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September 2023

Hockey Helps the Homeless – Employee Fundraiser

Following last year’s fantastic Employee Fundraiser – we raised an unbelievable record total of $37,566.08 for HHTH, 360Kids and Blue Door – this year Universal will once again support the Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) tournament by being the Participant Gift Sponsor for the December 15th event.

We will kick off this year’s campaign with a Lunch ‘N Learn event at Head Office on Tuesday, October 17th – mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!

Hockey Helps the Homeless Charity (HHTH)

Save the Date!

It’s hard to believe that the year is already entering its final quarter, but that means exciting news for all of you as the Events Committee finalizes details for the annual Company Christmas Party!

This year, we will be celebrating together at a new venue: The Grand Luxe Event Boutique. After much deliberation, following the major success of last year’s party, the Events Committee found a bigger space to accommodate our ever-growing Universal team and all of our partying needs.

Get ready to turn up your holiday spirit on Friday, December 15th, and stay tuned for more updates!

Christmas Party - Universal Logistics

We haven’t forgotten about the kids (and the kids at heart), as we will once again be offering tasty Gingerbread Kits by Marnie Lippa, owner of Parties Made Simple. Keep your eyes peeled for the email in November to place your orders!

Christmas Gingerbread - Universal Logistics

Summerlicious Days Wrap Up

Summerlicious Days Wrap Up - Universal Logistics
Summerlicious Days Wrap Up - Universal Logistics

Summerlicious Days at Universal wrapped up just in time for the September Equinox, marking the end of the season. From May to September, the LEAD team organized delicious meals for Head Office and all of our Branch offices, courtesy of Universal Logistics. Here’s a recap of what we got to enjoy!

On May 29th, Head Office saw a Food Truck BBQ feast. The LEAD team organized delicious meals for our Canadian Branch Offices, while our US Offices enjoyed their meals the following day due to the Memorial Day Holiday.

On June 20th, an Ice Cream Truck pulled up to Head Office, and the LEAD team ordered frozen treats for all of our Branch offices.

On July 8th, the Food and Ice Cream Trucks pulled up to the Universal Summer Picnic at Bruce’s Mill.

Since there’s never enough dessert, round 2 of frozen treat fun happened on August 22nd.

The final course of Summerlicious Days was on September 19th, with a Greek Feast at Head Office, and meals organized by the LEAD team for our Canadian and US Branch offices.

  Click here to see some photos from the Greek Feast at Head Office!

We hope you all enjoyed this tasty initiative, which was a direct result of the Universal Employee Engagement Survey 2022.

Congratulations Aytal Everstov

2023 CSCB National Scholarship Recipient

We are very pleased to announce, after a record number of scholarship applications were received by the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB) for 2023, the CSCB National Scholarship was awarded to Irina Moskvitina’s son, Aytal Everstov – Congratulations Aytal!

Below is an excerpt from the CSCB winners announcement:

Aytal Everstov, 2023 CSCB National Scholarship Recipient

“The CSCB National Scholarship is awarded to Aytal Everstov, son of Irina Moskvitina from Universal Logistics (Thornhill ON). Aytal will be studying Health Science at McMaster University, the first step towards fulfilling his dream to become a hematologist-oncologist. Aytal completed high school with a 95 GPA and won four awards from his school, including the Brian Collier Heart of a Hero Award (awarded for supporting his school community through mentorship activities). Aytal has participated in Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest and Euclid Contest, the Science Club, the Student Council and the Model United Nations Club. He was subsequently chosen to represent his school at the Simcoe County United Nations Contest. He is also interested in politics, volunteering at the office of his local Member of Parliament and his town council office.”

Each year, the CSCB awards 3 scholarships as continued support of member firms and their families. The scholarships are awarded to students pursuing post-secondary education. The CSCB National and the CSCB Guy Graveline scholarships are for those who are just beginning their post-secondary education, and our third scholarship is for those already engaged in their post-secondary education.

