WIT Member of the Month


Each month, we highlight a member who is succeeding in the industry, selected by the WIT Image Team.
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> Previous Members of the Month (2012-2018)

2020 July Member of the Month: Deb LaBree

The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has announced Debra LaBree as its July Member of the Month. She is the owner-operator for Castle Transport, LLC leased to Landstar Inway, Inc. 

LaBree’s first career was a cosmetologist, but she always wanted to drive a truck. When the time was right, she and her husband obtained their CDLs and became professional drivers. They have been driving team since 2006 and have been owner-operators for the past six years. With over 1.4 million safe driving miles, LaBree has received six safety awards from Landstar. 

Volunteering and giving back to her trucking community is a priority for LaBree. She has dedicated the past eight years to being an administrator on the WIT Facebook group of over 10,000 members. The Facebook group is celebrating its 10-year anniversary and is a positive platform for WIT members to connect and collaborate on best practices, advice and ideas. WIT is also revamping its website and offering members a secure site to share their stories, challenges and concerns. 

LaBree also serves on the WIT Board of Directors and the WIT Image Team. Through her experience with the Image Team, she has mentored drivers and other owner- operators, appeared on The Today Show, and has been highlighted in the NY Times, industry publications, SiriusXM and industry podcasts. 

“When women tell me they are thinking about trucking for a career, I tell them to DO IT, they won’t regret it,” said LaBree. “It gives me great pleasure to mentor drivers so that they can reach their professional potential in their careers.”

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2020 June Member of the Month: Julianne Mills

The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has announced Julianne Mills as its June Member of the Month. She is the director of safety at NFI Transportation. 

At 24 years old, Mills started at NFI as a safety analyst. Even though she did not have a background in trucking, her master’s degree in Education from Fairleigh Dickinson played a major role in her career development. Being a safety analyst at NFI consisted of learning driver qualifications and safety compliance. 

In 2013, Mills led a pilot program at NFI that focused on how to quickly and compliantly hire safe drivers. The program resulted in a decrease of average days to hire from 22 to 8, which was instrumental considering the ongoing driver shortages. The pilot consisted of restructuring the recruiting team in different locations. This created accelerated application processing times and the ability to better work with the applicants on the opportunities at NFI. The safety department would then be in charge of running compliance reports to ensure the safety of a driver. After the pilot, Mills was promoted to an onboarding manager.

Today, Mills is the director of safety at NFI. She has been with the company for nine years. It is her mission to continue learning the FMCSA regulations and implement them every day to ensure safety. “I am excited to be a part of an organization like Women In Trucking to show the value we bring to this industry and share the achievements along the way,” she said. 

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2020 April Member of the Month: Cindy Reaves

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Cindy Reaves as its April 2020 Member of the Month. Reaves is the vice president of Gulf Coast sales and marketing for Linden Bulk Transportation LLC (Linden), a subsidiary of Odyssey Logistics & Technology, in Montgomery, Texas. After an impressive 40-year career in the trucking industry, she is retiring in April 2020.

Through the past four decades, Reaves rose through the ranks at several trucking companies, excelling in communication, negotiation and relationship building with many high-profile Fortune 50 companies. Along the way, she developed meaningful customer relationships by taking care of their freight with the utmost attention to quality and handling deliveries the way her customers would if they did it themselves. Today, Reaves manages more than 50 of the most prominent supply chain brands in the southwest.

“I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve made with my customers and the time I’ve had to get to know them – they’ve become my friends,” said Reaves. “Most of them are asking for my personal phone number – if they don’t have it already – so that they can keep in touch with me after I leave.”

Throughout her career in trucking, Reaves has been devoted to providing outstanding customer service and went above and beyond to make sure her customers knew their business was valued. From monitoring police escorts for a forgotten load in the middle of the night to hand-delivering ice cream to the soccer game of a prospective client’s children, she did whatever it took to make her customers feel appreciated.

“It never mattered what time of day or what day of the week, Cindy was always available for our customers to solve a problem, find an emergency truck or just answer some questions,” said Michael Salz, president Linden. “Her dedication to Linden and her customers has always amazed us and exceeded our expectations for 18 years.”

As she prepares to leave the trucking industry, Reaves has one hope for its future—to see more women in transportation and logistics. She’s been a mentor to many women, an advocate for more diversity in leadership roles and has educated college women on career opportunities beyond driving a truck. While inroads are being made, Reaves also understands that equality is an industry-wide challenge.

“I’ve worked at six trucking companies in my career, including Linden, and too few leverage the incredible talents of women,” Reaves recalls. “We need more women recruiting women. When a woman is considering a career in any industry, they want to see that they are respected and valued.”

Reaves believes there are several keys to attracting more women to the trucking industry. First, upper management needs to buy into women being in leadership roles. Also, current women in trucking need to actively recruit other women and be advocates who lead the charge for more diversity. In addition, more representation is needed on high school and college campuses to expose young women to the industry. Lastly, the industry needs to communicate the wide variety of jobs that can be obtained at a transportation and logistics company—IT, sales, marketing, accounting, human resources, operations and more.

Throughout all of the miles she’s traveled, Reaves has also been a catalyst for drivers. When the competition was high, she worked tirelessly to ensure there is a steady stream of work. “Drivers don’t get paid if their wheels aren’t rolling. It makes me nervous, seeing them sit idle in a terminal, so I work hard to find loads to get them back on the road.” Reaves has also valued the opinion and experiences of dispatchers and drivers, encouraging leadership to consider the experiences of the people out in the field every day.

“It’s going to be hard to leave Linden, but I’m looking forward to not checking emails so frequently and spending more time with family. I’ll be watching my grandson play college hockey and my granddaughter playing volleyball. I’m also competing in two golfing tournaments this year.”

On her way out, Reaves has the following advice for young women seeking employment in the logistics industry. “Make sure this is what you want to do, be sincere and honest, and always do the right thing to help the customer.”

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2020 March Member of the Month: Su Schmerheim

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Su Schmerheim, one of the few female solo horse haulers in the nation, as its March 2020 Member of the Month

As a lifelong horse enthusiast, Schmerheim’s passion for horses began in her teenage years. Since the age of 23, she has been showing Arabian and Half-Arabian horses in Michigan and at regional/national events around the United States. 

Finding a career that involved her love of horses always had seemed like just a dream, but when she left her corporate job in 2011, a friend suggested that Schmerheim consider finding work in the horse transport industry. Later that year, she began working for a local horse transport company, where she had the opportunity to obtain her CDL. 

Five years later, a new opportunity presented itself. After connecting with Schmerheim through social media, Kyle Ecclestone, president of Ecclestone Horse Transport (EHT), offered her a new job. EHT is an international equine logistics company, providing worldwide horse transportation by both road and air. 

This opportunity allowed Schmerheim to grow her career. Today, she is involved in both driving and logistics planning for EHT. She was assigned her own truck, a custom Kenworth T800 with a Doyle 15-horse trailer. Her feline co-pilot Jake often travels with her.  

