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James Feighery: From truck driver to intermodal operations manager

James Feighery

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Throughout his career, James Feighery has taken it upon himself to learn and lead – and focusing on tying those two things together.

This blend of skills put James on a unique career path that eventually brought him to the transportation industry.

Finding a love for driving

James got his start in the restaurant business while going to school in Wausau, Wis. He later transitioned to corporate food service, where he led restaurant openings and trained employees.

In his role, James spent a lot of time on the road. That’s how he discovered another passion.

“The travel in-between the work was one of the coolest things I’ve done,” James said. “I enjoyed all the time on the road, and then I realized the natural extension of that would be driving a truck.”

Starting a new career in transportation

Seeking a new opportunity, James went to a career fair in 2007. He came across Schneider’s booth and was impressed by what the company had to offer.

James joined Schneider as a team driver that year. He drove with the same team partner until 2011.

Altering his course to help his family

James changed course when his sister, Susan, was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. He needed to stay with her in Stockton, Calif. so he could help her with treatment.

James found that Schneider’s local driving opportunities offered the flexibility his family needed. “I asked my leader, ‘Can I get Thursdays off so I can accompany my sister to chemo and radiation?’,” James said. “To the credit of the company and its culture, the answer was, ‘Yes. Can you help us by picking up a weekend?’ Then everybody wins. They were very accommodating.”

Transitioning to leadership roles at Schneider

James worked as a Schneider driver for a total of 11 years before moving into his first of several different leadership roles within the company. James first became a driver trainer, then a driver team leader in 2018.

“I felt like there was a service I could provide because I know first-hand what drivers need,” he said.

The same motivation drove James to apply for the intermodal operations manager position in Stockton last year. After taking some online classes to boost his technology skills, James got the promotion.

In this role, he:

  • Oversees day-to-day processes in Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Stockton.
  • Supports five driver team leaders and their drivers.
  • Makes sure the staff and systems at each location are running efficiently.

Helping associates grow in their careers

James’ favorite aspects of working at Schneider are building meaningful relationships and setting up others to learn and grow.

“It’s important for me to prepare associates for opportunities on their potential career paths,” James said. “I want them to be prepared when a chance arises. I would never want someone on my team to feel like they were held back because they didn’t get enough attention or development. Learning to overcome challenges is a necessary part of growth.”

Using his experience to support others

James now lives with his sister in Stockton. Susan survived her initial cancer diagnosis, and James has used that experience to encourage a colleague who also has a family member battling cancer.

“I was able to give him my support and let him know what we’ve been through,” James said. “The fear is never going to go away completely, but every time you get news that it hasn’t grown, it’s a new lease on life.”

Unlock your career potential.

Whether you want to advance in your field or explore other roles within the company, Schneider has unlimited career growth opportunities to discover. Read more blogs to learn about other associates’ success stories.

About the author
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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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