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Fifth-Generation Kayla Henningsen Joins the Henningsen Cold Storage Team

kayla-henningsenHenningsen Cold Storage Co. welcomes Kayla Henningsen, a fifth-generation family member, as a full-time management associate for the company. Kayla went to Portland State University where she obtained Bachelor degrees in Business Administration, triple majoring in Supply Chain & Logistics, Finance, and Human Resource Management, as well as earning a Food Industry Management Certificate. While at Portland State, she played on the women’s soccer team with her twin sister, Kelsey, and attributes learning about herself, gaining time management skills, and fine-tuning her communication abilities to her time as a student athlete. In her free time, Kayla enjoys playing pickup games of soccer, golfing, going for a hike, or basically anything active she can do with her friends.

Until her sophomore year in college, Kayla had never really considered joining in the family business. Her father, Paul Henningsen, COO, explained there was never any expectation for Kayla to work for Henningsen Cold Storage Co., but she found through school she was interested in supply chain & logistics. Often, Kayla would come home from school and talk to her father about warehouse logistics or racking layouts, and what Henningsen was doing or how they could improve. Kayla initially joined the Henningsen team in the summer of 2014 as an intern working with Todd Larson, Vice President of Warehouse Operations, evaluating current training programs and available alternatives. After graduation, Kayla began working full-time, in January 2015 at the Portland East facility, learning the office administration functions. She hopes to learn how she will be able to help the company grow and expand in the future while remaining true to the family values. Kayla believes by learning the business from the ground-up, she will have a better understanding of all aspects of the business, as well as developing a personal relationship with customers and associates alike.

When asked what she believes makes the company successful, Kayla talked about the family culture Henningsen has created, and respects how the company truly cares about their associates. She is a firm believer when a company treats their associates well, they in turn perform their jobs to a higher standard, and execute the level of service for which Henningsen Cold Storage Co. strives. In the future, Kayla sees Henningsen creating more partnerships similar to that with NORPAC at the Salem, Oregon facility. She recognizes the challenge of growing the company while remaining true to the founding values, and believes in order for the company to remain successful they cannot lose focus on the “little things,” such as having associates that are proud to work for Henningsen and an executive team that knows the associates at the warehouse level personally.

Some of the challenges Kayla sees facing the company today are companies deciding to insource their logistics and warehousing in order to gain more control or have their distribution operations closer to home. She also mentioned automated warehousing will be an exciting challenge moving forward, not only within the company but also within the industry as the technology and capabilities progress.

Paul Henningsen offers Kayla, and all of the other management associates, some advice by saying “Be a sponge and learn as much as you can. Figure out what you like.” He goes on to say that the management associate position was designed to educate the associate in all roles of the business, and see what side they gravitate toward. There is no set track for a management associate, which allows them the opportunity to create their own path based on their interests and strengths. Paul also said that “Most people that succeed at Henningsen find a business need and take it upon themselves to provide a solution. Look for your own opportunity and find out what needs to be done.”

Henningsen Cold Storage looks forward to seeing Kayla move through all of the various job functions within the company, and we are excited to see what she will accomplish. As we welcome fifth-generation Kayla Henningsen to our team, remember: You’re With Henningsen … Relax, It’s Handled.


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