Each scholarship is worth $3,500.00 and is awarded to a child, stepchild, grandchild, person under the legal guardianship of an individual, or an individual who is employed with a CSCB member firm on the basis of academic achievement, and personal goals.

We would encourage all who qualify to submit your scholarship application next year.

Shift Your Mind

As a direct result of the feedback received from the Employee Engagement Survey 2022, on August 22nd, the LEAD team announced an exciting Health & Wellness program that Universal Logistics is making available to all employees.

Shift Your Mind is an 8-week program that teaches mental fitness and good thinking habits based on science and timeless knowledge. Beginning on September 20th, the 45-minute sessions are taking place once a week, live, in the Main Boardroom at Head Office as well as via Zoom (for those working remotely).

During Shift Your Mind sessions, participants are learning the science behind the tools and habits that lead to resiliency – like positive self-talk, positive habit formation, exercise, mindfulness and information management.

Shift Your Mind - Universal Logistics

We have had great response and interest in this program and are considering adding more sessions once the first 2 group sessions have been completed.

The LEAD team will also be working on organizing more Health & Wellness initiatives, inspired by the Employee Engagement Survey results, in the coming months to introduce additional ways to promote a balanced lifestyle for all employees!

Something's Brewing

Contributor: Alice Yan

Hello, Collectors!

Universal Logistics - Collections

The History of Collecting

People collect innumerable types of objects, from postage stamps, coins, and dolls, to niche items like depression glass, oil cans, and vintage artwork.

Actually, it wasn’t until humans gave up their nomadic lifestyle over 12,000 years ago that collecting became possible.

In the 19th century, aristocratic collectors were the most common, as their collections were perceived as a status symbol.

They amassed art, fossils, books, zoological specimens, and other objects that were popular at the time.

Unique Collections Around the World

Here are some collectors with more unusual themes that may surprise you or blow your mind!

Barf Bags

Waterproof bags that are usually found on planes. The record for the largest collection of these little bags belongs to Niek Vermeulen (the Netherlands), who has been listed in the Guinness Book of Records with over 6,290 bags.

Barf Bags Collector - Unique Collections Around the World
Banana Labels

Becky Martz (Orlando, Florida), has spent 29 years collecting and inventorying more than 21,000 banana labels from all over the world.

Banana Stickers Collector - Unique Collections Around the World
Monopoly Games

Neil Scallan (Crawley, England) has been proclaimed by the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest collector of Monopoly

Monopoly Games Collector - Unique Collections Around the World
“Do Not Disturb” Hotel Signs

Edoardo Flores (Italy) has the most beautiful collection of Do Not Disturb signs with 15,000 different examples. They date from the 1940s to the present day.

"Do Not Disturb" Hotel Signs Collector - Unique Collections Around the World
Traffic Cones

David Morgan (Burford, England) has been collecting traffic cones since 1970 and has over 500 of them at home.

Traffic Cones - Unique Collections Around the World
PEZ Dispensers

Brian Trauman (North Caldwell, New Jersey) has over 5,500 PEZ dispensers. His collection started in 1999 after he found a bag of them at his mom’s house.

PEZ Dispensers - Unique Collections Around the World

Psychology of Collecting

  • Good way to socialize with like-minded people
  • Educate yourself about that item
  • Stress reduction
  • Builds focus, memory, processing & organization
  • Can be expensive
  • Can lead to hoarding
  • May lead to clutter problems
  • Can be time-consuming

The University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums has an ongoing, collaborative, educational exhibition program called “My Collections” to invite the community to participate in exhibiting their personal collections at the museums.

On September 7th, we asked everyone at Universal to send us their personal collections. We’re very happy to say that we received 25 collections from 18 Universal employees and their family members! Thank you to everyone who participated, we had a lot of fun getting to know you through your hobbies.

