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November 2019

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HHTH Thermometer

HHTH Fundraising Campaign – What A Success!!

Our 2019 Hockey Helps the Homeless Fundraiser officially came to a close on Friday, November 15th and the final tally absolutely crushed even our highest expectations.  We raised an incredible $25,810 for HHTH and 360°kids!!  Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated!

We kicked off this year’s campaign with a Lunch ‘N Learn event at head office, highlighted by presentations from HHTH and 360°kids.  There was not a dry eye in the boardroom when 360°kids impact speaker Shalene Redmond and NHL Alumnus Shayne Corson shared their emotional stories.

The Universal team competition this year was fierce and included many creative fundraising initiatives, including 50/50 draws, bake sales, Find the Joker, Whiskey Raffle, Jelly Bean Guessing Contest, Putt to Win Contest, Silent Auctions, Gift Baskets…to name only a few. 

And finally, at Puck Drop, the Universal Maple Leafs were declared the winning team.  Congratulations again to Captain Debbie D’Ornellas, Assistant Captain Debbie McGuire and the entire Maple Leafs team for finishing on top by raising an amazing $3,834.

Congrats also to Mark DeLuca who won the Early Bird Registration Sprint prize – a custom-made Muskoka Sports Chair.  And, of course, we must congratulate the Grand Prize Winner, Oswaldo Arteaga, who won the Leafs tickets and a $200 prepaid credit card.

HHTH dinner reception

On the Friday night, Michael, David and Mark Glionna as well as Tina Scharnberg and Phoebe Shum attended the HHTH tournament dinner reception and presented Universal’s fund-matching cheque to HHTH Executive Director, Ryan Baillie. 

During after-dinner speeches, the Universal group as a whole was formally recognized for contributing over $50,800 this year!  Universal was then officially inducted into the HHTH Hockey Hall of Fame, only the 3rd inductee in HHTH history, and presented with a framed, autographed Shayne Corson jersey.

Overall, this was another amazing campaign, showcasing everyone’s creativity and generosity.  We all had fun along the way and ended up with a truly outstanding result, allowing us to give back to our community and assist those less fortunate.

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Help us celebrate the Holiday Season

Christmas celebration

The Holiday Season is fast approaching and we want to celebrate with all Universal employees!

First up is the Universal Children’s Christmas Party at Thornhill Community Centre on Sunday, December 8.

We will be decorating Gingerbread Houses, making a Holiday Craft, Skating and eating lots of yummy food and treats.  Rumour is that a certain Gentleman with a long white beard will also make an appearance.

So gather your family and join us in a celebration of the festive season!

We will then gather at Stonefire Bar & Grill for the Company Christmas Party on Friday, December 13.

Get ready for a night of celebrating with your colleagues.  There will be games, music, food, drinks & more – this year featuring DJ J.ME, so bring your dancing shoes!

It is not too late to join the fun – please let Claudia or Phoebe know as soon as possible if you can attend one or both of our events!

Improving the Client Service Experience

In the September issue of Universal & You, we introduced the subject of providing high quality client care and improving the “Client Service Experience”.  Here’s why it’s so important for each of us to focus on creating an amazing service experience for our clients each and every day:

Starting in December, look out for your Manager’s “Client Service Experience” Tip of the Month.  These useful tips will help you provide our clients with a truly superior client service experience.  And you may be surprised to find that a little extra client care can go a long way for Universal!

Great Client Service Experience = A Win for Universal

Nora Su, Head Office Customs Operations

Nora Su,
Head Office
Customs Operations

Our Operations people are communicating with our client contacts every day.  It’s an opportunity to forge close relationships and build trust.  If you listen carefully to a client’s needs and concerns, you can then identify new opportunities for Universal.  Nora Su of our Head Office Customs Operations team has done just that.  And you will be most impressed with the amazing benefit realized by Universal!

Over the past several years, Nora has developed a strong working relationship with Joe Chan of Miele Limited, an important and long-standing Canadian customs brokerage client for Universal.

