Ruan is happy to feature several of our team members across the country in our People First Spotlight. This month, meet Sofia Samuels, Ruan’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
Q: Tell us a little about your career path and background.
My career in logistics and transportation happened completely by accident! While in college, I took a part-time job in customer service at UPS and was offered a full-time position in business development upon graduation. From there, I was promoted into four different roles over the course of nearly 10 years—with stints in sales, partnership marketing, and as an automation consultant for large national clients. To date, I’ve spent over 20 years in the industry working with three well-known brands prior to Ruan.
Beyond my B2B industry experience, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with one of the world’s largest cruise lines and served as the Chief Marketing Officer for a global non-profit organization. Outside of leading marketing, I’ve also led sales, a customer service call center, a publishing division, as well as an online bookstore and fulfillment center.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working for Ruan?
Collaborative, strategic work is what I enjoy most, and there are so many opportunities to engage and make an impact at Ruan. I also love that people across Ruan seem to bleed “Ruan Red” and are so committed to the organization and our collective advancement as One Ruan. While it may be second nature within Ruan, from a newcomer’s perspective, it’s a bit like breathing rarified air.
Q: What excites you about Ruan’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts?
It excites me that there’s a true commitment to driving awareness and improvements. I also appreciate that, as an organization, we’re willing to get uncomfortable as part of the process. Meaningful change always requires us to stretch ourselves and get out of our comfort zones.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Traveling and getting immersed in other cultures is right at the top my list. Luckily, I have friends and family in different countries and states, so it’s always easy to find someplace new and exciting to explore and someone willing to come along. Interior styling is also a hobby of mine—I love taking on renovation or design projects for myself as well as friends and family.
Q: In what ways are you involved in your community?
Beyond my desire to help, I’m hardwired to problem solve, so it’s nearly impossible for me to be anywhere for too long without getting involved. I also prefer to expend energy where I can have the most impact. In Des Moines, United Way has become my outlet of choice for community engagement. I’m currently a member of Women United and recently accepted a nomination to join United Way’s Economic Investment Cabinet. This year, I’ll serve as a judge for the Live United awards and get the chance to lend insights as the team begins their search for a Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the United Way of Central Iowa. Last December, I began serving as a Deputy for Ruan on the Iowa Business Council and will have the chance to work with representatives from companies across Iowa to help drive improvements for businesses like ours across the state and for Iowans at large.
Q: Reflecting on the wisdom you’ve gained over the years, what career or life advice would you give to your younger self?
Learn to sew; it will save you a small fortune in tailoring expenses. Take all the trips because you’ll only regret the ones you missed. Be as loud, bold, and unapologetic about your life and work ambitions as you want to be. Success, joy, happiness, and all your life’s desires aren’t finite—they all exist in abundance. Relax! Life will amaze you.
Interested in joining Sofia and the rest of Team Ruan? Check out our corporate jobs!