Meet Stephen DeGould
As Lead Dispatch at Bear Down Logistics, Stephen DeGould can usually be found sitting behind a massive stack of 32-inch monitors at the Lisle, Ill., headquarters. It’s a place he could never have imagined being just two years ago when he started at the company’s first station in Mundelein, Ill.
DeGould, 25, says he was a logistics novice when he started in Mundelein, but he saw a great opportunity coming in at the ground level with Bear Down and he was determined to absorb as much of the business as he could.
“I did not have any experience with logistics, but I was like a sponge when it came to learning about the entire process,” says Stephen. “From driving and managing a station to eventually leading central dispatch, I have learned a lot on the job and I am able to do my job more efficiently having experienced every aspect of Bear Down’s process.”
A resident of Grayslake, Ill., who attended Grayslake Central High School and the College of Lake County for two years, Stephen says he really enjoys the team aspect of working as Lead Dispatch for Bear Down. “I enjoy the teamwork aspect when other drivers help each other. The days that I strive for are when our people help with rescues and the drivers finish on time.”
While helping the individual drivers is a primary focus for Stephen every day, he points out that it is critical for him to recognize that every station is different and has its own protocol and routine. Something he had to figure out early on the job in dispatch.
“At the beginning, it was stressful, especially when I was receiving multiple calls at once. With so many moving parts in the daily process, it was challenging trying to make sure the day ran smoothly,” he says. “Now I’m able to manage my time accordingly and make sure all the drivers’ needs are met to the best of my ability.”
According to Stephen, every day and every station is different. Some stations need rescues right away, while others may flourish. Because every driver works at their own speed, he is able to gauge them on time and who needs help. “Later in the day, when the majority of drivers are finishing their routes, it can be non-stop.”
As Bear Down has grown from its humble beginnings at the Mundelein station to 12 stations across the nation as of December 2019, Stephen sees a bright future for everyone involved at every level.