Veteran Employee Story – Keith Cook

Ryder System, Inc.  |  An Opportunity to Work with People  |

Published in the July/August 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®  |

Keith Cook, a retired Marine Corps major, is one of the many veterans working at Ryder System, Inc. In the military, he focused on personnel administration and served as an adjutant. At Ryder, he is a vehicle sales manager in charge of maximizing sales of used vehicles through Ryder’s North American retail network.

Ryder System, Inc., is a Fortune 500 commercial transportation, logistics, and supply-chain management company headquartered in Miami. Ryder is a $6.1 billion company, with operations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Asia – and 27,500 employees worldwide.

Cook is a multiple winner of Ryder’s Team Excellence Award, which recognizes top vehicle sales personnel. He has also been chairman of the Team Excellence organization for more than 10 years.

“After working in a personnel role in the Marines, I knew I wanted to work with people,” Cook said. “My self-motivation drove me to look for a role in sales, and I wanted to work for a company with a great reputation that would appreciate the discipline and work ethic I learned through military service.”

Cook used a lot of what the military offered to get ready to enter the civilian world.  “I took advantage of the many transition courses the military offered to help me prepare for civilian life,” he said. “This was invaluable, as it helps to open your mind to jobs that are available that match military skills.”

Those skills include respect and focus. “Skills that I learned during service that help me today include being process-focused and mission-oriented,” Cook said. “In addition, understanding and respecting a chain of command has also helped me be successful in my current role. I respect and support my supervisors, and do my job to the best of my ability every day.”

He believes veterans will succeed at Ryder because the leadership there rewards high achievers. “Ryder is a great company for veterans,” Cook said. “My first interview with Ryder back in the early 1990’s was with a manager who had served in the Army. The people in Ryder leadership positions are good at what they do. They are open and accessible, and they recognize achievers who consistently deliver results.”

Cook said that veterans can go far with Ryder. “I advise any current servicemember looking for work to take advantage of the transition programs and think outside of the box,” he said. “Look at your strengths and weaknesses, and find companies and jobs that match what you can offer. I also encourage veterans to take a serious look at Ryder. There are endless opportunities if you can look to the future. Be open to starting small, and build your credentials so you can move up in the company.”

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers