Ramona Hood started with FedEx Custom Critical almost 25 years ago as a receptionist. She worked in Safety for several years before deciding she was interested in pursuing a leadership position.
Ramona switched departments to begin her steps up the ranks within the company. She held various positions in operations, gradually working her way up to senior manager.
After working in operations for many years, Ramona knew she had to get out of her comfort zone if she wanted to continue to rise through the ranks. She then became a senior manager in the sales department, working on strategic sales and developing leadership in that department.
"I wanted to make sure that I was well-rounded within the company," Ramona said.
Her next stop as senior manager was in the FedEx Truckload Brokerage department. From there, Ramona was again promoted, this time joining the company's executive team in her current position as managing director of FedEx Truckload Brokerage.
There have been many challenges in Ramona's career. The first of which was realizing her potential and opportunity to grow within the company.
"Once I decided I was interested in leadership I decided it would be best to be intentional about what kind of roadmap I wanted to create for my career," she said.
When Ramona started with the company, she was just looking for a full-time, Monday-through-Friday job. "One thing that I liked about FedEx was that it was a people-first environment," she said. "I got to know the people, I enjoyed the culture and then after a while it really started to feel like home. I saw myself furthering my career here."
Ramona says the FedEx Custom Critical does a good job at bringing in external talent as well as promoting from within. She says she has had many mentors, coaches and sponsors who have guided her throughout her career.
"I consider a sponsor anyone who is willing to put their career and reputation on the line and co-sign for your ability to do things," she said. "Even if it's just at a meeting you're not in and someone speaking up and saying, 'hey this person is a hard worker they should be given more responsibility'."
Ramona says her biggest mentor and sponsor is Virginia Albanese, CEO of FedEx Custom Critical. Albanese helped her aspire to positions where there wasn't much diversity and encouraged her to further her education.
While working at FedEx Custom Critical, Ramona obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Walsh University and an Executive MBA from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management.
"I'm a firm believer that being knowledgeable and continuing to learn about the economy is the best way to be a successful business leader," Ramona said. "It's beneficial working for a company that not only supports your individual development, but educational development as well."
Ramona has held responsibilities within FedEx Truckload Brokerage for eight years, taking on this position only two years after the operating company was created. Since then FedEx Truckload Brokerage's revenue has grown 30 percent, while contribution margin has grown more than 20 percent.
As a leader, Ramona enjoys seeing the growth and development of others. "The most rewarding part of being a leader is seeing someone who has talent and potential and being able to guide them to achieve more," she said. "When you finally see them reach their full potential, it's a very proud moment."