TIA loves to celebrate our diverse membership. Meet Jim Vaca, CEO of Source Alliance Network, LLC in Chicago, IL.
How did you get involved in the industry? How many years have you been working in the industry?
I began my career in operations at UPS Parcel. After three years, I was promoted to part-time supervisor before transitioning to sales for another three years, where I gained fundamental knowledge of the logistics industry. Briefly stepping away, I worked in pharmaceutical sales, but was drawn back to transportation solutions. I spent six years in sales and solutions at a 3PL parcel analytics company before founding Source Alliance Network in 2010. Since then, I’ve been navigating the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.
Who has inspired your career?
My greatest inspirations are my mother and father. While my father hails from Mexico and my mother was born here, both have Mexican roots, and we had a family business during my upbringing. It wasn’t always easy. I learned that it is not a 9-5 job and takes an immense amount of dedication. They instilled in me the importance of managing my time and achieving a work-life balance. My other inspiration comes from my awesome and supportive wife and two wonderful children.
What has been the greatest challenge/opportunity in your career?
My biggest challenge was learning how to balance my own strengths and areas needing improvement. Initially, I frequently strived for perfection, as my inclination leans heavily towards control and exactness. This tendency became apparent when I started hiring employees, and I realized that my expectations were, quite frankly, unfair. I quickly understood that for us to grow and expand, I needed to relinquish some of those controls and incorporate others’ skills and experiences. From this experience, I’ve learned that coaching employees and fostering open, honest conversations are essential for a company to build trust and cultivate a culture that our people can embrace wholeheartedly.
What advice would you give to others who want to start working in the industry?
Ensure that you’re starting a business for the right reasons. It all starts with passion. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted. You must be passionate about your endeavors and prepared to invest your finances, time, and energy, as well as be willing to take on associated risks. My genuine enthusiasm comes from achieving client satisfaction and fostering the growth and development of employees. I find immense joy in positively impacting both areas. It’s crucial to consider others, as they are the driving force behind enduring long hours and making sacrifices, all while maintaining a positive outlook.
Why is it important for you to be a member of TIA?
As a member of TIA, I am only scratching the surface, so my intention is for my team and I to thoroughly explore everything TIA offers. I have always viewed TIA as a valuable resource and have learned a great deal from connecting with other TIA members, industry experts, and competitors. It has been an excellent opportunity for mutual sharing. Embracing this atmosphere has brought me immense value in return, surpassing my initial expectations.
TIA is the premier organization for third-party logistics professionals in North America and abroad. Membership at TIA adds value to your business and provides resources for growth.
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