When asked for a breakdown of her duties as vice president of several Worldwide Express franchises, Austin-based Shana Schopfer (at right in the photo) couldn’t help but exhale and say, “Oh … my gosh.” Suffice to say, it’s a long list.
“I develop our entire team,” she says, which includes account executives, sales managers, the back office, a business development manager, freight and UPS coordinators and the accounts receivables staff. “And then, at all the other territories, I manage my managers there. I pretty much manage everyone, from sales to the back office to receivables — everything.”
Schopfer, 33, hails from Midlothian, south of Dallas, and graduated from the University of Texas in 2002 with a communication studies degree. She started as an account executive that October, during the beginning steps of the Austin franchise for owner Thomas Fuqua.
She was quickly promoted to sales manager, then vice president of sales. She’s now vice president for all the territories Fuqua owns, including spots in Texas (Austin, Waco, Temple, Tyler, Longview, Texarkana), Arkansas (Little Rock) and Louisiana (Shreveport).
Here’s more from her about her life and work for the company:
How I got to Worldwide Express: “There were two reasons why I chose to come on board with Worldwide Express. One was the training program — we went to Dallas and spent a week there. And the training was really exciting to me. I was straight out of college, and I had to work multiple jobs in order to get through college. So I really wanted a company that wasn’t going to throw something in my direction and say, ‘Hey, go figure it out.’ I was like, ‘I can sell whatever you want me to sell, just tell me what to do, tell me how to do it and I’ll get it done.’ The second thing was I liked the job security. And I knew if I was the only person that started this territory for Thomas, that I would be able to put myself in a scenario that I would have a ton of job security. It started off with me, and I started this company out of my duplex in Austin. About two months into it, we got a small office, and just started selling. I did so well in my first year in sales, I actually won fourth place in the national sales contest in October 2003. And then at that point it provided us with the financial opportunity for Thomas to be able to quit his job at corporate and move himself down to Austin. He and I got our own office space and started growing the company.”
The best part of my job: “When you take a job with us, you’re going to learn more in your first year here than you’ll learn in five years anywhere else, in any other company. Because our job is to go in and be able to uncover what all these organizations are doing, from their processes to their inefficiencies. So it’s not just learning what Worldwide Express does as a company, but it’s learning about what every other organization does out there that we’re going to be taking for business. So my favorite part of the job is that I have such a broad knowledge of business that nobody else my age can have, because of the opportunity that Worldwide Express has given me. So I love that about the job. Plus, internally, I’ve had the ability to learn at an early age how to run a company, because I am running it for Thomas, from the sales to the back office, accounts receivables and payables — everything. Someone my age normally doesn’t have the opportunity to know how to run an entire business from the ground up.”
The culture of the Austin office: “I do the recruiting, so I do all the hiring. I’m the person creating the culture, because it’s my job to recruit and bring up individuals. I hire people cut out of the same cloth: We’ve got all aggressive, passionate, Type A personalities — very hungry, very driven individuals that we bring on board. Our culture is interesting, because as much as you try to separate professional and personal, we really are like a family. We spend more time at our jobs than with their own families or loved ones or kids or boyfriends, wherever they’re at in this point in their lives. For us, it was very important that the individuals we bring on board understand that this is a team atmosphere. We’re all on the same team, we’re all striving for the same goal. And that goal is to grow our numbers as fast as we can, and hit all our goals that we forecast the year before.”
That family atmosphere: “We really do create this sort of small company family atmosphere, since we spend so much time with each other. It’s so fun to come into your job and know that everybody’s happy. We love our co-workers and we love working together to be able to grow the business. Another cool thing at Worldwide Express is you have the local feel at the local office. You know that everything you do and everything that happens — you are a significant part of that. Your work is critical to us. If you go to a conference or a training program, you get to see how huge our company is. And how we have over 150 offices across the country. And you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m a part of something huge.’ You don’t really know that, because locally it’s such small feel. So it’s personal, and then you go to one of our trainings and you say, ‘Holy crap, its huge.’ It makes you feel like you’re part of this big thing, but you’re not just a number. That, to me, is something really special about this company.”
My hobbies and interests: “I have two kids, a 3-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. So when I’m not working, I’m raising children. This age is the best. It’s fun. And I love working out. I love going hiking and biking and spending time with my kids. It’s pretty much all I have time to do.”