Fleet Owner Dozen: Judy R. McReynolds

Fleet Owner Dozen: Judy R. McReynolds

Judy R. McReynolds is president and CEO of ArcBest Corp., responsible for managing the multibillion-dollar logistics company, including oversight of operating companies ABF Freight, ABF Logistics, Panther Premium Logistics, and FleetNet America.

Since 2010, McReynolds has also held the post of director of ArcBest Corp. and is the only member of the company’s senior management who serves on the board.  A Certified Public Accountant, she has nearly 25 years of transportation industry experience, including 18 years at ArcBest where she began as controller. McReynolds has led the company’s recovery from the economic downturn.

Building upon ABF Freight’s 90-year-old roots as a leading LTL carrier, the company has undergone a substantial rebranding under McReynolds’ leadership, purchasing Panther, and forming ABF Logistics to complement its LTL offering.  The strategy, which she developed and directed, was to provide full supply chain and logistics solutions to customers and to better “connect the dots” for them about the breadth of solutions offered by the ArcBest companies. By the end of 2015, the asset-light businesses represented nearly one-third of ArcBest’s total revenue.

McReynolds considers that evolution her top achievement at ArcBest. “We describe ArcBest as a logistics company, not simply trucking, as that is one piece of our business but by no means all,” she says. “Like many other industries, ours is undergoing rapid change as evolution in technology and customer demands drive the need for constant change and adaptation.”

In a first-person column for the New York Times business series “The Boss,” McReynolds wrote that she determined early in her executive tenure that she wouldn’t let gender be an issue—and she credits her Oklahoma upbringing with making her secure enough to not react to those who would.

Click to see a list of all the Fleet Owner Dozen honorees

“Our industry traditionally has a lot of male representation, although there is clearly a recent trend towards more female representation,” McReynolds says. “We believe in promoting the best person for every role. As a result, we have various leadership academies, training and recruiting programs that are in place for all of our employees.”

McReynolds’ advice for women is to take on the “tough assign­ments” and do an excellent job. “You will be recognized for your good work,” she says. “As long as companies like ArcBest are focused on putting the best people in leadership, more of our industry’s leaders will be women.”

McReynolds serves on numerous boards, including OGE Energy Corp., First National Bank of Fort Smith, and the Transportation Industry Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. She also serves on the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, is chair of the UAFS Foundation Board, and is a member of the American Trucking Assns. board of directors and Executive Committee.  McReynolds holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Oklahoma.

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