Wed-Thu: 11AM-5PM | Fri-Sat: by advance appointment
Wed-Thu: 11AM-5PM | Fri-Sat: by advance appointment
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Arts administration ,
submitted by
Daniel Schmid

Transportation Manager | Terry Dowd Inc.

Transportation Manager / Dispatcher

Job Description

Company: Terry Dowd Inc. 2233 S. Throop St, Chicago, IL 60608

Branch: Operations

Department: Transportation

Position reports to: General Manager/President

Compensation: Salary—commensurate with experience (+ benefits post probationary period)

Status: Full Time, exempt

ABOUT TDI: Since 1978, Terry Dowd Inc. has been handling fine art, artifacts, and antiques; objects that are high in value, fragile and irreplaceable. TDI, is perhaps best known among museums for its superior packing and crating services and its innovative adaptation of commercially available materials that meet conservation standards. Our crating methods have been informed by the research of the Canadian Conservation Institute, and in turn our standards have served as a guide for many institutions. Our clients, including many of the most prestigious museums, private collectors and corporations in the world, regularly contract us for the collection, crating, storage and transport of individual loans or entire exhibits.

POSITION OVERVIEW: The Transportation Manager is the primary dispatcher for fine art handling services occurring in the field. The position manages Coordinator-level position(s) that assists the Manager, and a fluctuating pool of art handlers (typically 10 to 16). The Transportation Manager receives and reviews scheduling requests from Project Managers, reviews, interprets, and makes recommendations for job instructions, communicates those instructions to participating crew, prepares paperwork, materials, and equipment for jobs and/or delegates to other staff, and addresses issues that arise during the course of jobs. The Manager also fields simple service/scheduling requests from clients that do not require estimates or site visits (e.g. basic installations and pick-ups/deliveries). Management of staff includes but is not limited to: day to day scheduling for entire crews/individuals based on seniority and qualifications, communication of instructions, management of PTO/time-off requests, basic/initial training, management of drug testing and DOT medical check-ups, performance evaluations and feedback, and initial disciplinary measures. The Transportation Manager serves as the hiring manager (interviews and selects art handlers) for the Transportation Department in conjunction with the Director of Operations. In conjunction with the Director of Operations, the Transportation Manager devises, communicates, and enforces Operations Procedures for day to day functions, and for the improvement of efficiency and performance. The position is also responsible for management of maintenance for TDI vehicles and equipment.


  • Head of the Transportation Department / Staff Management
    • Hiring Manager for Department.
      • Communicates to Executive Management if additional hiring is recommended.
    • Posts job listings
    • Interviews candidates for art handlers and selects the most qualified.
    • Manage Department Staff (Coordinator(s), Art Handlers, floating staff): provide training, communication, support, discipline, direction, reviews, etc.
      • Schedule and hold Department and Crew Chief meetings
    • Primary contact between field crews and office.
    • Create training materials and arrange training seminars in conjunction with other Operations Department Managers / Director of Operations.
      • Manage DOT physicals for driving certification
    • Manage safety training for vehicles and equipment
    • Collaborate with other Operations Managers for training on packing, installation, and other fine art handling services and procedures
    • Manage Field Schedule.
    • Supervise and Project-Manage basic service requests not requiring dedicated customer service attention, estimates, or site visits: simple installations, pick-ups and deliveries, etc.
    • Enforce policies and procedures for department and company.
  • Dispatcher for all field services
    • Receive and compile schedule requests from Project Managers/Operations Managers for services occurring in the field (greater Chicago area and bordering states, but can range nationally).
      • Accounts for individual crew availability (both personal schedules and PTO status).
    • Accounts for vehicle, equipment, materials, and crew/staffing level requirements—either as requested by the Project Manager, necessitated by the job scope, or limited by the job site.
    • Accounts for safety issues ranging from project execution to driving log time for drivers, etc.
    • Accounts for efficiency so that availability is maximized for customer service and company response.
    • Accounts for crew hours (both in a single day and an entire week).
    • Ensures seniority and qualifications are taken into account when appropriate/required.
    • Accounts for changes in schedule and crew availability (job cancellations, sick personnel, etc).

  • Job Preparation and Management
    • Review, interpret, and provide recommendations and adjustments to job instructions and job profiles from Project Managers.
  • Contact for clients to arrange basic services limited to simple installations, pick-ups, and deliveries (typically services that do not require dedicated customer service, estimates, or site visits). This includes regular/frequent airport deliveries and collections.
    • Address issues that arise in the field and communicate/coordinate with staff in the office as appropriate.
  • Adjust schedule as necessary to accommodate changes in the field (cancellations, delays, staffing changes, add-on requests, etc.)
  • Prepare necessary paperwork for jobs: BOLs, lists, supplemental information and instructions, etc. (in conjunction with Coordinator).
  • Prepare equipment and materials for jobs (in conjunction with Coordinator).
  • Assign/check-out equipment to crews (in conjunction with Coordinator).
  • Review and communicate scheduling and job instructions to crew (both in advance, and morning of jobs—in conjunction with Coordinator).
  • Arrange for any other preparation for field jobs (in conjunction with Coordinator):
    • pre-loading trucks/pre-staging materials and equipment
  • requesting supplemental staff from other departments
  • coordinating/communicating with other departments for pulling of property for delivery, availability of specialty packing materials and crates, etc.
  • Manages scheduling confirmation phone calls with clients 24 hours in advance of jobs (in conjunction with Coordinator).
    • Customer service for high profile clients including museums & private collectors as necessary.
    • Main point of contact between crews/TDI staff in the field, and the TDI office.
  • Vehicle and Equipment Management:
    • Maintains/manages/delegates the upkeep of materials and equipment stocking/organization (in Conjunction with Coordinator).
  • Manages truck maintenance issues and arranges for repair services as necessary.
  • Reports maintenance issues to Director of Operations and CEO.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Diplomatic demeanor; ability to work with a variety of personalities, many of which can be challenging and demanding.
  • Proven leadership skills.
  • Independent initiative/self-starter mentality required.
  • Ability to delegate tasks to accomplish goals.
  • Professional attitude. Able to address conflicts and stressful situations in a professional manner.
  • Commitment to the objectives laid out by Management (policies, procedures, customer service etc.).


  • At least 5 years fine art handling experience required. Strong familiarity with fine art, art history, art materials, and appropriate handling and packing methods necessary.
  • Outstanding customer service skills. At least 5 years customer service experience. Experience working with high profile clientele preferred.
  • Experience managing staff scheduling or complicated, evolving projects preferred.
  • Experience in a fast-paced environment required.
  • At least 2 years management or supervisory experience required; 5 years preferred.
  • Familiarity with Chicago streets/navigation, and buildings strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with trucks and fine art handling equipment required.
  • Familiarity with TSA CCSP—must become certified if not already.


  • Outstanding organizational skills: ability to account for fluctuating and critical details.
  • Excellent and articulate communication skills.
  • Proven ability to multi-task and handle multiple complicated projects/responsibilities simultaneously.
  • Strong analyzation skills—ability to identify missing information, ensure procedures are being followed correctly, identify potential problems, etc.


  • Strong familiarity with Microsoft Excel, and Office Suite, Outlook/email, and basic software.


  • College degree required (Bachelor’s degree in Arts Administration, Art History, Fine Art, Business, or a related field); Post-graduate degree preferred.


  • Must be able to lift 50+ lbs.
  • Schedule frequently requires early start time (7:00—8:00 AM)

To apply:

  • Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to Daniel Schmid by email. Qualified candidates may be asked to complete a formal application for employment.
Contact Info:
Daniel Schmid
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago