When we start our approach towards our first quarter of century of existence in Colombia, I feel it is time to praise the people who have made it all possible.
I want to start with Señora Claudia, our office clerk in the Barranquilla office, who started working for the company 29 years ago! But, how is this possible, if LBH Colombia has been in the business for 24 years? Señora Claudia is the sole survivor of the company we inherited when we settle the new agency, under the name of Eurolatina Shipping and Chartering… At that time, señora Claudia was working for Servitramp (a Bocimar owned and dedicated ship agency) and we absorbed all the employees under the new partnership structure. So, in practice, she has gathered more experience than any of us working as ship agents in Colombia.
Señora Claudia has 4 children all grown up and having a life of their own (Marta, who has worked as office assistant; Cesar, an art painter; Claudia, a housewife; and Edwin, a busy person in the industrial safety field) and she also has 7 grandchildren. She possesses one of the most contagious and friendly smiles in the company. She characterizes her job with positive attitude, raising her voice when something could be done better, or staying quiet when silence is a better option. We used to make a lot of fun of her “rocket shoes” or “skates”, because she was a very fast walker, and in earlier times she could move faster walking than in bus or taxi. Her cheerful personality no doubt helps her build interesting relationships at Port Capitanía office and at our banks, where she used to swim like fish in the water, always managing to get better and faster attention to get documents or transactions efficiently.
But it has not always been that easy for Señora Claudia. Perhaps one of the saddest times in her life was when her daughter Marta was left widow after her husband, a soldier was killed in a guerrilla ambush back in 2002, leaving her with a small baby to raise on her own. Señora Claudia already pensioned, and even though she does not run around with papers and envelopes outside the office anymore, she continues to assist us in the Barranquilla office with positive attitude, always offering a helping hand and serving nice hot coffee. Furthermore, she has always been very open to sharing her contacts and knowledge and giving sound advice, as a mother would do, to others which have come and gone in the meantime. And don’t take her as an easy character, if you mess up your place after she has cleaned up, you would hear from her!
She has participated in every training and seminar we have carried out to improve our leadership, teamworking and communication abilities, just like any other member of the team, the way we like it. We appreciate her contribution very much along the years towards the success of this company.
Thanks for your attention.
Mauricio Ibáñez – Managing Director