“The most exciting part of the horse transport industry is the unknown,” said Schmerheim. “Loading and hauling a live load certainly presents its fair share of challenges at times. No two days are ever the same.” 

In the past year, Schmerheim has presented her truck at several truck shows, including the Trucker’s Jamboree in Walcott, Ia.; the Shiawassee County Truck Show; and the Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show in St. Ignace, Mich. She was also the recipient of the Women In Trucking Award, presented by association president and CEO Ellen Voie at the Richard Crane show. 

Schmerheim encourages anyone interested in a trucking career to check out a truck show near them. She points out that it is a great way to connect and network with other people from the industry.

For those attending the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, stop by booth #40672 in the North Wing Lobby to see the Women In Trucking Association!

Check out this interview with Su:

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2020 February Member of the Month: Jacinda Duran

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Jacinda Duran, a third-generation female truck driver as its February Member of the Month

Duran has been around trucking her entire life. With many family members in the industry, she says it was inevitable that she would be too. Her mother was a professional truck driver for 23 years and often took Duran with her on the job. Her father drove dump trucks and cement trucks. Her grandmother hauled produce in California for over 50 years. Her grandfather did his truck driving in the 1950s. They even have a relative who appeared on the television series, Shipping Wars. 

Ten years ago, Duran started her logistics career at FedEx Express as a courier, then transitioned into big rigs in 2014. She has experience driving limos, buses, charter buses and everything in between.  

Today, Duran drives enclosed car carriers for Plycar Transportation, based in Kings Park, N.Y. The company recruited her after seeing her social media page, Jacinda Lady Truckin. They recognized that her passion for trucking was a great fit for their elite trucking team. Through Plycar’s six-week training program, Duran learned to transport, load and unload unique, one-of-a-kind cars and became the company’s first solo female driver.

For the past year, Duran has driven from coast to coast and in all 48 states. She says the best thing about her job is the freedom. She continues to inspire women to reach for the stars through her social media platform. She makes every day an adventure and continues to explore this great country. 

“I stay out on the road for a long period of time, living in my truck. I get to travel the country, seeing friends, making new friends and living the best life out on the road. I am blessed and thank God every day for my health, my life and my blessings,” said Duran.

Duran is a proud mother of two children. Her daughter is in nursing school at Northern Arizona University and her son is a cadet in the US Air Force Academy, obtaining a degree in Aero Engineering.

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2020 January Member of the Month: Samantha Johnson

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Samantha Johnson as its January Member of the MonthJohnson is the service manager for Cumberland International Trucks.   

Johnson grew up in the construction industry, working in a family-owned business. She has always had a love for diesels and recalls always working on snow and paving equipment with diesel engines. 

Johnson started at Cumberland International Trucks (International Truck Dealer in Nashville, TN) in early 2015 as a service advisor. Within a few months, she was promoted to shop foreman. In October 2017, Johnson was promoted to assistant manager. In this position, she made it her personal mission to handle their Fire & App customers as the division was struggling. In the last year managing the Fire & App team, on top of her normal responsibilities, she’s turned the department around. She is forming relationships with Fire Departments across Tennessee and has been working with her team winning back former customers.   

Johnson was recently promoted to service manager in August of 2019. She’s been a consistent positive force in regards to shop morale and has continuously improved shop efficiency. 

“By being a woman in the industry, the biggest obstacle is always having to prove to everyone you are the right person for the job,” said Johnson. “But don’t let the industry scare you because it’s male-dominated. Push through and prove you have what it takes.”

Johnson definitely pushed through the ranks at Cumberland. She credits each step of her journey in preparing her for where she is today. 

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2019 December Member of the Month: Jessica Luttrell 

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Jessica Luttrell as its December Member of the MonthLuttrell is a professional driver for Umpqua Dairy in Roseburg, Oregon. 

When Luttrell was 30 years old, she moved to Oregon in search of a new career. She noticed a lot of trucks in her area and researched what it would take to become a driver. 

Luttrell did not grow up around trucks, but had always been fascinated with them. So, she felt becoming a professional truck driver was a good career choice. After obtaining her CDL, she started driving over-the-road solo. Most memorable during this time was transporting rescue animals who were close to being euthanized to new cities and states to foster homes.

Later, Luttrell’s husband followed in her footsteps, also obtaining his CDL. They drove team over-the-road for two years. At that point, Luttrell made a choice to drive locally so that she could be closer to her children at home.

Driving locally gave Luttrell the opportunity to drive a dump truck for a construction company and even a tanker for a farm company. She is currently running a refer unit in the Pacific Northwest and is able to be home every night. 

“The company I currently work for has been around since 1931, and I am the first female truck driver hired here,” said Luttrell. “I feel like my job performance is setting the bar for future female drivers within this company.” 

Luttrell’s goal is to move into a trucking management position and become the first female truck driver in a management position.

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2019 November Member of the Month: Hannah Cannington 

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Hannah Cannington as its November Member of the MonthCannington is the Branch Manager for the Alabama Motor Express, Inc (AMX) Logistics office in Savannah, Georgia. As a rising star in the supply chain industry, Cannington has proven success comes from hard work and dedication.  

Logistics wasn’t on Cannington’s radar as a professional career. In fact, she worked in healthcare for a few years, before a friend reached out to her about a job in logistics. Knowing nothing about logistics, but at a point in her career where she welcomed exciting new opportunities, Cannington joined the C.H. Robinson team. She started in operations, assisting with customer freight by tracking, tracing and dispatching truck drivers.  

Her interest in supply chain and aptitude working with others led to her transition into the strategic side of the business and eventually into human resources. After three years at C.H. Robinson, Cannington knew it was time to pursue her passion for working with people. 

Cannington spent three years at multiple recruiting firms where she worked closely with supply chain professionals. But something was still missing. Cannington loved the “on your toes” feeling that she had when working in supply chain. Her experience working in logistics and background in human resources made her the ideal candidate for the role as Branch Manager at AMX Logistics. 

“When approached for branch manager, I had my doubts,” said Cannington. “I didn’t have 15-20 years of experience, but I kept telling myself that I was worth it – and that I could handle the challenge.”  

Cannington now leads a team of talented logistics professionals that streamlines processes to provide superior service for customers. She has a simple strategy: Work quickly but be thorough. 

“Logistics requires an incredible amount of problem solving in an incredibly short period of time,” said Cannington. “Anything could happen, at any time. Sometimes, information isn’t available until the last minute. Our customers expect us to have the answers anyway.”

 When looking for the perfect candidate for a supply chain role, Cannington looks for someone like herself. She didn’t come from logistics, but it takes hard work and dedication to be in this field of work.  

“Logistics experience is great, but I appreciate people who are always up for a challenge because I know they can work under pressure,” she said.  

The future of the industry is unclear, but Cannington knows one thing is for sure – women in the logistics industry need to look at what they’ve done and know they’ve helped to break the pre-conceived mold of what a supply chain professional looks like. 

