#TeamTuesdays Meet Our West Coast Regional Manager Firoz Mohammed
Firoz Mohammed is our iTN Worldwide regional manager on the West Coast and tasked with developing our operations and team. Based out of California, one of the most critical industries Mohammed oversees is our robust Wine & Spirits service.
Originally from the Fiji Islands Mohammed immigrated to the U.S. in 1969 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Like many in the export industry, he was recruited during his first job as a teen and continued his path in logistics.
“I started in this crazy industry in 1980 while in my senior year in high school working part-time delivering cargo to the airlines. I continued working through college and then decided to stick with it full time after graduation. This industry is ever so changing, and there’s never a dull moment which is why I enjoy it so much. I did leave for a bit to pursue my other passion which is cars. I had a car dealership for about eight years and then ended up coming back to logistics after separating from my business partner. I have spent nearly 31 years in the logistics industry.”
Mohammed said the teamwork environment at iTN is what convinced him to join the company. Despite the time difference and distance he always feels connected to his colleagues. He also said he wishes to duplicate the same Miami atmosphere in the California office as it grows.
“What attracted me to iTN was the culture and the people. Although I am 3,000 miles away in California, it’s a great feeling to know we have colleagues in Miami that are always ready to lend a helping hand when needed.”
Becoming the west region manager was a role he shifted into. He began as a salesperson, and iTN COO Daniel Grimes agreed to continue on the path to solidify iTN San Francisco as one of the leaders in the Wine & Spirits sector. The shift worked for iTN strategically because the office is in the California wine region. The west coast office specializes in the wine and spirits industry with one of the main products of export being California wine.
“Our exports product is rapidly growing especially in Japan, currently averaging three containers per week followed by China and Taiwan markets. Most recently we completed a challenging logistics operation with a 16 container shipment from Calipaso Winery to Xi’an China all on one vessel. Coordinating the loading schedules between the winery and trucking company was a huge challenge especially since the winery is nearly three hours from the nearest port. ”
Aside from a busy career life, Mohammed says a healthy balance to an active logistics career is making time for family and spending quality time with them. Living in California makes it easy to enjoy the outdoors and make time for hobbies with his loved ones.
“I’ve been married for 29 years to a beautiful Salvadorian. We have three adult children, Jamil,27, Alia,26, and Samir,23. I love spending time outdoors, hiking, kayaking or spending time on the beach with my wife. We are always doing something together. I’m also a car fanatic, and I share this passion with my two boys. We enjoy going to races, shows or just working on our cars.”
Mohammed said he’s grateful to have a work-life balance and has been enjoying the challenges and goals of leading the California team. His next objective is to add additional talent to the organization while servicing client needs and continue growth.
“We have certainly made an impact in this market, and the competition has taken notice. In the four years of this office opening, with two of them being under my management, the iTN name is spreading through our sales efforts and also client and supplier referrals.”
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Written by: Christian Portilla