Employee Spotlight: Kelcey Schafer
Kelcey is one of our International Relocation Coordinators and her specialty is overseeing routes like India to Hong Kong and the Philippines to Malaysia -- trips that can be a little more challenging than your average move.
This means not only does she make a difference in people's lives by helping them through stressful moves to faraway countries, she's also gathered some great stories! Read on to find out more about Kelcey and her adventures as a pet travel expert.
What drew you to apply to work at PetRelocation?
I initially approached PetRelocation because the thought of assisting families relocate internationally and helping their pets relocate with them was such a nuanced and thoughtful business idea. Now I would say I applied at PetRelocation not only for this reason but also to gain experience in logistics and high-touch customer service. I also get to live vicariously through clients relocating internationally – which is something that keeps me coming back to my desk. My clients are some of the most interesting, agile, and brave people I have ever met.
Kelcey's dogs George and Billy
Congratulations on your recent fifth anniversary with PetRelo! What qualities does someone need to be a successful PetRelocation coordinator?
Thank you! I’ve enjoyed every one of the last five years. I am a firm believer that in order to be a successful relocation coordinator time management and the ability to prioritize based on urgency level are qualities that will help anyone excel at this position.
You have been the coordinator for some of the most complicated moves that we’ve seen over the last five years. Is there one move you completed that you’re particularly proud of?
Several relocations come to mind, however, I will share a recent relocation that had steps completed in 3 different countries. My colleague Evelyn and I relocated 2 cats and 3 dogs from Ko Samui, Thailand to Santa Elena, Ecuador. These pets had a stop in Bangkok for a few weeks, a second stop in Miami, Florida for a few days, and finally a third stop in Quito, Ecuador for a night. I’m particularly proud of this relocation because it highlights how much of a team effort it takes to relocate pets internationally.
From Evelyn initially building the relocation plan to our partner in Bangkok assisting with the export from Thailand, to our partner in Miami completing the necessary transit steps in Florida, and finally to our partners in Ecuador who received the pets in Quito and then delivered to Santa Elena. That doesn’t include the internal team at PetRelocation that assisted with some of the flight bookings and document issuance. I was responsible for managing all those teams and ensuring the necessary steps happened when needed. I am forever amazed at the global impact the coordinator role has.
COVID-19 has changed the way we travel. What has been the biggest effect of the pandemic on pet travel?
I would say flight availability. At the start of the pandemic in March/April nearly every single one of our go-to pet-safe airlines shut down their pet programs for pets traveling as cargo. As you can imagine, not having viable flight routing did not bode well for all my clients traveling past March/April of this year. I am just now starting to see flight routing become available on airlines such as KLM, Emirates, Lufthansa, and British Airways to several of the countries I relocate pets to in my region of PetRelocation. As with all things pandemic related, the production team at PetRelocation as well as our clients have had to be extremely adaptable this year. Luckily, I am proud to say that adaptability and creating flexible relocation plans are things that PetRelocation excels at.
We love traveling here at PetRelocation. Where are you dying to go once travel is permitted again?
Once the world is back to normal I’d love to plan a trip to Paris. I’ve been practicing French with Duolingo, and my partner is big into bread baking – both of us can’t wait to check out the bakery/sourdough scene in France.
We're all about Austin, Texas (the PetRelo headquarters). What's your favorite thing about living here?
My two puppies can go out to dinner with my fiancé and I at many restaurants/bars in town – how cool is that
Which famous pet would you love to meet?
Tuna, the chiweenie with the most adorable over bite you have ever seen. Her Instagram page will melt you heart: @thetravelingtuna