“Logistics is more complicated, more interesting and more fun than most people assume,” said Cannington. “For a long time, there was a perception it was all about truck drivers. Or, that it’s dominated by men. I’m here as proof that logistics offers something for everyone.”

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2019 October Member of the Month: Robin Maisel

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Robin Maisel as its October Member of the Month.

Ever since she was a little girl and heard the sound of the Jake brake, Maisel knew that she wanted to drive a tractor trailer. What she didn’t know, is that one day she would be driving a truck and coming to the aid of another driver in an emergency situation. 

At the end of March 2019, Maisel had been driving with CRST Expedited for a little more than a year. She rushed to action and assisted another truck driver during an unexpected medical episode at a Love’s Travel Stop near Amarillo, Texas. Maisel was parked and taking a DOT break when suddenly, she saw another truck come flying into the fuel station. She witnessed the driver plow over a row of fuel pumps and the truck finally came to a rest when it hit the truck one space over from where she was parked. 

Maisel noticed the driver of the truck had fallen over in his seat. Her instincts immediately kicked in. She utilized her 20 years of nursing experience and ensured the driver was breathing, checked his pulse, and assessed his condition while she waited for the emergency medical technicians to arrive. She stayed with the driver the entire time and corresponded with the medical team so they would know the next steps to take when they arrived.  

Maisel is no stranger to unexpected medical situations, but nothing can really prepare you for when one of those situations hits home. While working as a hospice nurse three years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She didn’t let that get in the way of her dream of becoming a truck driver though. As Maisel once told her colleagues, “I’m going to drive a truck one day.” Now she is doing that and more. As a cancer survivor, Maisel loves to be out seeing the country. “It’s an adventure out here,” she said. “After what happened in March, I believe I am supposed to be out on the road.” 

This driver was very lucky he crossed paths with Maisel on that day as she had the training and skill to assist a fellow truck driver on the road. “I was thankful the driver was not out on the interstate when this occurred,” she said. Thankfully, the driver was okay and proper medical action was taken. Maisel felt the driver may have been worn out and needed to take a break, which is very important for OTR drivers.

“We thank Robin for her quick reaction and helping another driver in need. She is a tremendous example for others and we are honored to share her story,” said Brooke Willey, VP Human Resources, CRST.   

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2019 September Member of the Month: Regan Morton

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Regan Morton as its September Member of the MonthMorton is a professional driver with 13 years of experience. She has been a line haul driver for YRC Freight for the past four years. 

Regan Shane Morton is a transgender woman. She started out in life as Shane Regan Morton, a son to parents Sam and Shirley Morton. In 2017, she came out as transgender. A year later, she changed her name and gender. 

Morton grew up in the trucking industry. Her dad drove for over 50 years. “When I was a child, he would take us kids with him, let us flash the lights and talk on the CB radio. Out of the four of the kids he raised, I was the one that wanted to go the most! I was driving his truck before I even had a driver's license. I knew then what I wanted to be,” said Morton. 

After high school, her troubled youth caught up with her. She spent a year in jail. Once she got out, she was discharged from the National Guard. “I had to start life from the bottom of the barrel,” she said. 

With nothing to lose, Morton decided to go after her dream. She contacted a local trucking company, only to learn she needed to be 23 years old and have two years of experience. So, she spent her younger years working as a volunteer and part-time firefighter. 

“I had to show my community that I was a good person. After five years, the court overturned my conviction and expunged my records. They gave me a second chance in life. I went on doing contract work and running my own business for 10 years,” Morton explained. 

By the age of 36,she could no longer ignore the call of the road. She attended driving school and went to work for a trucking company. She spent the next nine years driving and learning what she liked best. Knowing that she had an interest in LTL and Teamsters,she met with a YRC recruiter at the Mid-America Trucking Show. “That was the beginning of my dream job,” she remembers. 

But that's not the end of Morton’s story. Something had troubled her all her life. In 2010, she started to understand that there were other people like her. The stories she heard and what she felt on the inside woke her up to who she really was. Over the next seven years, she started to understand herself better. 

“In 2017, I sought out professional help and went on hormone replacement therapy. What I was doing couldn't be hidden from my employer, so I knew I had to tell my boss,” Morton explained. “At that time, I thought my job and career was over. As I grew into the new person I was going to be, I knew that the company would have to grow with me. Fortunately, I was blessed with probably the best boss I could have had. She did everything she could for me. As I grew as a person, she worked with the company and human resources to make YRC more inclusive.”

In March 2019, Morton joined WIT. “I joined Women In Trucking to support other transgender people and hopefully get more LGBTQ people into the trucking industry. Then, I found myself joining the gender diversity task force,” she said.

The gender diversity task force was recently formed by WIT to better understand the needs of the LGBTQ community. WIT realizes there is a growing number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer professional drivers and other transportation workers. As the voice of gender diversity, the association wants to ensure they are inclusive and to create an awareness within the trucking industry. 

“We call ourselves the voice of gender diversity, and we’re stepping up to ensure we represent ALL of our members by including the LGBTQ community in our efforts to attract and retain both drivers and management in this traditionally male-dominated industry,” said Ellen Voie, WIT president and CEO.

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2019 August Member of the Month: Stephanie Williamson

In announcing Stephanie Williamson from Dart Transit as the 2019 Women In Trucking (WIT) Member of the Month for August, the Association is recognizing an industry professional who has made the career journey from the driver’s seat to the executive suite. Today, Stephanie serves as the Vice President of Revenue Management, overseeing all aspects of pricing with Dart. Stephanie’s route to become a member of Dart’s Executive Management Team began long before she joined the company as a fleet manager in 1994.

Stephanie was born into trucking, and a strong argument can be made that she has held a driver’s perspective on the industry since her earliest days in the world. Stephanie’s grandfather was a career driver. Stephanie’s parents served as drivers and they even worked as a team for a number of years in the 1970s and 80s. In fact, to say that Stephanie was born into the trucking industry with a view from the driver’s seat is not that great of an exaggeration. Stephanie’s mother was working as a dump truck driver when she went into labor on the job and drove herself to the hospital. 

“Trucking has always been a part of my life through my family. There are pictures of me when I'm like two or three years old helping my grandfather rebuild a diesel engine, and I'm covered head to toe in grease,” recalls Stephanie. “My parents actually encouraged me to look at a career outside of the trucking industry. But, after graduating from college, I wanted to go into the trucking industry with the goal of helping to make things better for professional drivers – the men and women who are moving the American economy mile by mile.” 

Initially, Stephanie worked in the areas of driver recruiting and orientation before landing an opportunity to oversee a carrier’s terminal in the Dallas area. While she was working with drivers on a daily basis, Stephanie still sought to have a first-hand perspective of what it meant to be in charge from the driver’s seat. 

