“I know it’s only rock n’ roll but I like it, I like it, yes I do.” – Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones.
Sasha Goodman, Chief Administrative Officer of Rock-it Cargo, got her start in logistics delivering a hat to Sir Elton John for a show, one of the early defining moments of her career that she still looks back on as a catalyst that propelled her career in the industry.
She moved from the UK to the United States in the 1983 while working David Bowie’s “Serious Moonlight” tour. Her career has been spent in a corner of the logistics world requiring the utilization of every skill set that a modern day forwarder has in their toolkit.
“Project logistics, just in time, express, general cargo, expedited and AOG. Am I missing anything,” Goodman muses as she ticks off the list from memory in Los Angeles, the corporate headquarters of Rock-it Cargo. Rock-it Cargo is comprised of seven brands and has thirty-two owned offices in twelve countries and is backed by ATL Partners private equity capital.
Sasha’s involvement as a woman executive in air cargo extends beyond her role as member of Rock-it’s Board of Directors. Internally, she has identified and promoted women into prominent leadership positions company-wide, ensuring a wide and diverse collection of voices and mentors for other women within the organization or for women looking to make logistics their lifelong careers.
She is also on the board of the Airforwarders Association, is a member of their Regulatory Committee tackling the thorny issues of aviation security and hazardous materials and co-chairs the Women’s Networking Event at the group’s annual AirCargo Conference which has grown from a handful of attendees in its first year to one now drawing hundreds and is viewed as the de facto kick-off session of the event.
Like many air cargo executives she has spent the majority of her time these past few months working from home while still going into the office affixed to a crew that is on an alternating schedule with another crew so neither overlaps to prevent potential virus exposure and community spread.
Today, with live events globally on hiatus, she’s utilizing all those skills helping customers new and old. Her portfolio at Rock-it includes many of the operational teams who are pivoting to the commerce and traffic moving around the world now and for the near term.
“Rock-it is the preeminent global company at procuring and arranging charters and with many of our touring customers off the road, we’ve turned our attention to charters full of fresh produce items like blueberries and blackberries and critical PPE shipments to the United States and other parts of the world combatting the COVID-19 pandemic in their countries.”
The quiet has also allowed her time to review, rewrite and train (or re-train) Rock-it’s global workforce.
“There are few opportunities to catch your breath as tours move from northern to southern hemisphere. For a short period of time things quiet down, but like trying to do rolling maintenance on a manufacturing line that’s constantly in use, you make the best repairs when it’s off.”
“We’re reviewing the digital tools we utilize, the products and services we offer and the processes we have in place to help our people and customers succeed.”
As people and commerce ground to a halt around the world, many noticed the environmental impacts in cities and countries – reduced pollution and increased visibility were the most notable. Before the pandemic, Sasha took on the role as Environmental Social Governance (ESG) officer at the company, leading the charge to help their environmentally-conscious customers purchase carbon offsets and promoting a culture of social responsibility that includes giving back and organized charitable events, including a sleep-out to raise money for the homeless that was cancelled because of the pandemic.
“Airlines and steamship lines have both reinforced their commitment to being better environmental stewards even in today’s climate. We remain focused on our plans and commitments as well, knowing the dividends and benefits it will bring both the planet and the company.”
Rock-it’s family of companies handle a diverse number of products and projects for a diverse group of clients. Beyond the live event services they’re most known for, Rock-it also has companies specializing in automobile transport, fine art and antiques and customs brokerage. Those divisions, Goodman says, are seeing an uptick in business the past few months.
“Our customs brokerage division, Rogers Worldwide, is handling clearances of PPE into the United States – a complex process garnering increasing scrutiny from Customs and FDA who are increasingly vigilant of counterfeit and non-effective masks, testing kits and other gear.”
“Dietl (the fine arts division) and Cosdel (the automotive division) are seeing traffic owing to brisque buying and selling within the sectors.”
As she looks ahead to what it looks like for things to open, she likens it to a new artist in his or her infancy as a performer.
“It’s going to start small,” Sasha offers. “Events like art exhibitions lend themselves to social distancing more than stadium shows and major sporting competitions.”
But she’s ready for the challenge.