A. LeBron James; $12.6 million USD

B. Honus Wagner; $7.25 million USD

C. Mickey Mantle; $12.6 million USD

D. Mike Trout; $7.25 million USD

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

Submission deadline
Friday, October 6th (Noon)

$25 Tim Hortons, Starbucks or Amazon gift card for the 2 winners
(If more than two contestants have the right answer, we will pick the winning names out of a hat)

Kudos Corner - Universal Logistics

Kudos (Noun) – Praise & honour received for an achievement

Kudos Corner is a forum where Universal employees can recognize the efforts of their co-workers. Bring forward candidates for Kudos Corner at your next Team Meeting or simply drop your Manager a line whenever you feel someone’s efforts should be recognized in Universal & You.

For this issue we received the following entry from Pamela Randolph of our US Freight Operations team:

Mark DeLuca of our Customs Operations team in Buffalo jumped through hoops to assist me last week while I was trying to troubleshoot a damaged container and determine its location and date. That isn’t really out of the ordinary for him, because he consistently goes above and beyond. He’s incredibly pleasant to work with as well. He’s a team player for sure.”

Growing again

In Universal & You, we want to introduce all new employees. We have new additions at our Airport branch office and our Head Office. Please join us in welcoming everyone to the team!

arco Han, Customs Consulting Services - Universal Logistics - Head Office

Name: Marco Han
Team: Customs Consulting Services
(Head Office)
Start date: September 5, 2023

Bora Nam, Freight Pricing - Universal Logistics - Head Office

Name: Bora Nam
Team: Freight Pricing
(Head Office)
Start date: September 5, 2023

Navjot Sidhu, Distribution Services - Universal Logistics - Airport

Name: Navjot Sidhu
Team: Distribution Services
Start date: September 5, 2023

Pavel Rahman, Accounting Operations - Universal Logistics - Head Office

Name: Pavel Rahman
Team: Accounting Operations
(Head Office)
Start date: September 25, 2023

Book Buzz

Contributor: Barbara Mulatinho

To Have and to Heist by Sara Desai

Simi Chopra is on a bad-luck streak. She lost yet another job, her student loan debt won’t stop growing, her basement apartment is a certifiable flood zone, and now her best friend has been accused of stealing a multimillion-dollar diamond necklace. To put it lightly, she’s desperate for a break—that’s right when Jack waltzes out of the bushes and into her life.

Jack is just as charming as he is mysterious. When he offers to help her find the missing necklace and steal it back, Simi jumps at the chance to clear her friend’s name and collect the substantial reward. But every good heist needs a crew. All she needs to do is transform a ragtag group of strangers into an elite heist crew, infiltrate a high-society wedding and steal the necklace from a dangerous criminal before the happy couple says “I do.” Meanwhile, the bride is keeping secrets, a detective with a slow-burn smile keeps showing up at her door, and the ultimate robbery might not be the wedding con, but the way that Jack is stealing her heart.

To Have and to Heist by Sara Desai - Book Buzz

Culture and Entertainment

Contributor: Barbara Mulatinho

Hollywood On Strike

Around 11,500 Hollywood writers walked off the job on May 2nd and have been on strike since then. Then, 160,000 actors went on strike as well on July 14th. Both are stuck in contract negotiations with Hollywood studios and production companies. The strike marks the first time that actors and writers have walked out simultaneously since 1960. Production on television and movies has ground to a halt as a result, and there’s no clear end in sight. The Emmys are delayed from September 2023 to January 2024, Dune Part 2 just got delayed from November 2023 to March 2024, and we can expect many more shows and movies to follow on the same path.

Why are they striking? In part, it’s because technology and the way people consume entertainment have changed dramatically. The 2 main focuses are: Residuals and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Residuals are long-term payments to those who worked on films and television shows, for reruns and other airings after the initial release. The money used to pay these residuals was obtained by advertising and DVD sales, but when the shows moved to streaming, these payments were greatly reduced.