“I wanted to learn everything I could about this industry,” she explains. “You can't always make changes in any industry without gathering enough information. My initial input was in the recruiting process and the orientation process. But I wanted to do every job in a trucking company. With a wide range of experience, I thought I'd be qualified to help make those positive changes. At a certain point in working with drivers, I decided that I should get my CDL and drive. I knew it was the right thing to do for me, and I also knew that having a CDL would earn the respect of drivers who would see me in an office. So, I went out and earned my CDL.” 

Hitting The Road & Finding A Team Partner For Life 

Around the time that Stephanie entered truck driving school to gain her CDL, she had started dating Bob Williamson. At the time, Bob was a driver who also did training for the company where Stephanie worked. When Stephanie earned her CDL, she wanted to hit the road for the carrier. Bob served as Stephanie’s driver trainer, and the couple then became a driving team.

As Valentine’s Day approached in 1989, Stephanie and Bob were hauling a load that would take them close to Las Vegas. That’s when Bob suggested they make an unscheduled stop and a life-long commitment. 

“Bob said, ‘I think we should get married." And I said, ‘Well, okay. You want to just swing through Vegas and get married?’ Then Bob said, ‘Sure,’” Stephanie recalls. “So, we got there, and we dropped our trailer at the old Union 76 Truck Stop in Las Vegas. Then we bobtailed through a drive-through wedding chapel and got married. It's still kind of crazy to me. You see people put a lot of work and money into weddings, and, many times, those marriages don't last. Then you find a drive-through wedding chapel, have your wedding in Las Vegas, and we’re now thankfully going 30 years strong.

“A marriage is just like a job. It’s hard work, and you get out of it what you put into it,” she adds. “It's just like I tell the drivers every week in orientation, "If we have a problem between the two of us, let's talk about it. We're married now through the company. We might need trucking’s equivalent of couple's counseling occasionally, but we don't have to get a divorce." 

The 18 months that Stephanie spent as an over-the-road driver with Bob not only established some of the foundational elements of understanding for their relationship, but it also provided her with an invaluable perspective on life behind the wheel.

“Driving is hard. That's the number one lesson. Driving is hard, and drivers put up with a lot. That’s one of the many reasons I always tell drivers, ‘Thank you, thank you.’ Because, like most everyone out there, I like the stuff being in the store and professional drivers make that happen,” says Stephanie. “There are some very hard lessons, particularly as a woman, that you learn on the road. Though it can be difficult and challenging on the road as a woman, it's not impossible. We have come so far just in my lifetime related to how the world operates for women who may be alone out there working as a professional driver.Things are much different than they used to be. It used to be all leering, bad jokes and all that kind of stuff. Now it is a more professional environment. There's probably some of that stuff still going on, but not like it was back then. I can assure you.”

Finding A Home & Career Advancement With Dart Transit

Following her time with Bob as a team driver, Stephanie got back into the office side of trucking and the couple welcomed a son into their family. En route to her job in those days, Stephanie would drive past the Dart Network location in the Dallas area. Stephanie learned a little bit about Dart and thought she would be a good fit with the company.

At the time she applied for a job, the company did not have any open positions, but Stephanie remained persistent, checking with the Dallas office almost on a daily basis. One of those phone calls paid off in a job interview to fill a fleet manager spot. As the company was looking to coordinate mutual schedules, Stephanie was asked if she could interview for the position at 5:30 a.m., and she was promptly at the location ready to answer questions. She immediately impressed the terminal manager with one of her initial responses.

“He asked me, ‘OK, where do you see yourself in five years?’ And I told him, ‘I want your job.’ Looking back on things, I was actually shooting a little bit low with that response,” recalls Stephanie with a smile. “I found a home at Dart because the company has a culture where everyone is given the opportunity to let their talents shine, and Dart has provided me with so many opportunities over 25 years.” 

During her tenure with Dart, Stephanie has held a series of positions within operations, customer service and pricing at the company. As Dart plans to take time this fall to commemorate the company’s 85th anniversary, Stephanie appreciates the fact her career progression to an executive management position followed in the tradition of the important contributions that women have made to the growth of the Dart Network. Dart Chairman of the Board Don Oren and wife, Bev, became a dynamic duo within the trucking industry during the 1950s and through the 1990s. Still in his position as Dart’s Chairman, Don continues to be a daily presence with the company his father, Earl, founded in 1934. Bev has retired from her position as head of HR, but her impact on the company’s culture remains clearly evident. 

“Bev Oren would never have stood for someone being limited because of their gender. To this day, Don is same way. It’s about qualifications. It's about who can do the job,” explains Stephanie on the approach the Orens have taken in building their family-owned company. “When I started my career here, Bev was very active in the company. Bev is kind, she is generous, and she is tough when she needs to be. I think fair and stable are two very good words to describe Bev, but also innovative.

“The whole family embraces innovation. But one of the things Bev does is she embraces innovation in the human capital arena versus technology and things like that,” Stephanie adds. “She wants people to succeed, and she wants to give people opportunities as they earn them.”

One of Stephanie’s role models in the Dart Network is Joyce Jordan, a Bev Oren hire who served as the company’s executive vice president of sales and marketing until her retirement. Along with Bev Oren, Stephanie views Joyce as one of the true trailblazers for women in the trucking industry.

“Anybody who has ever known or met Joyce Jordan knows that she was a tiny force to be reckoned with,” recalls Stephanie. “She is a very, very small woman in statue, but, man, when she spoke, people listened. Joyce and I still stay in touch. When I'm working, the voice inside of me that guides me is Joyce Jordan. And when I'm having a difficult time making a decision, I think about what Joyce would do. That’s when the answer comes forward.” 

Achieving the Goal of Making a Difference for Drivers

As the Vice President of Revenue Management for Dart, Stephanie has never lost touch with her experience in the driver’s seat or the memories of the time both her parents and grandfather spent on the road. Stephanie continues to be part of a group of Dart executives who spend time with company drivers and owner-operators as they go through Orientation.

Pricing discussions and bid evaluations with customer opportunities take on a different perspective and dimension at Dart because Stephanie keenly understands the professional driver’s role as the key link in the supply chain. Through her varied experiences at Dart and across her entire career, Stephanie is now in a position where she can positively impact and better the lives of professional drivers – her stated goal when she decided to follow in the footsteps of her parents and grandfather and enter the trucking industry. 

“Through the years, I have gained an appreciation for a driver’s time. When you think about our industry and how we work with drivers, time is our greatest commodity. I am very sensitive to the fact that, for a driver, time literally is money,” says Stephanie. “In the hours of service that they have to work with, when someone delays them or impedes their progress, that costs them money. I cannot allow the company to align ourselves with businesses that we know will cost our drivers money. Businesses that hold drivers up for loading or unloading, businesses that won't allow our drivers to use a bathroom, businesses that just generally disrespect the driver – I can't be a part of that.

“I look at it from the standpoint that we have to be careful who we do business with because the driver is the most treasured member of our team,” she adds. “I believe if we take care of our drivers, they will take care of our customers.”

The fact that she will be celebrating her 25thanniversary with Dart at the same time the company will be commemorating its 85thyear in business has provided Stephanie with a unique opportunity for reflection on her career and Dart’s legacy in the trucking industry.

