A woman who arrived in Britain aged 20 and rose in just six years to launch her own successful marketing company has been named Rising Star of the Year in the FTA everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards.
Anna Kozlowska took the male-dominated world of logistics by storm, impressing colleagues and customers alike with her strong work ethic, creativity, boundless enthusiasm and determination to get the job done.
She had a meteoric rise: four years after starting in a warehouse for Avon Cosmetics she was appointed UK Marketing Manager for global logistics giant Geodis and the Fortec Distribution Network. She was 24 years old.
Moreover when she arrived at Geodis to take on this big role she was entering the final year of a part-time degree in Business at Northampton University – undeterred by the workload she went on to graduate with distinction.
Spotting a gap in the market, she left after two years to found her own company, Myway Enterprises, in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, in July 2012, a marketing agency specialising in the transport and logistics sector for small to medium businesses.
She built up its impressive client list from scratch. Myway Enterprises now has prestigious clients such as DB Schenker Logistics, the Road Haulage Association and M&H Logistics. The business has grown so quickly that she took on two full-time members of staff earlier this year. Anna also gained Chartered Member status of CILT in March.
Her achievements were recognised by the Freight Transport Association’s everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards 2014 in which she was named Rising Star of the Year.
Anna, who is originally from Poland, said: "I am delighted to have been honoured by the FTA everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards and thrilled that all our hard work and efforts have been recognised.
"Being named a rising star is a lot to live up to! However I absolutely love what I do – marketing and the transport industry are both wonderful areas to work in – and I am looking forward to building Myway Enterprises further.
"I think it is the greatest compliment a business owner can wish for when your biggest customer goes the extra mile for you and nominates you in secret, marshalling other customers’ support as well.
"It is fantastic that women are being recognised for their achievements in a male-dominated industry – however it was precisely because it was a male-dominated industry that it attracted me. It gives you a chance to really prove yourself."
The judges at the awards applauded how Anna "progressed from the shop floor to the boardroom and she hasn’t forgotten her roots."
Maxine Benson, MBE, co-founder of everywoman, said: "As the transport and logistics industry seeks to employ half a million more people, it has never been more urgent to ensure the sector attracts more talented women.
"Inspirational female role models enjoying rewarding careers and achieving success will do that."
Martin Dean, Key Account Manager of RHA, who came up with the idea to nominate Anna for the award, said: "Anna has been working with the RHA and her involvement has led to four regions, six business partners and 10 specialist groups all having the same brand identity across the RHA.
"Anna has demonstrated that with creativity, determination and professionalism it is possible to break down barriers that sometimes hold women back in their careers. Anna’s involvement at the RHA was a breath of fresh air, with her new ideas and a fresh approach to traditional issues it is important that all sectors of commerce welcome women like Anna into their businesses.
"I am delighted that Anna’s achievements have been recognized by awarding her the title of "Rising Star." This is no more than what she deserves. All women should ensure that they are never dissuaded from following their chosen career path just because of their gender. I look forward to working with Anna on more new and exciting projects for the RHA.
"Her input has been invaluable – her energy, enthusiasm and drive certainly produce results!"
Tom Wotherspoon, of M&H Logistics, who nominated her for the award, said: "Anna has progressed rapidly in every position she has held since coming to the UK through a combination of ability, determination, never say die attitude and sheer work ethic.
"Anna has an uncanny ability to take people with her even when they may feel it is not the correct route, only (for them) then to be proven wrong. M&H Logistics has had direct experience of this on more than one occasion."
Anna has been successful in every role she has had since arriving in Britain from Poland in 2006. Her first job was with Avon Cosmetics in a warehouse and within days she was put in charge of training other Polish staff.
Her interest in logistics was sparked when a year later she joined the Travail Employment Group which was responsible for recruiting warehouse staff, drivers and forklift truck operators.
In 2008 she joined the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport where, after being promoted to Marketing Assistant she achieved a considerable success when asked to become Project Manager for the Humanitarian Logistics Association. She increased membership eight-fold in a short time and was then given further responsibility as Defence Logistics Officer helping former service men and women to find their way in the civvy logistics world.
In 2010 she was appointed UK Marketing Manager for Geodis and the Fortec Distribution Network, responsible for 10 Geodis branches and 65 Fortec licensees, a big step she undertook while in the final year of studying for her part-time degree.
Anna is an all-round marketer, not just a strategist, planner, manager or designer, but all in one, making her a unique professional in the marketing field. This is one of the reasons why Myway is so different from other marketing agencies and why its offer is so attractive to SMEs without their own internal marketing function.
Anna’s team at Myway all bought into her way of extreme passion for what they do, determination to make their customers happy, never-ending enthusiasm, creativity with common sense and sustainable profit.