Culture and Entertainment - Hollywood On Strike - Kimiko Glenn

Residuals are how we live. There are our initial paychecks, but then there are our residuals which help us with our groceries and our day-to-day lives.

 – Kimiko Glenn, actress, Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, $27.00 in total for foreign residuals earned over the decade since the show began.

The lack of a steady income can mean the loss of union health insurance for members, who are required to earn $27,000 annually to qualify for coverage. The vast majority don’t qualify. The union said negotiators asked studios to consider a “comprehensive plan for actors to participate in streaming revenue, since the current business model has eroded our residuals income.” The answer, the union said, was simply “no”.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): Technology that replicates individuals’ faces and voices is becoming more prominent in Hollywood. For this reason, AI has surged to the forefront of Hollywood’s labor fights, being the wild card in the contract breakdowns that have led the unions to go on strike. As the technology to create without creators emerges, writers fear that they’ll have to share or lose credit to machines. The Writers Guild wants to prevent raw AI-generated storylines or dialogue from being regarded as “literary material” — a term in their contracts denoting scripts, and other story forms, that a screenwriter produces.

Star actors fear that they will lose control of their image, and unknown actors fear they’ll be replaced altogether. Without strict regulation, their work will be replicated and remixed by AI tools, which will both cut their control over their work and hurt their ability to earn a living. This is a real possibility since the studios proposed that background performers should be able to be scanned and get paid for only one day’s pay. Included in that proposal is that the company will be given ownership to the actor’s scan (their image and likeness), with the ability to use it forever for any project that they want, without any consent or compensation.

All sides in the strikes acknowledge that use of the technology even more broadly is inevitable. That’s why all are looking now to establish legal and creative control.

On September 25th, writers and producers reached a tentative agreement. Members from the Writers Guild will vote, and if approved the writers’ strike should end – previously it took 4 days before it went from tentative to approved.

On September 28th, the writers approved the tentative deal, putting an end to the writers’ strike.  Actors remain on strike, but studios and producers want to go back to the bargaining table on October 2nd.

Returning on Disney+

Despite shows and new content coming to a halt with the strikes in Hollywood, Disney+ comes through with the much-anticipated return of the following shows (spoiler alert for new viewers!)

At long last, the third season of Only Murders in the Building is here – the murder mystery starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as neighbors, podcasters, and crime solvers on the Upper West Side.

This time around, Oliver (Short), Charles (Martin), and Mabel (Gomez) are picking things right back up after ending season 2 with a M-A-S-S-I-V-E cliffhanger – a third murder during the opening night of Oliver’s play.

Naturally, this next installment follows the iconic trio of sleuths coming together yet again for another investigation.

This season is welcoming three very new (and VERY famous) characters to the show: Meryl Streep as Loretta Durkin, an actress in Oliver’s play; Jesse Williams as Tobert, an enthusiastic documentarian; and Paul Rudd as actor Ben Gilroy.

There will be ten episodes total in season three, and new episodes will stream weekly on Tuesdays.

Culture and Entertainment - Only Murders in the Building - Disney Plus

The Bear is an American comedy-drama television series.

It stars Jeremy Allen White as a young, award-winning chef, Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, who returns to his hometown of Chicago to manage the chaotic kitchen at his deceased brother’s sandwich shop.

The series has received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its writing, directing, acting, and production values, as well as its examination of its subject matter. The first season received 13 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series and acting nominations for the cast.

The Bear undergoes a transformation in its second season, and not just because the titular restaurant changes from an old-school sandwich joint to a fine dining establishment.

The 10-episode installment follows Carmy, Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), and the team’s mission to reopen the former Original Beef of Chicagoland in a three-month turnaround. After weeks of stages, renovations, and a standout Christmas flashback episode, the show culminates in the first night that The Bear opens to the public.