In handling Miele’s customs clearances, Nora has always gone the extra mile in order to provide Joe with a positive “Client Service Experience”, including duties not normally considered part of a customs broker’s role.  It’s very clear Joe has developed a real trust in Nora’s capabilities and can always count on Nora to get the job done!

Joe’s trust in Nora was evident when in a September conversation he mentioned needing to export product to Germany.  Nora was quick to realize this represented an opportunity for Universal’s Freight operation and asked Joe if he would consider using our Ocean Services team to handle this shipment. 

Joe was receptive to this and Nora acted quickly in providing our Freight Solutions and Freight Pricing teams with the necessary details to prepare the best routing and a rate quote.  Once the quote was prepared, Nora presented it to Joe.

He responded positively by informing Nora to proceed with the booking of a 40’ export container to Germany.  Due to Nora’s resourcefulness, Universal’s Ocean Services team handled this export shipment which otherwise would have been shipped with a competitor.

Another great example of Nora’s ability to recognize an opportunity for Universal was in her recommendation to Joe on the use of our Truck Services.  As a result, Joe booked 3 truckloads from New Jersey to British Columbia.  Nora’s positive actions resulted in a very impressive profit for the Truck Services team.

Delivering superior client care and a positive “Client Service Experience” is sure to leave a lasting impression on clients.  However, it is equally important that we are quick to recognize opportunities to promote our other services and handle additional business for our clients.  Building solid relationships with clients, as Nora has done with Joe Chan at Miele, is not only key to client retention but extremely important to the long term growth and future success of our company.

Well done Nora!!

2019 IFMA Muay Thai Youth World Championship
Contributors: Thomas Potter & Oswaldo Arteaga

Team Canada – 4 team coaches, 7 athletes and 1 Canadian Technical Official

Oswaldo Arteaga and his son, Rafael Arteaga, were both selected as part of Team Canada, coach and athlete respectively, for the 2019 International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur (IFMA) Muay Thai Youth World Championships in Antalya, Turkey.

Canada’s Youth Team consisted of 7 athletes (ages ranging between 11-17 years old), 4 team coaches, and 1 Canadian Technical Official.  While the team was extremely successful in winning four medals (1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze), the most important aspect was the athlete’s tremendous growth and experience gained by participating in this sport’s highest world level for youth.

The opening ceremony was held in a beautiful amphitheater, with the participation of over 1,300 young athletes from 75 countries marching proudly with their national flags.

The diversity of the tournament was truly remarkable, as it involved both male and female athletes from all parts of the world, including many countries involved in actual or political conflicts such as Iran and the USA, and Israel and Palestine.

Group Training, Day 1, Session 1

Group Training, Day 1, Session 1

“As a father, it was rewarding to see Rafael interact with youths from a wide range of backgrounds and make new friends from places like Lebanon, Turkey, Australia and the USA.

As a coach, I really enjoyed seeing the work and sharing conversations with other world Muay Thai practitioners.  A very unique moment was while Team Canada was training and a Russian father approached me asking if I could help with the training of his young boy.  Even though there was a language barrier, the boy and I communicated through sparring – I held the pads one way and the boy knew what strike he had to throw.  It was truly magical.

This was an amazing and memorable event with thousands of worldwide participants, despite their origins, all joined together to celebrate sports, youth, cultural diversity, and most importantly, world unity.”

Rafael Arteaga & Oswaldo Arteaga

Rafael Arteaga & Oswaldo Arteaga

Educational Achievements

Knowledge is what can separate you from the pack.
It can take you as high as you want to go if you put it into action.”

The employees of Universal Logistics regularly receive industry training that is paid for by the company.  We are proud to recognize the achievement and success of our latest course and program graduates.

Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) Course

Mila Leon   William Sanchez

Mila Leon (Customs Operations –
Air & Ocean)
– graduate of the CCS course


William Sanchez (Truck Services)
– graduate of the CCS course

Congratulations Mila and William!