“Looking back, I'm so thankful that I became involved with the Dart organization. I'm so proud of what we do and who we are,” observes Stephanie. “I'm proud as a woman. I'm proud as a member of this organization of who we are and what we do. I think that the Oren family has presented a great opportunity not only for me and everyone at all our facilities, but for every driver who has ever come through our doors. Through all these years and all the changes in the industry, Dart has always stood tall when it comes to the test of time and providing effective answers for the needs of the day.” 

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2019 July Member of the Month: Linda Caffee

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Linda Caffee as its July Member of the MonthLinda is an owner-operator team driver leased to Landstar Express America. 

Linda has been fascinated by trucks from a very young age; not yet a teenager. The idea of being in control of one of these behemoths scared and excited her at the same time. Years went by, she married and had two wonderful daughters before actually being able to get her chauffeur’s license and sit behind the wheel of a truck. Bob, her husband of now 41 years was a diesel mechanic for a small trucking company in the oil field, and every once in a while, they would need a fill-in driver. That is when she was able to get some time behind the wheel of a truck. At that point, she realized that she was still in awe of trucks and her ability to drive one safely down the road.   

When their youngest daughter left for college, they were ready to start the next chapter of their lives as truck drivers and owner-operators. They entered the world of truck driving in their usual manner as very shy and quiet wallflowers. In very little time though Linda found her stride and realized trucking was something that she enjoyed and liked talking about. As their daughters say, “our parents blossomed” into people who have now become mentors.

In 2004 after spending many hours reading the forums on Expediters Online, they decided that expediting was the field for them. Linda and Bob attended the Expedite Expo to learn more about expediting, talk to recruiters, and determine how they were going to buy their first truck. 

“Expediting excited both of us as we liked the challenge of not knowing where we were going next or what we would be picking up. We bought our first Freightliner straight truck in 2005, and over fourteen years and three Freightliners later we are still just as excited to be doing what we are doing,” said Linda. “You might notice I use a lot of ‘we’s’ and I want to stress that I am in a team operation. When you get to know us, you will find that I like to come up with ideas and Bob is the one that figures out how to make it work or support me in something I want to do or something I think ‘we’ should do.”  

Linda quickly went from being too timid to ask a question in the Expediters Online Forums to becoming one of the moderators as well as presenting at the Expedite Expo.  All of this allowed her to write a blog called “It’s a Teams Life” that can be found on the front page of expeditersonline.com. Through all of this, Bob is always there supporting Linda and even encouraging her to stay involved.  

At a truck show early in Linda’s career, she met Ellen Voie and learned about WIT and became one of the first members. Around 2011 Linda joined the WIT Board of Directors.  “As a woman in the trucking industry, I have witnessed many positive changes for women truck drivers,” she said. “Much of that, I believe, is due to the hard work of Ellen and Women In Trucking.” 

Bob and Linda continued to become more involved in trucking, and in 2013, they became one ofFreightliner’s Team Run Smart Pros. As a “Pro” she writes a blog (teamrunsmart.com) each week about trucking, team driving, being a woman in trucking, and of course about their Freightliner Cascadia.  

In 2014, Linda and Bob were chosen as one of TA-Petro’s Citizen Drivers. The North Las Vegas Petro Travel Center was renamed the Bob & Linda Caffee North Las Vegas Petro Stopping Center. Five years later, and Linda still loves it when someone takes a selfie and tag’s her in the picture on Facebook.

In 2018 Linda’s tractor-trailer experience came into play as a friend asked if she and Bob could help move one of the Dale Coyne IndyCar Race Team transporters from Saint Louis, Missouri to a Portland, Oregon race. Linda and Bob have racing in their blood, and jumped at the chance to help out the team. They plan to help with five races in 2019. “Not only do we drive one of the transporters we also get to help in the garages for the race. Talk about a dream come true, I still have to pinch myself to really believe I was able to help behind the scenes during the Indianapolis 500 this year,” she said.

“My philosophy is to have a good attitude, dress and drive as a professional, be open to new opportunities, and follow through with promises. Being a mentor to others that are entering this profession is an honor and something I take very seriously. I am often asked when we plan to retire, and our answer is ‘when we quit having fun.’ So far, we both still look forward to getting into our truck and driving off into the sunset on another adventure,” she said.  

Linda will be attending the 2019 Expedite Expo on July 19 and 20 in Fort Wayne, IN.

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2019 June Member of the Month: Jo-Anne Phillips

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Jo-Anne Phillips as its June Member of the Month. Jo-Anne is the COO of Jeramand Trucking Ltd based in Irishtown, NB, operating a fleet of 22 trucks. She and her husband Dan Boudreau, both successful New Brunswick-based entrepreneurs, also run a construction and building production facility and a Never Enuff Chrome & Detailing shop. 

Jo-Anne’s foray into trucking began as a 19-year-old university student, when she was encouraged by her father to help out a good family friend who needed a driver to move a truck and trailer across the country to summer fairs. She added a commercial driver’s license to her growing list of qualifications, and has been involved in the industry ever since.  

Born in Manitoba into a military family, Jo-Anne lived in various parts of Canada and Europe before returning to Western Canada where she earned a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology from University of Calgary, and a Bachelor of Science, Dietetics, Nutrition degree from University of British Columbia.

While still a student, Jo-Anne opened a gym in the city of Calgary, and for the next few years, was heavily involved in the world of sport and fitness – back country guiding, cycling, rowing, coaching – and inspired by the Olympic Games in Calgary in 1988 was a member of Canada’s National bobsled team for several years. 

When a friend boasted that he could earn more in a week driving a truck in the oil patch than she could make in a month running a gym, Jo-Anne accepted the challenge and spent six years working in Alberta’s crude oil pipeline system as a commercial driver, instructor, safety officer and a medic. 

She relocated to Eastern Canada in 2006 where she and Danny grew Jeramand Trucking from a four-truck operation to the fleet it is today. 

Jo-Anne has incorporated her knowledge and experience in sport and fitness into her trucking business, and Tozai Synergy, her fourth business, the wellness arm, plays a key role in bringing better health/wealth/lifestyle balance to her employees. She also works with sports and corporate clients providing nutritional consulting, personal training and lifestyle coaching services. 

Jo-Anne sees this as a natural fit with the trucking industry. Spending long hours seated, doing repetitive work, with sometimes limited options for healthy food and adequate rest, puts drivers at risk. “We need to pay better attention to the health and wellness of our drivers and encourage them to make better choices,” she says. “It’s vitally important for both safety and longevity.”

And Jo-Anne puts her money where her mouth is. 

She has shared her leadership skills and endless energy over the past number of years organizing and developing the Convoy for Hope – Atlantic, which raises awareness and funds for breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers. The convoy has been a rewarding opportunity for truck drivers and the industry to support important research. Jo-Anne and her team have raised nearly $300,000 for cancer prevention, detection and treatment in Atlantic Canada, while celebrating the trucking industry. 

