Missouri Operator Strives For Work-Life Balance

Lexi Tucker
Posted on February 5, 2020
Mary McMahan, office and affiliate manager for JED Transportation

Mary McMahan, office and affiliate manager for JED Transportation

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Work-life balance has become a hot topic as technology makes it easier to take your job home with you. You can lose the passion you once had if business occupies your mind 24/7.

Mary McMahan, office and affiliate manager for JED Transportation, recognizes while you must put in the time to help your company grow, it’s equally vital to spend time with your loved ones.

Falling In

McMahan began her career as an accountant in the banking industry. After having children, she took some time off to be a stay-at-home mother. She got her start in the luxury transportation industry when her now ex-husband started his own party bus company in 1997. The two ran the office out of their house, all while juggling kids, answering phones, and cleaning cars. They eventually moved into their own offices.

In 2002, they divorced. After the business dissolved, she was quickly approached by a black car service company in town that was one of their affiliates. She started in the accounting department, and that company was then acquired by JED Transportation in 2009. She came over with the acquisition and was cross-trained in every aspect of the business.

“I can now cover for those who want to take a vacation and can help new team members transition easier. I work in the early morning, so I’m one of the first in to cover whatever is needed.”

Same Industry, Better Fit

After pursuing other possible career paths in the same industry on the charter bus and tech side, and discovering they weren’t a good fit, she came back to traditional luxury ground transportation in 2019. She was approached by JED’s owners, and she quickly accepted a position as the CSR team and affiliate manager.

“The company culture is one of trust. I’ve found not every company has this, which allows each of us to excel in what we do. We have the confidence our owners will back us up; even if we do something one of the owners wouldn’t have, we aren’t chastised. We are supported and guided on how we should do it the next time. When you’re micromanaged, you don’t have the comfort level to excel, put your best foot forward, and do what you’re good at,” she explains.

Prepared For All Clients

JED has a diverse fleet of 73 vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, vans, limo buses, shuttle buses, and motorcoaches. This enables them to service corporate, retail, and affiliate trips, which keeps them busy year-round. They have high usage for all vehicles, and in the last three years have expanded their motorcoach division.

“We started with one and now have 17,” she says. “We have two team members who focus solely on that division, which has allowed us to give the time it requires to plan those charters. There are so many moving parts, and with the help of that team we’ve been able to expand that division so fast.”

Lessons For 2020

The biggest lesson she’s learned working in the industry is it’s important to take the time to have a good work-life balance. “I’ve seen a lot of good people burn out really fast because they push too hard. You must give where it’s needed and be willing to put in those 10-11-hour days from time to time but take your PTO and spend time with family; in the end, that’s what it’s all about.”

She is happy to have a good relationship with all five of her children. Professionally, she’s impressed by how she’s gotten out of her shell at tradeshows. “I’ve taken the initiative to reach out my hand and introduce myself to as many people as I can, from the elevator lobby to Starbucks. It’s allowed me to get to know people, build those relationships, and bring in additional affiliate work. It was a struggle at the beginning, but now it’s like going back home.”

In the new year, she will continue to work with JED’s CSR team to expand on the different skills she’s learned at tradeshows and build affiliate and corporate work. “I’m dedicated to helping them grow the business.”

Related Topics: affiliate networks, customer service, eNews Exclusive, Missouri operators, networking, women in the industry, work-life balance

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Teri Notorangelo

     | about 4 months ago

    That’s so awesome Mary I pray for your continued success.

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