Culture and Entertainment - The Bear

Health and Lifestyle

Contributor: Veena Ramesh

Happiness & Wellbeing

Happiness & Wellbeing - Ikigai

Ikigai (生き甲斐, ‘a reason for being’) is a Japanese concept referring to something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living.

Happiness and wellbeing are very closely related, but are distinct concepts that play a significant role in human life.

Happiness can be defined as a feeling of joy, satisfaction, contentment and positive emotion. It can be fleeting or long lasting and dependent on external factors such as achievements, relationships, or material possessions. However, it can be influenced or cultivated by internal factors like mindset, attitude, and one’s perspective on life.

Each person’s happiness can be the result of different factors, but some key signs of happiness include; feeling satisfied with your life, spending time doing activities that you enjoy, a positive outlook, practicing self-care, and experiencing gratitude. Happiness can also be attributed to a warm fuzzy feeling, which you can get when you help a person in need.

Wellbeing is a broader and more holistic concept that encompasses various aspects of a person’s life and its quality. It includes physical, mental, emotional and social being.

Happiness for most people is a similar feeling, but the reasons for happiness can be different for each individual. However, wellbeing consists of several possible factors: Physical health; Mental health and emotional wellbeing; Social wellbeing; Economic wellbeing; Environmental wellbeing; Purpose and meaning; Spiritual wellbeing.

It is important to note that happiness can be a component of wellbeing, but wellbeing goes beyond just happiness.

Achieving and maintaining wellbeing often requires a combination of the above-mentioned factors, along with personal choices and values. Happy people still feel anger, sadness, loneliness and frustration, but they generally deal with these emotions better, as they maintain a positive and optimistic attitude in life.

Different types of happiness:

  • A feeling of joy which may be brief anticipation and excitement for an upcoming moment which brings you happiness
  • Feeling happy because of gratitude
  • A sense of pride when you or a loved one accomplishes something
  • Contentment with everything that is happening around you

To cultivate happiness, some try activities and establish goals. To improve wellbeing through happiness, you can do the following: Consciously practice gratitude; Cultivate positive relationships; Engage in acts of kindness; Pursue passions, or hobbies; Set and achieve goals; Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is particularly important, as focusing on accumulating the material rarely brings longstanding happiness. Learning to reframe your thoughts is important when you are caught in challenging circumstances or in a pessimistic state of mind. It doesn’t mean just ignoring all the bad, rather trying to have a more balanced and realistic view.

What impact does happiness have? Happiness predicts positive outcomes and improves the factors that comprise your wellbeing.

Ultimately, acquiring happiness isn’t the final goal – this makes it a finite concept and unattainable – it’s about the journey, not the destination. The goal is to develop an understanding of what makes you happy as you live your life. Find balance and take one small step at a time to nurture your wellbeing. This may take some experimentation to see what works best for you, but never hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or even a professional.

IT Corner - Universal and YOU

IT Corner

Quarantine Emails

We all receive these emails in our Inbox – These quarantine emails are sent by Pathway every hour and are a collection of emails that Pathway’s SPAM filter has determined could be SPAM. The filter uses a variety of factors to determine this, and as Spammers change their method frequently, so too does Pathway in order to stay ahead of them. Because this is not an exact science, sometimes valid emails are caught and quarantined, while some SPAM emails are delivered to our mailboxes.

It is imperative that we check the contents of these emails before deleting them. It only takes a few seconds to glance at the sender’s email address to determine if it’s legitimate.

IT Corner - Quarantine Emails

One type of email that is frequently marked as SPAM are emails being sent by a system and not by someone’s Outlook. Team members in Operations especially should look out for this, as most of the paperwork that we receive is coming from a system.

It is very tempting to delete these emails or move them to another folder thinking that you can always go back and check if you need to. However, Pathway only keeps these emails in quarantine for a short period of time and then they are permanently deleted. Each and every Quarantine email should be checked for valid emails as soon as they are received.

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 Sharon Fong.

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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