Jo-Anne sits on the Advisory Board of Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC), Atlantic Division, is a chair on the organizing committee of the Wake Up Call Breakfast – Moncton, and is an active volunteer for the Greater Moncton Prostate Cancer Support Group, with a very personal connection. In 2014, Jo-Anne’s husband Danny was diagnosed and successfully treated for prostate cancer. In 2017 she received PCC’s Local Hero Award. 

Jo-Anne also shares her expertise as a nutritionist with youth groups, sports teams and the Hemophiliac Society, offers ergonomic assessments and nutrition coaching to business clients, and she is a dedicated supporter of the Ride For Dad, the Irishtown Community Centre, and other fundraisers for those affected by disease or cancer. In 2017, she reinforced her hands-on involvement with the wellbeing of the people she works with by donating a kidney to one of her employees.

Jo-Anne has been recognized for her commitment to community building and fundraising with the Transportation Club of Moncton Humanitarian Award, and this year was nominated for the Club’s Woman of the Year.

Last year, Jo-Anne was named one of the Top Women to Watch in the industry by WIT’s Redefining the Road, and was selected for WIT’s first Canadian Image Team. She is honoured to be in a forum of influential women. “I love the industry, and I love the impact females have in the industry,” she says. “Women have so much to offer, and I am thrilled to share my experiences and to advocate on behalf of the group.” 

Jo-Anne’s advice for other women in the industry, or those considering trucking as a career choice? “Don’t feel afraid of being judged, embrace who you are and what you do. Yes, it’s a tough industry, but you don’t have to accept the bad to enjoy the good. If you feel that something’s not working, speak up,” she says. “Trust yourself, and believe that you can make a positive impact.”

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2019 May Member of the Month: Treana Moniz

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Treana Moniz as its 2019 May Member of the Month. Treana is a professional company driver for Bison Transport in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Although she has been around trucking most of her life, Treana’s desire and passion for trucking started in high school. Just looking at the trucks on the road made her want to drive a truck. She always loved to drive, so she thought, “why not drive for a living.” 

Treana is no stranger to the trucking industry. Her grandfather hauled logs with a team of horses. Her Dad worked as a truck driver and a snow plow driver. Her aunt, mother, and grandmother all worked as either cooks or waitresses in truck stops. So, it is no surprise that she also was a waitress in a truck stop before starting her own trucking career. 

While she was waitressing, she met a driver that eventually became her boyfriend. He began training her to drive a truck. He had a stroke and couldn’t finish training her, so she attended a truck driving school and received her license in 2007. Once he was cleared to return to work they ran team for about five years.

When things didn’t work out between the two of them, she wasn’t even close to giving up trucking, so she went out on her own. After getting her feet wet with another company, she joined the team at Bison Transport. She has been with the company now for six years. “My experience level grew and so did my careerwith Bison. I have over 675,000 safe miles and have been a member of Driver Advisory Board for over two years,” she said. 

Treana represents Bison at the Truck Driving Championship and participates in the Special Olympics Convoy. She also attends recruiting events, industry trade shows, and schools with her truck and trailer. Treana was named Eastern Company Driver of the year for 2018 and has received Driver of the Month a few times. 

In 2018, Treana was selected as a WIT Canadian Image Team member. She is also a member of Sisters of the Highway and Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada. Bison nominated her to be a Road Knight. “Now I’ve achieved one of my goals in trucking. I’m very proud to say that I now represent OTA by being one of their Road Knights,” she said. 

Treana added that, “Safety is a passion of mine in this industry. I don’t cut corners when it comes to my job. I give my all to my company and the industry. I truly love what I do for a living it’s not just a job to me, it’s a career. I really like to talk with people about this industry and like mentoring new drivers, helping them anyway I can. I truly look forward to the path God has laid out for me in my career. It has been an awesome journey so far.”

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2019 April Member of the Month: Bonnie Neal 

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Bonnie Neal as its 2019 April Member of the Month. The 76-year-old is currently driving part time in Oregon. 

Bonnie has been in trucks since she was 10 years old, riding with her Dad in a log truck in the Oregon Mountains. She had to quit riding with him when she was old enough to drive as girls were not allowed to drive trucks at that time. 

At the age of 18, Bonnie married a logger’s son who also wanted to drive. He eventually began hauling produce on the West coast for a company that allowed female drivers. In 1974, Bonnie paid $20 for the truck driver’s medical card, $10 for the chauffeur’s license endorsement on her driver’s license and was finally allowed behind the wheel of a truck. 

Bonnie’s first truck was a 1963 Peterbilt, 'Jimmey 318' and two sticks - 5 speed main, 4 speed 'brownie'. Her husband quit driving in 1982, and Bonnie ran their 1979 Freightliner COE for a few more months. A divorce sent her out on her own. 

Bonnie began driving for a company in Portland, OR running teams. She decided to drive solo, but couldn’t find a company in the area that would hire a solo woman driver. Once she moved to Texas she had no problem finding a job. She stayed in Texas for over 30 years driving long haul, regional, and construction. 

In 2011, Bonnie experienced health issues that forced her to quit driving for four years. Once she recovered, she went back to trucking. In 2016, she moved back to her hometown in Oregon where she continued her driving career.  

After over 40 years on the road, Bonnie still loves driving and says it was all worth it. Her advice is to show kindness even when it is not expected. She feels blessed to drive for a company that shows respect and kindness not only to her, but to all their employees. “It makes a huge difference,” she said. 

Bonnie was taught at a young age that when you take care of your vehicle, it will take care of you. She shares the same message about her truck. She suggests to those wanting to be professional drivers to take care of your equipment, listen to your own personal needs and let your faith guide you. “Trucking is a lifestyle – period. It's a fun way to live, you will love it if you really enjoy changes and rolling on down the road,” she said.

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2019 March Member of the Month: Rachel Bothwell

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Rachel Bothwell as its 2019 March Member of the Month. Rachel is a professional city driver for FedEx Freight in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Rachel’s trucking career began while growing up on a dairy farm in Minnesota. Trucking was a way of life on the farm, whether they were hauling grain to the elevator or hauling livestock to and from the pastures and sale barn. Being behind the wheel of a semi truck became natural for her. So natural in fact that before she graduated high school, she took a job working for a local farmer helping him in the fields and hauling grain for him. After high school when she turned 18, she took her CDL test. This was before schools in her area had CDL programs.

Then, Rachel began working for a custom hay bailer and hauled loads of hay to big horse barns in the Twin Cities. For five years, she custom bailed and hauled hay. After doing that, she felt it was time to spread her wings, so she left Minnesota for the first time and moved to Wyoming.

In Wyoming, it was easy for Rachel to find a job in the trucking industry as the oil and coal booms were in full swing. She began a new journey, hauling explosives into the coal mines. Hauling hazardous materials was a very exciting and educational experience for her. While living in Wyoming, she met her husband, who at that time had just retired from a 20-year, bull-riding career. He had just started a rodeo contracting company which only involved bucking bulls. After dating for a few years, they decided to move to South Dakota.

