ACE Logistics has been operating in the logistics services market since 1992, and this year we established a subsidiary in sixth country. In March of this year, ACE Logistics Ukraine LLC, located in Kiev, was registered. The Ukrainian office will be headed by Olena Dashko, whom we would like to introduce through this interview.
Hi, Olena! Where are you from?
I was actually born in Ussuriysk, Russia, as my father was in military. When I was 3 years old, me and my mother moved back to Kiev, our hometown. Kiev is an incredibly beautiful city and I wouldn’t even imagine living elsewhere.
What have you learned and what have you done in the past?
I obtained my master’s degree in logistics from the National Transport University in Kiev. My grandfather, who worked as an engineer at the largest aircraft factory in Ukraine, Antonov, which produced the world’s largest aircraft AN-225 “Mriya” (“Dream” in English), did not manage to study at this university. Therefore, one of his big dreams was, that one of his children or grandchildren would graduate from this school.
On the second year of the university, I started working in a transport company. I received confirmation, that I am studying the right profession and the desire to learn everything about logistics grew. So I gradually moved towards fulfilling a dream me and my grandfather shared.
At the age of 20, I started working at the Customs Board, initially as an assistant and later also as a customs agent. Although it was not my dream job, I gained a lot of knowledge and experience in the field of logistics.
When I started working for Raben Ukraine, I realized that logistics is my life. I am very grateful to this company for helping me find my field. I was the head of the road transport department and also started to develop sea and air transport services. We had a very smooth teamwork and I realized more and more that I was suitable for the position of a manager.
Seven years later, I decided to test myself in DSV. I helped DSV to establish and develop a parcel service and a connection between Poland and Ukraine. I formed a well-functioning road transport sales team there. It was a challenging time at work and I felt that I am able to do so much more.
Please tell me a few words about your family.
I am married and have two wonderful daughters growing in the family: 7-year-old Diana and 1-year-old Karina. They are real bundles of joy. They are very close knit and Diana never gets tired of holding the little one and playing with her. I very much hope that their bond will remain strong even when they are grown-ups.
My husband is a smart, strong, intelligent and big-hearted man. He understands me, accepts all my ideas and supports me in everything I do. When I decided to run for the position in ACE Logistics, he supported me 100%. This decision certainly did not come easily to us, because we have small children and therefore had to change our way of life significantly, but together we managed to do it.
How do you spend your free time?
I like to ski, travel, read and play chess. I love contemporary art and theater. I am always trying new things, because it brings new and positive emotions. For example, I really enjoy mountain skiing, because then my head is empty other thoughts and I only feel those extremely exciting emotions that come while skiing down the hill. We love to travel with our family, sing together in the car, and see and discover something new and exciting together. Last year, my family and I made a car trip from Kiev to Gdansk. It was a great time together as a family. Since my husband and I both have lots of duties and responsibilities, we deliberately always try to find ways so that we can be more together as a family and even go on business trips together.
How do you describe yourself as a leader?
Leader, this is a very emotional word for me. Fifteen years ago, at the beginning of my career, I never imagined that I could ever call myself a leader. For me, being a leader means a combination of many things: taking responsibility, motivation, the ability to support people, and creating an atmosphere, that inspires others to give more of themselves.
I am very pleased, that the people I worked with in the past are thanking me now for offering them the opportunity to grow and develop. I also had the opportunity to find my call with them. By now, I understand that I have experiences to share with others, to help others prove themselves and to make people feel safe. It is also important to provide a supportive work atmosphere. It is the leader who does not extinguish the spark in the employees, but helps them shine with a big flame.
I like the statement by American academician and businessman Bill George “Successful leaders run with the heart, not just the head. They are empathetic, compassionate and encouraging. ”
When I once asked a colleague who seemed very sad to me, why he looked that way, he replied, that he was only able to meet 98% of his sales targets and did not want to disappoint me. After our conversation, where I encouraged and supported him, he further exceeded all his sales goals. When working with a team, you need to understand that it is all one whole, where all team members are equally important. The result of our work as managers depends on how well we have supported and evaluated our employees.
Was the decision to join the ACE Logistics Group easy?
The decision to join the ACE team came almost immediately after meeting Andres Matkur, CEO of ACE Logistics Group, and Tõnu Sepp, one of the owners of the company, in a job interview. I understood that we share common values in business and do not forget the importance of employees in it.
I understand that this is a big challenge for me, but I will do my best to be successful so that others will not be disappointed in choosing me.
We officially opened the office on April 1st. Despite the current difficult period, we opened a new office and have worked as one team. We help each other in every way. I lived in Tallinn for two weeks in February and got a thorough overview of the company’s operations at the head office. I experienced a great atmosphere, which is a very good example of how leaders work with their teams. I take the best of my experience and I want to form a strong team of professionals in my field in Ukraine. I want our customers to feel safe working with us and to be confident in good results.
If you are interested, please contact us or suggest that your Ukrainian colleagues contact our representative on site:
Olena Dashko | Managing Director
ACE Logistics Ukraine LLC | Kyiv | Ukraine | www.acelogistics.ua
tel +380 660835993 | firstname.lastname@example.org
As of the end of 2019, ACE Logistics Group AS employed 170 people in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Finland. The consolidated turnover of the company was 34 million euros.