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Promotions of Janise Kring and Valerie Gart ensure focus on operations and people

Interior of Port Logistics Group. Three orange chairs gathered around a small table with art in the background and view of the warehouse.

We’re on the move to keep pace with the rise of direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce and our own growth as an omnichannel logistics provider. We recently announced the promotions of Janise Kring from Executive Vice President of Operations to Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Valerie Gart from Senior Vice President of Human Resources to Chief People Officer (CPO).

The promotions of these two senior executive leaders to officer roles strengthen our commitment to people and operations. We are changing with the times and these promotions, each with a key focus on strategy, put our sights on the future.

But first, let’s take a brief look at the past. Both Kring and Gart joined the former Port Logistics Group (PLG) in 2018 and quickly went to work in their respective functions of operations and HR to refine processes and drive change. At that time, our business focus was less on D2C ecommerce and more on retail and wholesale. 

In early 2019, we made the intentional shift to focus on omnichannel, providing customers with more flexibility to choose the method for them to move their merchandise to their customer. By 2020, the strategy to grow our ecommerce fulfillment business was firmly in place following our acquisition in 2019 of the Whiplash ecommerce platform. In 2021, we decided to rebrand to Whiplash as a reflection of the growing importance of responsive, direct-to-consumer logistics.  

But no one could have predicted the restrictions placed on people and businesses by COVID-19. By the end of first quarter of 2020, we moved fast to keep up with the necessary changes to protect our workforce from the virus, scaling down the workforce, and then weeks later, scaling back up, all while meeting the shifting requirements of our customers as U.S. retail ecommerce grew to unprecedented levels.

Janise Kring to COO

Janise Kring, COO of Port Logistics Group

Kring oversees the strategic and operational responsibilities of our warehouse and transportation functions, across a growing footprint of facilities. Ultimately, she is charged with ensuring these vital operations run smoothly to support our best-in-class service to our customers. These customers range from retailers, distributors, manufacturers and brands, to the consumer (the customer’s customer) in the case of ecommerce orders from online brands and retailers.

Wolpov said: “Since joining Whiplash, Janise has completely transformed our operations, allowing us to deliver the highest levels of service to our customers while increasing productivity and fostering a culture of safety in all our facilities.”

Kring continues to be up for the task with a management style which both compliments and challenges her team.  

Valerie Gart to CPO

Valerie Gart, CPO of Port Logistics Group

As head of our people strategy at Whiplash, Gart’s mission is to lead in order to empower and engage employees. She has responsibility for employee development, organizational change, diversity, talent acquisition and performance management programs.

“Val has made a dramatic impact since joining Whiplash,  In a time of stiff competition for talent and labor in our industry, Val’s professionalism and forward-thinking approach to human resource management has allowed us to attract and retain the people we need to scale our business and meet the needs of our customers,” said Jeff Wolpov, CEO at Whiplash.  

Gart brings a guiding presence to her HR team and those she interacts with throughout the company and has already led by helping to develop some innovative employee and HR-related tools and programs.

U.S. retail business models are changing

Whether by need or preference, it’s clear consumers are continuing to shift their purchases online. We and our customers—from those in traditional retail distribution to online channels— recognize that many consumers aren’t going back to in-store shopping in the same way they did prior to the pandemic. 

As pandemic-related health and business restrictions continue to evolve, so do the business needs of our customers. At Whiplash, we’re keeping pace with the restrictions of COVID-19 and our own growth as we move into a more mature business model. We realize the enormous shifts necessary to bring our people and operations to even greater world-class customer service levels.

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