Once relocated to South Dakota, Rachel’s life and career truly bloomed. Not only did she get married, but she was also introduced to the world of bucking bulls. “I have always had a love of rodeo and horses but this was a whole new level for me. Our rodeo company has taken several years to build and has really taken off. We have one of the largest benefit bull ridings in the state of South Dakota with over 2,000 spectators who come to our place each year. We are able to give away nearly $10,000 in scholarship money each year. The community support of this event has been absolutely amazing,” she said.

During this time, Rachel also decided on the career choice to become a city driver for FedEx Freight. “Working for FedEx Freight has been the most life changing and rewarding job I have ever had in the trucking industry. I have been with FedEx Freight for nearly seven years and due to the company’s support and the support from the trucking industry, my CDL has taken me places I would have previously never dreamed,” Rachel said. One of those places is truck driving championships. She feels that being able to compete at TDCs has provided a confidence-building atmosphere where there is a great sense of camaraderie and respect for fellow drivers in the industry.

Rachel’s CDL has allowed her to become a part of the FedEx Freight Road Team as well as become the first woman in South Dakota to be named a road team captain for the state. Being able to promote the message of safety and sharing the road with trucks all over the country has been a rewarding experience for her. “It is not something that I would have been able to do without pursuing my career as a truck driver and without the support of my family and FedEx Freight,” she said.

Rachel’s message to other women interested in becoming part of the trucking industry is “Please do! You have no idea how life changing it can be for you in a very positive way. With the right tools and the right support, you will succeed. I am living proof.”

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2019 February Member of the Month: Liuba Bulavynets

Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has announced Liuba Bulavynets as its February 2019 Member of the Month. Liuba is the project manager and developer for Amous International, located in Oak Brook, Illinois.

At the age of 12, Liuba entered a boarding school as an orphan. The school focused on using sports to give the children an opportunity to compete and flourish. Even though this school looked stable from the outside, Liuba went through many hardships with her peers and teachers. Going against all of the negativity being pushed her way, she powered through and began running. She competed in triathlons, winning gold medals in Ukraine multiple times. Doing this sealed in her mind that she is capable of accomplishing anything she wants as long as she puts the work in.  

Once her athletic career came to an end, Liuba was left with little options. She began applying to a wide variety of jobs. When Amous came across her application, they were intrigued at how someone with almost nothing was able to accomplish so much by the age of 22. “After the first meeting with her, we understood Liuba would be an extraordinary addition to the team. She began aggressively learning how to code, using the willpower that made her a successful athlete, and learn the insides and out of the logistics world,” said Mark Shevchuk.  Within a couple of months, she was able to become an implementation lead. Not only did she work as a coder, she went further in helping train and manage new hires.  

Liubas story shows exactly how ambition and drive can take one through many exciting avenues in life. Amous International began sponsoring and working with Liuba in late 2017. However, at that time, she had no knowledge and experience in logistics and computer science. What Amous did see in Liuba was incredible amounts of determination and willpower to achieve new goals in life, and from day one, Liuba exceeded every expectation. 

Amous International was inspired by Liubas life and what she made of it. “We wanted to see more success stories of Women in the world of logistics and coding, which lead us to sponsor more women around the world. With the help of Women in Trucking and other organizations, we hope to be an example for others to follow as well,” said Mark.

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2019 January Member of the Month: Payin Marfo

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Payin Marfo as its January Member of the Month. Payin is the Managing Director for Ladybird Logistics Limited.

Payin has over 10 years of project management experience in the Oil and Gas industry, but says the leadership of the Ladybird Logistics team has provided her immense satisfaction and challenge. Before 2018, the closest she ever got to working with trucks were the few times she went on field visits as a staff of Shell. Little did she know that her life in the downstream sector would involve working with such wonderful ladies and dealing with huge mechanical contraptions that are also now part of her team and fleet.

In November 2017, she bumped into an old Shell colleague who introduced her to Mr. William Tewiah, the CEO of Zen Petroleum Limited. William and his friend Mr. Yaw Koduah Sarpong had a dream of starting the first ever all female logistics company. When Payin met William, his proposal to her was simple: “I have a dream and I need someone to make it reality. Are you interested in helping to make this dream of an all-female company a reality?”

Payin’s initial reaction to this request was, “Wow, what a radical and crazy idea. All female?” Fortunately for William, she found the idea radical and challenging enough to be interested. This, combined with her natural desire for the extraordinary ride in life, got her to embark on this adventure of starting the first company to employ only female truck drivers in Ghana West Africa.

“I knew next to nothing about trucks or the logistics industry but I believe in empowering women to venture into male dominated industries. Ghana has no female truck drivers and everyone considers trucking to be a male profession too difficult for women,” said Payin. “Why can’t we change this and would change be a good thing? I thought to myself and dived in deep.”

On December 4, 2017, Payin took on the challenge and put together a strategy to set up the first logistics company that employs only female drivers. In the beginning, when asked what they do at Ladybird Logistics, she simply said, “We recruit and train ladies to drive trucks.” Most people reacted with shock and would say, “Are there ladies in Ghana willing to drive trucks? That is a man’s job.”

“Honestly, initially when we only had one Ghanaian applicant and more than 40 South African applicants respond after a full month of advertising, I almost gave up and considered the option of relocating South Africans to Ghana to drive the trucks,” said Payin.

With much hard work and perseverance, she managed to recruit the first 12 Ghanaian potential future truck drivers to be trained by the Ghana Armed Forces Mechanical Training School (AFMTS) in partnership with the West Africa Training Academy (WATA). After three and half months of theory and practical training including physical training (PT) at the army base, Burma Camp, 11 of the ladies successfully graduated as truck drivers. “I remember joining them for some of the PT sessions and sharing videos with my sisters, only to be told, ‘Payin, be careful the ladies don’t quit before they even start driving,’” said Payin.

Today, Ladybird Logistics Limited is operational with 21 brave and courageous ladies driving trucks and delivering fuel to mining customers in the Western Region of Ghana. And they love what they do! They find joy and fulfilment breaking the glass ceiling in this field and starting a new, good concept in the area of logistics.

Ghana AFMTS Graduates

Payin’s advice to her team is, “Always remember you are making and have made history! You have a responsibility not to disappoint all who believed in you as well as the future generation of female truck drivers, looking up to you to change the status quo.”

“I can proudly say that what started as a dream is indeed reality. I thank God and all the people who contributed in diverse ways to make this possible. The future just started and by God’s grace we shall shape it nicely for future generations of females who love trucks, logistics, driving, challenges and the joy of delivering good quality products to clients on time and with a smile. The Ladybird team is here and it is here to stay for good!” said Payin.

In Ghana, West Africa, Ladybird Logistics Limited is indeed “Redefining the Road!”

