I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Boucher who serves as the Director of the Columbus Regional Logistics Council for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Christine and I first met when she was the Business Partnership Coordinator for Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools and coordinated the Central Ohio Career Readiness Council. Since that time, Christine transitioned roles and has been working for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for 5+ months.
As I’ve gotten to know Christine, I have come to think of her not only as a valued business colleague but also as a friend. We hope you enjoy our interview exchange, learn something new, and perhaps even something you can apply in your professional or personal life.
Q: Christine, please share a bit about your role and what your work entails.
A: As the Director of the CRLC, I engage and connect our Chamber members in the supply chain and logistics industry. In addition, I lead an advisory board who assists with sticking to our aligned mission through various activities and events.
Q: Before coming to the Chamber, you worked at Eastland-Fairfield Career Center. What was your position there?
A: Prior to this experience, I worked in education as a Workforce Development Coordinator, Career Development Coordinator and Business Partnership Coordinator. These areas are very much related to what I do currently at the Chamber.
Q: Where do you derive the greatest satisfaction or joy in the work you do?
A: Building relationships with members and helping them to connect the dots.
Q: And what do you find most challenging about your work?
A: Not having enough time in a day or week.
Q: If given the chance of a career “do-over,” what would you do differently?
A: If I had a “do-over,” I used to think I would want to be a teacher, but now I think I am right where I am supposed to be, so no do-overs’ for me!
Q: All careers and industries struggle with misperceptions or lack of awareness. What is the most misunderstood aspect of your industry, role, etc.?
A: That Chambers are just about membership for the money. They are way more than that, at least from my experience. Chambers are about helping businesses build their network. They are like an extension of the part of your business you cannot afford to hire.
Q: For readers who may be interested in a similar role or working within the industry, what advice would you share?
A: I would suggest getting involved and delivering on what you promise. If you can’t deliver, don’t promise!
Q: Looking back on your early career days, did you feel prepared to launch your career? If not, why not? What was missing?
A: I did not feel prepared to launch my career because I didn’t know what my career was going to be until the last 10 years. I had to live in each moment that was able to pay me a wage that I could live on, so my early career days were not about what I wanted to do but more about what I needed to do. I made some really expensive, both in time and money, decisions on what I thought my career was going to be.
Q: Who are your role models, mentors, inspiration professionally and/or personally and why?
A: My inspiration is my son. He was the reason that I worked hard and went to school for my bachelor’s degree. I got the degree because that was what I thought I was supposed to do, but in reality, I didn’t need it to do what I was doing at the time. In fact, after I got my degree, nothing significant changed for me in terms of company position or salary. It was a wasted opportunity for the company I was working for then because not long after I finished my degree, I left the company. My son was also the reason that when it was time for him to start pursuing his career, I knew the “what not to do’s” and successfully encouraged him to explore his options before making a commitment to an industry.
Q: What are your personal career goals or aspirations over the next 5-10 years?
A: In ten years, I would like to see myself leading a group of young staff so I can teach them how to grow and reach their own potential.
Q: Have you heard/read/experienced anything lately that has given you hope for role/industry/community?
A: Absolutely! There is a new business energy that seems to be permeating most industries in a positive way. People want to connect and participate more to avoid the same old silo routine. Education, however, has not changed or kept up. They continue to do things the same way it has always been done by enforcing that all students meet certain criteria and data checkmarks just to graduate. Truth is that after 13 years of education, high school graduates are less prepared than ever for college or workforce. They make little to no decisions while in school but then they are forced out into a world where they must not only make decisions on a regular basis but are also accountable for them. We are not doing them, the workforce, or our communities any justice if we continue to avoid the obvious just to meet a standard or get a certain school district or state grade on education.
Q: What haven’t I asked that you think it important for people to understand about your job, industry, etc.?
A: I think that when it comes to doing business, any business, we must perform and behave with grace. This is a big, wide world with plenty of opportunities for everyone but when we start to think that we have to shelter our business to prevent competition from moving in, that is when you set your business to fail.
I appreciate Christine’s transparency and the gift of her time sharing insights about her role, industry and aspirations.
If you are interested in logistics, workforce development, or want to learn more about the critical work of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and all Chambers really, check out the following.
“The Columbus Region Logistics Council (CRLC), an initiative of the Columbus Chamber, is all about industry collaboration.
Our business network is a catalyst for advocacy and promoting a competitive logistics industry in Central Ohio. Our members include shippers, manufacturers, cargo and freight carriers, warehouse, and distribution providers, third party logistics (3PLs), and service providers to the logistics industry.”
If you are open to an interview or have recommendations for interview topics or other interviewees, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
VP, Strategic Partnerships and Marketing