Freight CEO says she’s ‘seen it all’

Mar 17, 2009

Since high school, Jamie Entzminger has done various jobs at Mach 1 Global Services. With more than 10 years of experience in administration, accounting and other areas, she now serves as CEO of the Tempe-based freight company.

“What’s really prepared me is I’ve kind of gotten my hands in every aspect of the business,” Entzminger said. “I’ve seen it all.”

Her parents founded Mach 1 in 1988. For Entzminger, the company has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember.

After graduating cum laude from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business in 2006 with a degree in business administration, she went to work as director of marketing for Mach 1.

Now, as CEO, she oversees its domestic and international operations. As one of the largest privately held firms in the state, Mach 1 has a client list that includes Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Honeywell Inc. and Salt River Project.

With a sagging economy, Entzminger said one challenge facing her business is the increasing demand for slower and cheaper freight services.

When the economy was stable, many companies preferred quick shipments–a Mach 1 specialty.

“We’re seeing a big shift in our customers using time-critical services,” she said. “They’re more looking to options in lower levels of expedited services.”

Entzminger also said more of Mach 1’s clients are focusing their resources away from Asian markets and closer to home to cut costs.

One of the biggest challenges she faces as CEO is leading a company in a global marketplace. Mach 1 has eight offices in Asia and five in Mexico. Last year, she traveled about 70,000 miles.

“Your BlackBerry becomes your best friend sometimes,” she said.

Entzminger said the key to her career path was gaining a solid understanding of the company’s inner workings.

“You really need to immerse yourself in all aspects of the business. Don’t confine yourself,” she said.

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