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2020 May Member of the Month: Emily Soloby

Women In Trucking (WIT) has announced Emily Soloby as its May 2020 Member of the Month. Soloby is the co-owner of AAA School of Trucking, based out of Philadelphia, PA, and the Founder and CEO of Juno Jones Shoes, a new company creating stylish steel toe work boots for women. She is also the founder of the group Hazard Girls (Women in Nontraditional Fields), and the host of the new weekly Hazard Girls show on the WAM (Women and Manufacturing) podcast.

Soloby has had a lifelong love of boots, but started her career on a different path. While majoring in Women’s Studies at the University of Minnesota, she volunteered as a courtroom advocate for abused women. That experience led her to apply to law school, and she later graduated from Temple University School of Law. 

After earning her law degree, Soloby became a legal aid lawyer, helping women and children in divorce, child custody, and abuse cases. After a few years, she decided to return to graduate school for her Master’s Degree. While studying for her Master’s, Soloby met her future husband. After receiving their degrees, they developed an interest in a family business, AAA School of Trucking, located in Harrisburg, PA.

Soloby and her husband both went to work for the business, learning it from the ground up and eventually buying and expanding the business. They opened a second campus in Philadelphia, where they live. Her husband focused on overseeing the day to day operations of the school while Soloby focused on procurement. Together, the couple grew the business through both government and private contracts, and have now been successfully operating the school for over a decade. Under their leadership, AAA School of Trucking provides CDL training and licensing as well as equipment and safety consulting both locally and nationwide, and has amassed a long client list of high-level government agencies and billion-dollar companies.

One of things Soloby loves about her work at AAA School of Trucking is the opportunity to help others. With her background assisting disadvantaged families in legal cases, it was a natural fit for her to find a way to help people through the new career opportunities that trucking provides. AAA School of Trucking works closely with a variety of organizations that provide funding for individuals to get new career training and job placement assistance, which AAA has excelled at for over 20 years.

It was during these years at AAA School of trucking that Soloby often had to run from client meetings to busy work sites, and couldn’t find the footwear she needed. She was looking for something with heavy tread and safety features, but that was still stylish and would look good with both jeans and her professional clothing. She scoured the internet, and found nothing even close to what she wanted. That’s when she decided to combine her love of boots, her background in helping women, and her decade of running a successful transportation safety company, to create Juno Jones.

Soloby spent two years heavily researching the market, and speaking with hundreds of women in trucking, trades, engineering, construction, and many other fields, to learn exactly what was missing for them in safety footwear. She built a team including her husband and business partner, former Cole Haan designer Amanda Butler, and many industry professionals and advisors, and Juno Jones was born. 

Their first release, the Meti Boot, is a classic Jodpur style ankle boot with a side zipper, steel toe, puncture-resistant midsole, and slip-resistant rubber outsole with a heavy lug tread. It’s water resistant and has a removable comfort insole. The boots are ASTM certified and OSHA compliant. But the thing that sets the Meti Boot apart the most is its style—it was designed to give women options in safety footwear, and to provide something they can wear from dropping off the kids, to the office, to the work site, and out to dinner. Soloby personally oversaw design and development of the boot, including eight prototypes and countless fit-testers for comfort.

Juno Jones launched the Meti Boot on Kickstarter in February 2020, and reached its funding goal in just 29 hours. The boots are now available for pre-order on the Juno Jones website, www.junojonesshoes.com. 

Additionally, Soloby had the honor of debuting the Juno Jones Meti Boot at Philly Fashion Week, and Juno Jones was honored to be selected as a Company in Residence for the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s.

Soloby also founded the Facebook Community “Hazard Girls (Women in Nontraditional Fields)”, which is a positive place for women in transportation, engineering, trades, and all traditionally male-dominated fields to come together for networking, support and friendship in a positive environment. The group also holds in-person educational events to inspire young women and girls who may be interested in nontraditional careers.

Check out Soloby’s new weekly Hazard Girls show on the WAM podcast by Jacket Media, where she is the host, interviewing members of the Hazard Girls about their experience and advice working in different industries.

Also keep an eye out for Soloby at the WIT Accelerate! Conference in September, where she will be available to talk about AAA School of Trucking, Juno Jones Boots, and Hazard Girls.

Sign up for the Juno Jones email list at www.junojonesshoes.com, and follow them across social media @junojonesshoes.

Previous WIT Members of the Month


  • December • Bonnie Supan
  • November • Lana Richards Batts
  • October • Lana Poveda
  • September • Sarah Johnson
  • August • Erika Bernard
  • July • Shelly Feidt
  • June • Dana Achartz
  • May • Erin Tallieu
  • April • Melissa Allen
  • March • Sharyl Snider
  • February • Sandy Goche
  • January • Olivia Dorgan


  • December • Mackenzie Melton
  • November  • Sherri Squier
  • October  • Johnelle Hunt
  • September  • Deb Bosworth
  • August  • Laurie Zalac
  • July  • Rebecca Yoder
  • June • Susie De Ridder
  • May  • Paige Eber
  • April • Claudia E. Olea
  • March • Carol Nixon
  • February  • Iesha Hawkins
  • January • Shawna Froehlich


  • December • Shannon Van Roo
  • November • Robyn Mitchell
  • October • Cynthia De La Rosa
  • September • Kristy Knichel
  • August • Jill Maschmeier
  • July • Jodi Edwards
  • June • Annette Womack
  • May • Michele Zambrano
  • April • Heather Hutchens
  • March • Sheili ‘Shay’ Torres
  • February • Peggy McCullah
  • January • Gerri Davis


  • December • Kim Grimm
  • November  • Amy Haag Lathrop
  • October  • Danielle Roszko
  • September  • Debora Babin Katz
  • August  • Shelly Hoffman
  • July • Silvia Chavez
  • June • Tina Evans
  • May • Jeana Hysell
  • April • Goldie Seymour
  • March • Kari Rihm
  • February • Felicia Berggren
  • January • Dianne Shook


  • January • Jen Burkhardt
  • February • Jacquelene Brotherton
  • March • Cindy Kaps
  • April • Sherri Fronko
  • May • Maureen Dolan
  • June • C L Miller
  • July • Robin Grapa
  • August • Guadalupe (Lupe) Potter
  • September • Sandy Hakes
  • October • Julie Matulle
  • November • Heather Jones
  • December • Nicci Scott


  • January • Marge Bailey
  • February • Star Traywick Nance
  • March • Idella Hansen
  • April • Cindy Stowe
  • May • Stephanie Klang
  • June • Mona VanDuyn
  • July • Mary “Candy” Bass
  • August • Diane Kasulis
  • September • Rhonda Muñoz
  • October • Amanda Goodrich
  • November • Susan Webb
  • December • Sheryl Lanier


  • January • Sharon S. Eddy
  • February • Sandy Long
  • March • Angie Dix
  • April • Yvette Lagrois
  • May • Zulma Portillio
  • June • Barbara Shade
  • July • Heather Barr
  • August • Janice Johnson-Bernier
  • September • Susan Wirth-White
  • October • Terry Alberter
  • November • Fran Bernard
  • December • Kathy Overbay

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