Dagny Dogger

What a Ride

"[Dagny Taggart} was fifteen when it occurred to her for the first time that women did not run railroads and that people might object. To hell with that, she thought-and never worried about it again."  -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Some believe your name shapes your destiny. For Dagny Dogger, this theory is rock solid. Dagny's mother named her only daughter after Ayn Rand's strong female character, Dagny Taggert, in the novel Atlas Shrugged. This character, an ambitious, purposeful, independent, tough, honest woman, who makes her way to the top in a man's world, personifies Dagny Dogger in her daily work at the helm of her family's international shipping agency, Argent. "I'm like a travel agent for cargo. We deal with moving things around the world via air, truck, ship, and train, getting it all from one place to another," explained Dagny. Seems easy enough, but it is an industry dominated by men that requires travel all over the world, which can be daunting, and down right awkward at times, for an attractive, petite mom forging her way around the globe.

Conferences in Shanghai, cocktail parties in Bangkok, dinner in Barcelona, sales appointments in Australia-it all comes with the territory when your territory is planet Earth. However, Dagny did not step into this position without earning it, and with two young children and a husband at home, maintaining balance is one of the hardest tasks she faces each day. None of it comes easy, as she faces down fears each time she boards a plane, sometimes teary-eyed, putting one more stamp on her passport, and days and distance between her and her family. "I always worry that if something were to happen to me, I made the choice to be in this spot at this time, and what has that done to my children as a result? But I cannot imagine not taking advantage of these amazing opportunities and showing my kids what can be done, and how much is out there to see, explore, and learn."

Dagny admits she thrives on craziness, which is probably why she's so good at what she does. She's able to go with the flow, just knowing it all adds up to an adventuresome life. Her first trip to Bangkok yielded an unforgettable moment when the bus she was on hit a car and nearly knocked it off an overpass. "No authorities showed up, both drivers yelled at each other, a few people helped pry the two vehicles apart and we went on our way."

Then there's the matter of food: "I had jellyfish at a business dinner.that is some slippery fish to pick up with silver chopsticks! I was trying so hard to be polite and well-mannered, but every time the fish slipped from the chopsticks, the sauce kept splashing all over my chest," Dagny smiled, taking it all in stride.

Speaking three languages in addition to English (French, German, and Japanese) helps her to fit in, although occasionally, she finds herself drawing pictures, pointing, and laughing to communicate and finalize deals. Surprisingly, what she has found in every corner of the world is that people are just people no matter where they live. The issues are the same; it's all very human. It is this common bond that makes our large world so approachable. "Many women I have met in China would like to be home having a few more babies. However, the government still taxes them and frowns upon them for having more than one child. There are some pretty amazing businesswomen there, and it's refreshing to be able to confide about our personal lives."

At such a young age, Dagny Dogger has proven herself professionally, definitely living up to Dagny Taggert's expectations. But maybe our Dagny knows something Miss Taggert didn't.like enjoying it every step of the way. I c]an't help but think that this well-known quote was written specifically with her in mind: "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Woohoo, what a ride!"


Up Close:

Married to: John Dogger, "He supports me fully, and is a great father who carry's the load when I'm away!"

Role Model:
"My mother, Cindy Chiappetta. She is the financial comptroller of the company, and the rock of Dad's dreams. She went back to college in her 50s in the midst of fighting breast cancer. She is an amazing role-model."

Children: Annika, age 10; Calvin, age 8
Up at 5:00 a.m. everyday: To swim, run, or attend boot camp.

Has not been to: Africa or New Zealand
Girly-girl factor: I love shoes.and they're the hardest to pack!

You'd be surprised to know: She played Rugby at the University of Dayton.

Wants to conquer:
Her fear of public speaking.