Member of the Month

September 2016 • Kristy Knichel

Kristy Knichel was named the September Member of the Month by the Women In Trucking Association. Kristy is the president of Knichel Logistics based in Pennsylvania. She was also the 2015 recipient of WIT’s Distinguished Woman in Logistics award.

When people think of the workforce that comprises the supply chain, the images they see are most likely those of hard working men driving trucks long distances, dock workers laboring in the ports, or businessmen with decades of experience running huge international logistics corporations making multi-million dollar acquisitions. When Kristy thinks of the transportation industry, she thinks of the growing number of women who are making an impact in what has primarily been a masculine industry. “And I have finally gotten to the point where I consider myself one of these women,” she said.  

Kristy’s father worked as an agent for a logistics company and had previously been an account manager for a major railroad, so he was deeply enmeshed in the logistics industry. He suggested that Kristy come work for him to see how she liked it. “I was hesitant to work for him because we did not always see eye to eye, but his explanation of his work sounded so intriguing that I couldn’t pass up the offer.”

In the beginning, they had a lot of rough patches. She did not like her father’s style of management, thus there were a lot of conflicts. It was at this point that both her brother and sister joined their team and they all broke away to establish their own third party logistics company as a family in 2003. Kristy learned every job – human resources, dispatching, accounting, etc., because I wanted to fully comprehend how to manage the employees that would eventually be handling these functions.  As time passed, she grew more confident in her leadership abilities and more control was given to her as her father entered into retirement.

Kristy has been the president and CEO of Knichel Logistics for the past nine of their thirteen years as a company. In the span of its existence, it has grown from $2 million in revenue to $50 million and they have plans to keep providing exemplary service to their customers. As a mid-sized non-asset transportation provider, there is a constant threat to stay relevant or you risk being swallowed by the competition. Kristy says, “By excelling as a niche provider, keeping my employees happy, and not being afraid to take risks, I see my company continuing to grow and I also see more women taking on leadership roles as we continue to positively impact this thriving industry and make names for ourselves.”

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