Leadership Spotlight - Tammy Vontor

leadership Apr 30, 2023

Tammy Vontor is the sole customer service representative at West Motor Freight. Her day-to-day is fast paced and dynamic. She manages various events including customers calling in orders, tracking loads, helping dispatch, and filling in for whoever needs help on the team.


Tammy says, “Some days especially snow days, or bad weather or coming in and out of COVID, we had a lot of things going on with our drivers getting sick and we had loads that still needed to be moved.”


Tammy often needs to think creatively and put solutions in place quickly and safely to honor commitments, and ensure customers get what they’re paying for.


Outside of her day job, Tammy shares her gifts and talents volunteering for Pottstown Go Fourth and the Pottstown Rotary Club.


This summer will be Tammy’s fourth year volunteering for Go Fourth alongside of her husband Phil.


Tammy’s role with the Go Fourth Festival is to coordinate all of the volunteers for the day, she also helps with fundraising efforts leading into the event.


She says, the Go Fourth Festival “is a long three days, with day before prep, then the actual event, and clean up the day after, but it’s so much fun! You see the reward when the day is done. And you hear how everybody raves about Fourth of July being in Pottstown - that's what it's all about. That's why we got involved.”


Tammy said each year she and Phil have gotten a little more involved and it all started because someone asked. “Some friends wanted us to volunteer and we did and now we’re hooked!”


Tammy also coordinates volunteers for the Holiday House Tours which is a fun, festive event in town that supports Pottstown Go Fourth. “It's rewarding to see the smiles and hear the comments after the events are done. To me that's why I like doing it. I like to see the reward and hear ‘It was a fun day.”


Tammy is also an integral member of the Pottstown Rotary Club and partners with Enid Dunmire-Swinson to track of all of volunteer hours across the Pottstown Rotary.


Enid publishes the volunteer opportunities and Tammy tracks of all the hours. “I have spreadsheets for every single member whether they volunteer through Rotary events or non-Rotary events. That was very eye opening for me. I knew we had a lot of great people in Rotary, but I didn't realize we had so many that volunteered so much outside of Rotary and it was interesting to see what they volunteered in. When I first started, I was curious what everybody did on their free time for volunteering, and there are so many neat things out there that we can explore now too as Rotarians.”


Tammy also helps manage the windows downtown, an endeavor that she started with Jamie Sanchez.


Tammy and Jamie go to storefront windows to see where they can place items and materials to get the word out about the nonprofit organizations in our community. With summer coming and more anticipated foot traffic on local sidewalks, they’ll be out to see where they can get some great exposure for Pottstown’s organizations.


I asked Tammy, with the level of intensity of her day job, where she finds the energy for volunteering and what drives her to keep going?


She said, “I think for me, it's just knowing when the day is done I helped somebody. And if it's something as small as helping Lauren, (Pottstown Rotary Club President), accomplish her goals by getting her hours recorded, or it's getting a new person to sign up for the Go Fourth event, or gathering  raffle baskets and helping get people what they need - just that satisfaction of seeing I did make a difference in my town.”


I also asked Tammy about the biggest challenge she’s experienced through volunteerism, and she said, “Getting enough volunteers to come out. Everyone says ‘we'll do it’ but when it comes time to do the things, you don't always have enough people, and then those people that do follow through are run ragged because they're trying to do everything.”


As a follow up I asked, “How do you identify people you know that you can really rely on and then how do you keep them engaged?”


Tammy shared, “I usually start with friends, getting them involved. Everybody knows somebody. So they pass it on to their friends. Or if I'm really in a pinch, I'll say hey, listen, I need help.


You start passing the word and then more and more people start coming forward. In terms of engagement, you have to make sure people know they're important. I don't like to just give somebody an assignment to do, I make sure I talk to people and see what they like. I don't want them just to feel they're there to put time in and be done. I want them to enjoy it and I want them to know that they're important to what we do.”


So many key qualities of a leader, valuing people and seeing value in them, delivering mutually beneficial purpose driven opportunities for fulfillment, the courage to ask for help in a pinch, and genuine curiosity.


The Pottstown Community is lucky to have a leader like Tammy Vontnor!



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