Chief Solutions Officer at Brink’s U.S.
Army MP climbs through the ranks at Brink’s U.S.
by Warren Duffie
This article was originally published by G.I. Jobs, a brand in military recruitment.
People join companies for a lot of reasons – salary, corporate stability and prestige, top-notch benefits. But Shellie Crandall likes to joke that she joined Brink’s, Incorporated for the guns and uniforms.
“When I first got out of the Army, I struggled for a couple of months,” she said. “I had no idea what I wanted to do. Then I saw a newspaper ad for a dispatcher with Brink’s. The job looked great because, as an MP, I was familiar with weapons, uniforms, safety and regulations. I figured I would fit in well.”
That’s an understatement. Since joining Brink’s in 1992, Crandall steadily rose from humble dispatcher to the executive ranks. In February 2010 she was promoted to chief solutions officer for the company’s U.S. operations.
On the Job
Brink’s, Incorporated, a subsidiary of The Brink’s Company, is a global leader in providing business and security services to banks, retailers, governments, mints, and jewelers through more than 800 facilities and 9,100 vehicles in 50 countries on six continents.
Crandall is in charge of all U.S. sales, customer service and product management. Describing herself as a customer advocate, the former military police officer starts her workday at 0730. Her days are blizzards of activity – negotiating high-level contracts, meeting with executives of client companies, and helping to plan national product launches. Her days end anywhere between 1700 and 1900.
“The biggest challenge of my job is balancing our clients’ expectations and providing great service while still ensuring the safety of our employees and efficiency of branch operations,” she said. “The best part is seeing employees take pride in their work and become leaders. Brink’s allows people to pursue successful career paths and reach their full potential.”
Climbing the Ladder
Crandall is a perfect example of this. When G.I. Jobs first profiled the former staff sergeant in February 2003, she was regional director for California – in charge of 1,200 employees and 200 trucks statewide. Prior to that, Crandall was promoted from dispatcher to secretary to currency room supervisor; then to branch manager, general manager and, finally, to regional director. Since her profile, Crandall has served as regional vice president for California, senior vice president of U.S. operations, chief operating officer and now chief solutions officer.
During her rise, Crandall has helped herself grow professionally. “I decided to go to school. I earned a bachelor’s in business from the University of Texas and an MBA from Pepperdine University. I learned to think strategically, to deal with a variety of customers and business leaders.
“I also gained a greater appreciation for the skills I picked up in the Army,” she continued. “Maturity, leadership, being a team player – all of these have helped me immensely at Brink’s.”
Reaching Out to the Military
Serving as a mentor to fellow veterans is something Crandall enjoys a lot. Over the last decade, Brink’s has made several appearances on the G.I. Jobs Top Military Friendly Employers list. The company is known for promoting veterans within its ranks and creating a welcoming work environment for them.
“Wherever I travel throughout the company, I encounter a lot of military veterans,” Crandall said. “We even have a gentleman I served with in Germany working here. Even when I started here in 1991, there was a strong military-friendly culture. I’m proud to say that continues to this day.”
- Think about articulating your military skills to civilian life. “You need to translate your skills into plain English and avoid military jargon. If you know how to disassemble a rifle, talk about your meticulous work ethic and attention to detail.”
- Don’t underestimate your military experience. “Even if you’re leaving as a corporal, you’ve experienced and learned a lot more than many civilian employees.”
- Take transition classes. “When I left the Army, the transition classes weren’t like they are today. If I could do anything differently, I would have taken transition classes. Make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities available to you.”
- Plan your education. “Come up with a five-year plan for your educational goals and determine how you’re going to meet them.”