To stay ahead, we go beyond

Megan Hershberger and Joe Reedy

Megan Hershberger and Joe Reedy found themselves fighting the clock to save endangered sea-turtle eggs from the Gulf oil spill.

Watch the rescue
operation.

Out of Harm’s Way

The 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico didn’t distinguish between people and waterfowl. It devastated livelihoods, destroyed and endangered wildlife, and reminded us how fragile the environment is. For an endangered species of sea turtle, the disaster became a race against time.

"When others say it’s impossible, we say ‘Yes, we can,’" says Joe Reedy, supervisor, FedEx Custom Critical. Reedy’s resolve was tested after he and Megan Hershberger, supervisor, were asked to help relocate delicate sea-turtle eggs from the Gulf Coast of northern Florida to the Atlantic Coast. FedEx donated the services of team members and vehicles as part of our EarthSmart Outreach program.

Why FedEx Custom Critical? "We were uniquely qualified to handle the eggs, which were too motion- and temperature-sensitive to be transported by air," explains Hershberger.

Oil began spilling from a deep-water well about the time loggerhead sea turtles began nesting on a 100-mile stretch of beaches in Alabama and Florida. By the time the hatchlings would have emerged from their eggs, they would have been scrambling into oily danger. Experts predicted that all of the hatchlings would die if they weren’t moved in time.

At first, Hershberger figured the mission was just another challenging assignment. "I didn’t fully realize what was at stake until I got down to the Gulf and started talking to the residents and the public agencies," she says. "The sea turtles are not only endangered, they are a beloved part of the local culture — almost like pets."

The opportunity became clear the moment she witnessed tiny hatchlings digging their way out of the sand. "I said to myself, ‘We can do this,’ " Hershberger recalls.

But it wasn’t easy. Pallets didn’t fit the vehicles, so Reedy and Hershberger found a local company to custom-build chemical-free pallets. They were fitted with specially designed framing to secure the delicate polystyrene coolers that held the eggs. Shock absorbers were added to cushion the ride.

The eggs themselves had to be moved and placed in just the right orientation to make sure the embryos didn’t detach from the shell. After mapping the route, the two team members logged 16 hours test-driving the roads to prevent surprises.

"We had zero margin for error," says Reedy. "Time was running out, and all eyes were on us — the local residents, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the national media." But the planning and expertise paid off. With the help of FedEx Custom Critical drivers and teams of biologists, 25,000 eggs were relocated. More than 15,000 hatched — the direct result of living the Purple Promise to make every FedEx experience outstanding.

"Like Megan, what started as a job, quickly became a passion for me, which turned into deep pride," said Reedy. "Not only for myself, but for FedEx. We are passionate about the reputation of FedEx, and we’re not alone. Everywhere around the world, every day, you can find team members going beyond to do the right thing."


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When his customer had a problem, Bill Davis literally went the extra mile to solve it.

Special Delivery

In just a few seconds on the phone, Bill Davis knew he was talking to an unhappy customer. On one of the coldest, snowiest Februarys in Ohio history, the caller’s infrared heater had been delivered to the wrong address — a house across the street. She was elderly and couldn’t budge the 80-pound package. It turned out that she’d given the retailer the wrong address, but her misstep didn’t matter to Bill. His customer had a problem, and he was determined to fix it.

"I thought about calling a courier or driver for assistance but realized she couldn’t wait that long," recalls Davis, a customer advocate representative for FedEx TechConnect, which is responsible for customer service. His customer was cold, so Davis followed his heart. He checked her address, pulled on his coat and drove over to her house on his lunch break.

Davis wrestled the heavy package across the street and into her home. He figured that was that — she was a happy FedEx customer.

But the next day, he saw that a second heater had been delivered to the same wrong address. Davis didn’t wait for a call. He jumped on the phone and called the customer. "I’ll be right over," he assured her. Davis personally delivered the second heater, transforming her from a happy customer to a delighted customer.

But the story doesn’t end there. "She phoned my manager and said some kind words," he remembers. Davis’s modesty is only surpassed by his dedication to his customers. Think about it. It’s not every day you call a company to complain, and the person you talk to appears at your door to make things right. But then Davis is not about delivering everyday service.

"The Purple Promise is to make every FedEx experience outstanding," says Davis. "For me, the promise wouldn’t be fulfilled until I got the package into my customer’s hands."