Joel Klenck is vice president of pricing and yield management at Crowley Liner Services. He was promoted from the director’s position in the same field in November.
WHAT DOES HE DO?
“The pricing department sets all the prices for goods moving to and from the United States. Yield management analyzes cost variables. We’re looking at different aspects of the company and analyzing what we could do to reduce costs. The goal is to boost revenue, shrink costs and increase functionality.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT IT?
“The activity and the fast pace. This is where the action is. I like to organize chaos.”
WHAT’S CHALLENGING ABOUT IT?
“Keeping on top of everything. My focus is not to be reactive but proactive, to anticipate what the corporation and our accounts need. We prepare for the eventuality before it occurs.”
WHAT MAKES UP CROWLEY’S CLIENT BASE?
“It varies from individuals shipping household goods to Puerto Rico to enormous clients like GE and Bacardi.”
“I left the Marine Corps and was at Crowley five days later. For the officers they have headhunters at the base. I started in 1999 as a marketing analyst.”
During his four and a half years in the service, Klenck was part of the Marine Expeditionary Forces. He spent six months cruising around the Atlantic Ocean on the USS Austin, responding to emergencies or executing missions prescribed by Congress. His company, Golf 2/2 (2nd division, 2nd Marines) company, protected American civilians and diplomats in Albania from Al Jihad, an Egyptian terrorist cell. As these missions played out, Klenck functioned as platoon commander, forward air controller and naval gunfire liaison officer for 50 marines. Captain in the Field Artillery was his last rank before exiting the armed forces.
TAKING DOWN THE TERRORISTS
“We were in the area because our company was going to participate in a training op with military personnel from other countries in northern Albania, which is located near Greece. The embassies in Tanzania and Nairobi had been bombed. It was enough of a threat to warrant evacuation of Americans.”
“We were awakened about 5 a.m. and all of the sudden the major [the commanding officer of the company] came to us and informed the lieutenants that we were going into the country. The result was pandemonium. Everyone was preparing. From when the warning order was given to when the first frog [a CH-46 helicopter] hit the ground, it was two and a half hours. We prepared Rilindja Ridge [the housing complex for American civilians] in case there was a terrorist attack. We were armed to the ‘T’. About 2 or 3 a.m. civilians were taken out in advance. The American ambassadors, helpers and a company of Marines remained. We were doing patrols around the complex for two weeks. Our company was relieved by fox company, but while on duty, a couple of shots were fired at us. There was a lot of commotion in the city between the president and the prime minister. We didn’t know if they were shots out of the blue or sniper fire. No one was hit.”
HEAD OF THE CLASS
Harvard University is where Klenck earned both his master’s degree and Ph.d in anthropology. His has a bachelor’s degree in the same field from Northwestern University. In high school, Klenck played football, maintaining an “A” average. “My father was a professor so it was expected I would do well in school. He was shocked when I decided to go into the service.”
WHY MAJOR IN ANTHROPOLOGY?
“I was always fascinated by it because it asks the big questions: the advent of domestication, the origin of civilization, why empires rose and fell. My interest was in ancient economies.”
Prior to donning a military uniform, Klenck dug up artifacts as an archaeologist in Israel. The local youth on the crews he worked with stirred his patriotic pride, prompting him to join. “If I was going to do something as crazy as leave the cushy graduate life at Harvard behind, I was going to do it 100 percent. Anthropology is a study of the past; I wanted to make an impact on the present. It was an issue of personal growth.”
WHY JOIN CROWLEY?
“I got offers from all kinds of companies and was turned down by no one. The allure [of Crowley] was that they were an 108-year-old company [at his date of hire], they hold a connection with the sea and it is one of the largest American-owned family companies. At that time, the industry was being deregulated and everything was changing. It was a combination of the old and new. It was a no-brainer.”
WHAT APPEALS TO YOU ABOUT JACKSONVILLE?
“It is this century’s version of a boom town — you can see the level of commerce. For a young professional, it’s an exciting time. Jacksonville is starting to be a hub for international commerce and every year there are more things to do.”
Arlington is where Klenck is looking to purchase a home. Reading biographies or a novel by Jack London and dining at Bistro Aix occupy his free time. Currently, he is finishing research on an anthropological study which he is slated to publish. Klenck is a member of the Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Jacksonville, but his favorite seaside town is Miami.
WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE?
“Ulysses S. Grant. He was an individual that failed in three different businesses but despite his auspicious beginnings, he became one of the most successful generals in American history and a successful president.”
—by Monica Chamness