have a great group that brings their best daily. Around 3 or 4 p.m. I log in and start tapping away at quotes, thank you’s to customers and set things up for the next day. My sales routine is to get out early, set up breakfast meetings if possible. Most people are busy, so you want to get in front of them by 8 or 9 a.m., present quality information, be conscious of their time and look for opportunities to serve them.
What has been most challenging in your career?
Weather is always a challenge, especially when we have a single-sailing season. If a ship or barge is delayed due to weather issues it can put us behind and start a domino effect with our freight delivery. We also have many customers in Alaska counting on us to deliver freight reliably and on time, so any delays or issues greatly affect our customers and their businesses and well-being. There can be a lot of pressure placed upon our Alaska teams when things like weather are out of our control and vessels are running behind. We feel a responsibility to keep the supply chain intact for those customers who use Just-In-Time systems to replenish inventory.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m always looking for One Lynden opportunities. If we all align ourselves as operating companies and join arms, we’re a force to reckon with. We all have the same goal and mindset. I was proud to be involved in a project at Tununak, outside of Bethel. We moved a large generator up there to run the town. Alaska Marine Lines barged it up and everything worked out. After we delivered the shipment, the customer called me and said they forgot to order the fuel tanks for the generator! The fuel barge only comes once per year, at the end of the season, they would’ve had to wait another 8 to 10 months for the fuel. Flying fuel is expensive. There were three large fiberglass fuel tanks and they were all in Southern California. We loaded up the tanks on 53-foot trailers in California, drove them to Fife and put them on a TOTE ship to Anchorage. From there Lynden Air Cargo flew them to Bethel and we helicopter lightered them out to Tununak. The customer was really impressed that we could make this happen and was extremely pleased to only have one point of contact and one invoice for all the different transportation modes.
Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I’m a fourth-generation Seattleite and grew up with family around me. I lived in North Seattle, then Edmonds, then Bellevue. I have a blended family of a brother and stepsiblings. I attended Seattle Prep and Newport High School. I was pretty good at football and was recruited by many of the schools on the west coast including Washington, Stanford and Brigham Young University. I chose Washington State University. After five years at WSU I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in political science. I began working and attending graduate school at UC Berkeley as an assistant football coach. I then transferred to San Diego State, coaching football and completing a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in post-secondary education. I also coached at Fresno State. I have been married for 29 years to my wife Dana, have two adult sons, Josh and Ryan, and a yellow lab named Rebel.
What was your first job?
I worked on a farm that was owned at the time by the Boeing Family. It had cattle and sheep and hay fields. It is now Aldarra Golf Course. I built fences, stacked hay, and did just about anything else that was needed, including digging ditches. I also worked at a local moving company. When they had challenging moves, such as a concert grand piano or a large safe, the dispatcher would look at me and say, "Guess what…".
What would surprise most people about you?
I was an offensive lineman for the Washington State Cougars. At one special game in 1988 we beat No. 1-ranked UCLA in Pasadena. Keith Jackson, a WSU grad, called the game on ABC. It was the first and only time WSU beat a No. 1-ranked team at the Rose Bowl. The Pac-12 Network did a documentary of the game. After my college football career, I was a free agent with the Denver Broncos, then played in the World League of American Football in 1991 for the San Antonio Riders. There were three teams in Europe, London, Frankfurt and Barcelona. I got a chance to play in the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, Spain. Shortly after that, I started coaching football, including professionally in Japan. These Japanese football teams were supported by large companies like Kajima and Mitsubishi. One of the highlights was to climb Mt. Fuji with the team I was coaching, Onward Kashiyama. My wife Dana and I enjoyed living in Tokyo, but we decided to move back to Washington when it was time to start a family.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I enjoy swimming. Growing up I loved lakes, being on boats and waterskiing. When Covid hit I did a lot of swimming at an outdoor pool near our house. Having played football for many years on Astroturf, my joints remind me of those days playing. It beats you up. Swimming is good for my joints and helps keep me in shape. I like to play golf, read and spend time with family and friends. I also love to travel to see new places and experience new people.
What do you like best about your job?
We all work for a great company, and I really enjoy the people I work with. The job we do is critical to the livelihoods of those that live and work in Alaska, which means the Great Land. We do more than just transport goods and services; we have a daily responsibility to deliver those resources for our customers in Alaska.
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