Influential Woman in Trucking Award

Women make a positive difference in the trucking industry every day. The Women In Trucking Association and Freightliner Trucks, this year's sponsor of the award program, salutes these women by awarding one individual with the annual "Influential Woman in Trucking" award. The award recognizes women who make or influence key decisions in a corporate, manufacturing, supplier, owner-operator, driver, sales or dealership setting. The nominee must have a proven record of responsibility and have mentored or served as a role model to other women in the industry. 

Do you know someone who provides leadership, creates change, and inspires? Nominate her by July 31, 2020.

The nominator needs to provide a response to the following 3 items (no more than 250 words per item):

1. Briefly describe this nominee's role in the trucking industry.
2. Describe how your nominee has been a role model for women in the trucking industry.
3. Please tell us why your nominee should be selected as the 2020 Influential Woman in Trucking. 

The finalists of the "Influential Woman in Trucking" Award will be invited to participate on a panel discussion regarding female leaders in the industry at the Annual Accelerate! Conference & Expo September 23-25 in Dallas, TX.

Sponsored by:


2019 Award Winner: Ruth Lopez, Ryder System, Inc.

Freightliner Trucks and the Women In Trucking Association presented the ninth annual Influential Woman in Trucking award to Ruth Lopez, director, transportation management, Ryder System, Inc.

Lopez’s career with Ryder System, Inc. spans 20 years. She currently serves as director of transportation management, leading teams in the U.S. and in Mexico. Lopez has served as a co-chair for Ryder’s Women’s Leadership Forum, whose mission is to support the attraction, retention and development of women. She also was named a Supply Chain Excellence Award recipient for work recognized within the Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) division, which has over 8,000 employees. Lopez also received a Ryder Outstanding Award Recognition (ROAR) award. It is given each quarter to an employee or team who consistently goes above and beyond in their duties and truly exemplifies the Ryder guiding principles. “The greatest recognition is when people say I have changed their lives,” she said. 

The finalists of the 2019 Influential Woman in Trucking award also included Niki Bolton, senior truck auditor & executive projects officer, American Truck & Rail Audits, Inc.; Kristy Knichel, CEO, Knichel Logistics; Kellylynn McLaughlin, OTR training engineer & professional driver, Schneider National Inc.; Jodie Teuton, chairwoman, ATD/vice president, Kenworth of Louisiana; Lidia Yan, CEO and co-founder, NEXT Trucking.

> Read more

2018 Award Winner: Angela Eliacostas, Founder and CEO, AGT Global Logistics

Freightliner Trucks and the Women In Trucking Association presented the eighth annual Influential Woman in Trucking award to Angela Eliacostas, Founder and CEO, AGT Global Logistics.

With more than 30 years in transportation, Eliacostas has worked her way from the ground up. In 2005, Eliacostas formed All Girls Transportation and Logistics, Inc. As offerings and services grew, a name change was required to fit their expansion and AGT Global Logistics was born. In addition to raising four boys, and now being an active loving grandmother, Eliacostas has been recognized for making AGT Global Logistics one of the top 50 in Illinois and top 1000 woman-owned businesses in the United States. 

The finalists of the 2018 Influential Woman in Trucking award also included Nozuko Mayeza, Managing Director, Tulsawiz Logistics and Brooke Willey, Vice President – Human Resources, CRST International.

> Read more

2017 Award Winner: Daphne Jefferson, U.S. Department of Transportation, FMCSA

Freightliner Trucks and the Women In Trucking Association presented the seventh annual Influential Woman in Trucking award to Daphne Jefferson, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

“We are truly honored to have such a positive relationship with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration through Daphne Jefferson. She took the time and made the effort to spend two days in the truck with two of our female drivers in order to better understand the industry from the driver’s perspective, and this helped her lead the agency. She is one of the most influential women in the trucking industry and we are pleased to recognize her with this award,” said Ellen Voie, President and CEO, WIT.

The finalists of the 2017 Influential Woman in Trucking award also included Tana Greene, CEO and Founder, Blue Bloodhound and Traci Crane, Sr. Manager Fleet Services, Contract Freighters, Inc.

> Read more

2016 Award Winner: Ramona Hood, GENCO

Freightliner Trucks and the Women In Trucking Association presented the sixth annual Influential Woman in Trucking award to Ramona Hood, Vice President of Customer Operations, Transportation Logistics at GENCO, a FedEx company.

“Ramona Hood truly deserves the title of the 2016 Influential Woman in Trucking. She has not only advanced in her career to become a vice president in a large corporation, she has taken the time to give back to her community. We are extremely proud to be able to recognize her for her accomplishments and her altruism,” said Ellen Voie, President/CEO of the Women In Trucking Association.

This year’s finalists of the Influential Woman in Trucking award also included Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, President & CEO, Garner Trucking Inc.; Elise Chianelli, Director of Product Management, Safety & Compliance, PeopleNet; Karen Jones, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Ryder System; and Carolyn Gable, President & CEO, New Age Transportation.

> Read more

2015 Award Winner: Kari Rihm, Rihm Kenworth

Kari Rihm took over Rihm Kenworth after the passing of her husband in 2010. The company, based in St. Paul, Minn., has been in her husband's family since 1932. With help from her two children, who represent the fourth generation at the dealership, and other dedicated employees, Rihm Kenworth has since added two additional locations, growing from three to five dealerships. They have also increased headcount by over 50 percent, been the Kenworth Truck Company Medium Duty Truck Dealer of the Year three out of the last four years, and have been certified by the Womens Business Enterprise Network Council (WBENC) since 2011.

Rihm Kenworth is the only 100 percent woman-owned Kenworth dealer in the United States. Rihm has been named a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Magazine Family Business Honoree in 2013, received a National Association of Women-Owned Businesses local chapter Pioneer Award in 2014, and was honored with a 2015 nomination for American Truck Dealers Association Dealer of the Year.

2015 finalists also included Elise Chianelli, senior product manager, Safety & Compliance, PeopleNet; Angie Freeman, chief human resources officer, C.H. Robinson; and president, C.H. Robinson Foundation; Karen Rasmussen, president and chief executive officer, HELP Inc.; Shelley Simpson, chief marketing officer and president of ICS & Truckload, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.; and Karen Smerchek, president, Veriha Trucking, Inc.

> View Past Influential Woman In Trucking Award Recipients