How To Beat The Winter Blues
Contributor: Crystal Thongmanivong

Snowy winter blues ahead

The weather is colder, the days are shorter and many struggle to maintain a happy, healthy mindset.  Many of us may suffer from a mild case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as the “winter blues”. 

It can be a miserable experience as you are tempted to stay in bed all day, you feel lethargic and you are not performing as well as you should at work. 

Here are a few ways you can battle the winter blues:

Eat Well 

  • Studies show a strong relationship between diet and healthy mind and body
  • Healthy diet can help prevent suffering from SAD symptoms
  • Recommended to try a Mediterranean-style diet of fruits, vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil, yogurt and cheese, nuts, whole grains, seafood and lean red meat


Fresh Air 

  • Going outside allows you to soak up a little bit of sunlight, which boosts up serotonin levels – the hormone that affects mood, appetite and sleep
  • Your skin produces vitamin D when in the sunlight which has positive mental and physical effects
  • Light helps reinforce a healthy day-night cycle, which can help to keep your sleep normal

Take Vitamins

  • Research connects low levels of vitamin D, due to limited sunlight exposure, with the winter blues
  • Help solve the problem through the use of vitamin D supplements

Brighten Your Home

  • Brighten up your home as much as you can – open blinds and let the light flow in
  • Bright light, particularly natural light, can help remedy the winter blues

Manage Your Screen Time

  • Cold weather means more time indoors watching television, computer and phone screens
  • Too much screen time diminishes mood, builds fatigue and creates distractions
  • Put down devices and step away from screens if you are experiencing SAD symptoms

Something’s Brewing

Countdown to Christmas with The Prez

Christmas movies

The Christmas season is coming up in about a month!  Have you decided on your holiday festivities yet?  If you are looking for a shortcut to holiday cheer, there’s nothing easier than settling in on the couch with a holiday movie.  Christmas movies have been around for decades and often times star celebrities and famous people.

What holiday movie includes a cameo by Donald Trump?

 A) Home Alone
 B) Home Alone 2
 C) The Holiday
 D) Scrooged

Hint: it is NOT one of the 50 Best Christmas Movies of All Time on Rotten Tomatoes

Click on the question above, submit your answer to Phoebe, and you’re eligible to win! 

Submission deadline
November 29, 2019 (Friday) noon

$25 Tim Hortons or Starbucks gift card for the winner
(If more than one person has the right answer, we will pick the winning name out of a hat)

November is Financial Literacy Month!

Financial Literacy

What better time than during the Financial Literacy Month to take charge of your finances and improve your financial well-being.

Start getting your finances back on track by taking action in these four areas:

  1. Create a budget.  A budget can help prioritize your spending, find ways to save money, and give you better control over your financial future.  Find out how
  2. Set your financial goals.  Understand your current financial situation and set goals that are specific and measurable.  Find out how
  3. Be a smart investor.  Understand the investment products and services offered to you before making a decision.  Find out how
  4. Reduce debt. It may be tempting to ignore your debt but dealing with financial challenges earlier will help you avoid an even more difficult situation in the future. Find out how

The Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) consumer website is one of Canada’s most visited financial literacy websites and provides hundreds of free tools and resources for people to help them get smarter about money.  Follow them on Twitter and Like them on Facebook for the most updated information.

Calling all Universal Employees!

We are looking for volunteers to contribute short articles to Universal & You.  Topics can be team or industry-related or you might want to share a personal experience (e.g. volunteer work or travel) with your fellow employees.

Please forward your ideas to Phoebe Shum.

  November 2019

Universal & You is produced bi-monthly for the employees of Universal Logistics. Reader comment and story ideas are welcome. Comments of general interest to all Universal & You readers will, with the permission of the writer, be published. Copyright © Universal Logistics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction for any commercial use is strictly prohibited.

Universal & You is produced by Universal Logistics, Editor: Sharon Fong, email:

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained herein, Universal Logistics accepts no responsibility or liability for errors or omissions.

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