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Crowley Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Over the last 50 years, Hispanic men and women have increased their presence across all industries: sports, music, politics, movies, television, business and more. This influence has helped to create a more diverse world that is inclusive of different perspectives and ideas – including at Crowley.

At our company, Hispanic employees have helped us become the innovative, high-performing organization we are today serving diverse locations, including Latin America.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), some of our Hispanic employees as well as their supervisors offered their insights into the impact their heritage has had on their career and the value it has brought to their teams. Read the full interviews below.

Caroline Crawford, Chief Technology Officer

I have lived in the U.S. for most of my life now, growing up in El Salvador and speaking Spanish has given me a unique perspective that I have leveraged throughout my career. Having to communicate in multiple languages has helped me become a better listener and understand varied points of view. The friendly and open vibe that the Hispanic culture instills, helps me step out of my analytical shell. 

As Crowley’s Chief Technology Officer, I am privileged to lead a diverse team with members both in the U.S. and in Central America, all of whom are hard workers and dedicated to Crowley. My Hispanic background helps to bridge the teams and I have been able to “go back home” to share messages about cybersecurity awareness and end-user experience. I must admit that the Hispanic team does their job with “gusto” and inspires us to bring that same zest to everything we do.  

I enjoy walking around the various Crowley offices, where multiple languages and perspectives are part of the daily routine and make us the “People Who Know.”

Osvaldo Medina, Director, Procurement

My Latino heritage has impacted my team and work at Crowley in a number of ways. Latin culture revolves around family and learning from an early age to be part of something bigger than yourself. We collaborate on everything, whether it be on large home projects or just cooking a holiday meal. We put aside differences to come together and enjoy. 

Having left Cuba at a very early age, I did not live under a regime for very long. But I understand the struggles my family went through in order to have freedom and opportunity. For example, my father had to work the cane fields for two years in order to allow us to leave the country.  After leaving Cuba with nothing more than the clothes on our backs, we moved to Spain and eventually two years later moved to the U.S. This taught me to appreciate the most basic things in life. 
I believe that my Hispanic heritage has always taught me to not have a sense of entitlement and to be a tirelessly hard worker. I don’t give up easily and always feel I can do more. This aligns with our Crowley culture of high performance. At Crowley, high performance is expected, it is part of our makeup. When one team member is not at their best, we all feel it. 

Being bilingual is also a benefit that adds to the diversity and plurality of our workforce and opens our horizons to build relations with various parts of the business. 

I am proud of my Hispanic upbringing and how my family has incorporated it into American culture, adding that slight seasoning of our rich, diverse history. 

Hannibal Garces, Director, Management Reporting and Finance Management

Being Hispanic, to me, means quite a few things. I was born in the city of Guayaquil in the country of Ecuador. My background is very diverse as my mom is from the coast and my dad from the mountains. So even within my own country, I am from different regions and different cultures.

To me, my Hispanic heritage means being open to all cultures. Because although many people are considered Hispanic, we are all from different races and backgrounds.

What my upbringing gave me is the innate desire to be constantly learning and improving myself as we had to improve our way of life. That means to stay curious to all types of information, experiences and people.

Today at Crowley, (and in other jobs before) I constantly try to innovate and think differently. My background, culture and approach has allowed me to influence several departments. For example, I was part of the original team that created Crowley’s corporate shared services in El Salvador. The group began with three departments totaling 27 people about 14 years ago and has now grown to a group of over 300.

At Crowley, we understand that diversity adds value and enhances performance. For example, my team today in Jacksonville includes one Russian male, a Colombian female, a Turkish female, a Puerto Rican male, and three Salvadorians (one female and two male) – and we all lead in learning technology and process improvements as well as diversity.

Claudia Kattan, Vice President, Crowley Logistics Central America

I feel very proud to be Latino, originally from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, with Arabic heritage from my father and Spanish heritage from my mother. I love being able to share this amazing culture with my peers and colleagues.

I am proud to have a very enthusiastic, passionate and engaged leadership team in the Central America region, and that is a big part of our success. It is my belief that through empathy, mutual understanding and a collaborative environment, we can make a bigger impact that changes how we experience the world.

Latinos contribute greatly to achieving better results. One of the greatest advantages of being Hispanic, is not only to be able to work with our Latino customers, but having the background to understand their needs, bring added value to what they do, and be able to lead those efforts in our business portfolio.

I particularly feel passionate to work not only with Hispanic people, but also to have the best of all worlds. I’m able to be part of the global logistic leadership and share our commitment to contribute and enhance results at Crowley.

Crowley is a company that promotes diversity and inclusion, creating a workplace where all employees can contribute with their opinions. It supports a culture of taking care of employees by providing them with benefits and training and this makes a great place to work. I’m proud to work at an organization that promotes such an inclusive environment

Steve Collar, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Crowley Logistics

Claudia is a very special person, and I am so glad to have her as a part of our Logistics leadership team. She is highly competent and brings a great level of energy to every discussion.

In terms of culture, Claudia is passionate and caring, and she is highly trusted by our overall team and her team in Central America. She adds a fresh perspective to our conversations, and we rely on her wisdom and guidance in our decision-making process. She is authentic, courageous and strong — always putting others’ needs before her own. Claudia is a mentor and tremendous role model who always has a listening ear and has a giving spirit that is a great example to our team.

The hospitality shown by Claudia and her team for those that travel to Central America is simply incredible. She demands a lot from her team, and they all work hard to meet her high expectations. We are tremendously proud and blessed to have Claudia as a loyal member of our high performing logistics team.

Roberto Bou, Director, Talent Acquisition

Growing up in El Salvador has been a blessing. The values and education I’ve received from my family and at school have been the foundation of who I am today.

The sense of family is what’s impacted my team the most. Because as we all know, in Latin America, family is most important, and that is what I’ve built with my team. We are together for more than eight hours per day, so they’re my second family. We share values, beliefs, objectives and we are always there for each other no matter what. When you manage to create a family in your workplace, you will achieve amazing and wonderful things.

Jeannie Stewart, Vice President, People Services – Talent and Development

Roberto, like so many others at Crowley, makes people his highest priority. When interacting with customers, candidates and his team, he is so energetic and engaging that you can tell people and relationships truly are his passion.

I believe this is what makes him so good at what he does. In his role, he is responsible for recruiting top talent to join our organization. This passion for building relationships enables him to network with many different people to ensure he finds those who will be the right fit for Crowley.

And beyond that, the way he treats his co-workers is very similar to how I imagine he treats his family. He is very hospitable, constantly making sure everyone has what they need, and genuinely caring about their interests and goals.