Photo: JAM Best-One Fleet Service
Hillary Hagen Jam Best One

2020 Women in Transportation: Hillary Hansen-Hagen

July 14, 2020
Trucking industry advocate Hillary Hansen-Hagen is the marketing and data mining manager for JAM Best-One Fleet Service.

Since starting her job for a fleet service provider back in 2014, Hillary Hansen-Hagen has become an advocate for the trucking industry. She will be the first to admit she had succumbed to believing the same stereotypes many outside of the industry have about truckers and the trucking industry.

“I've definitely become an advocate because I see it now and it bugs me,” Hansen-Hagen said, of people believing stereotypes that truck drivers are slovenly and the industry is made up mostly of men. “I had to get my head around it and realize that the stereotypes were just that, and kind of learn on my own that there are women in the industry. Truckers are great people, and they've got a bad rap.”

So great, in fact, that Hansen-Hagen is married to one. She connected with Mack Trucks enthusiast and professional truck driver Jamie Hagen in 2016. They tied the knot in June 2019.

Hansen-Hagen is the marketing and data mining manager for JAM Best-One Fleet Service, an independent in-shop and roadside mechanical and tire service provider based in Toledo, Ohio. The JAM Best-One enterprise has eight locations throughout Michigan and Ohio and is part of the larger Best-One network, which has grown to more than 250 locations in 11 states since its founding in 1948.

Hansen-Hagen manages the company’s website, listed breakdown services, and customer marketing such as email campaigns and direct contact marketing for follow-up services. As part of her marketing role, she relies heavily on data to build on customer relationships and create more customized campaigns for individual customers.

“My boss is a data junkie,” Hansen-Hagen said. “In my marketing perspective, I know that if you want to do anything you have to prove that it works.”

She provided this example for how she utilizes data to serve customers: “We pull client reports to see what a certain client purchases the most of, to see if there's any sort of incentives going on that we can target to them,” Hansen-Hagen explained. For example, if a customer purchases tires often from JAM Best-One, Hansen-Hagen may create incentive for the customer to set up an alignment program with the company as well.

Hansen-Hagen got her start in marketing, and the transportation industry, while working at a car dealership early in her career. There, she had realized her passion for vehicles, which was amplified when she took the position at JAM Best-One.

“I totally geek out about antique trucks. I do love me some chrome,” Hansen-Hagen said, laughing. “I know not everybody is a fan, but you know, some super tricked out trucks, cool paint jobs. I love all of that.”

But, more than anything, Hansen-Hagen said she enjoys the people that she works with in the industry most.

“I have not met a nasty person in the trucking industry. Period. At all – in any segment [of the industry],” Hansen-Hagen said. “Any truck show I've gone to, at my job. Any of the fleet managers I've met, any of the owner operators I've talked to, they're really down-to-earth people.”

Hansen-Hagen offered this advice for those either starting out in the industry or interested in making the jump to trucking: “Forget everything you’ve heard.”

“Have fun. Enjoy the people. Enjoy your job,” she added. “It’s really hard to be bad at something you really enjoy doing. If you can find the fun in your in your day-to-day, regardless of what industry you're in, it makes all the difference.”

Trucking has made a lasting impact on Hansen-Hagen’s life – both personally and professionally – and she hopes others outside of the industry continue to recognize advancements that can make the industry more efficient and safe.

“You can't get rid of trucks because they're literally what move not only everything that we get, touch, use, taste, see, feel, call on, but they also move the economy at the same time,” Hansen-Hagen said. “I'm hoping that the perception changes and technology makes it easier for truckers, safer for truckers, and more fuel efficient to help the environment.”

About the Author

Erica Schueller | Editorial Director | Commercial Vehicle Group

Erica Schueller is the Editorial Director of the Endeavor Commercial Vehicle Group. The commercial vehicle group includes the following brands: American Trucker, Bulk Transporter, Fleet Maintenance, FleetOwner, Refrigerated Transporter, and Trailer/Body Builders brands.

An award-winning journalist, Schueller has reported and written about the vehicle maintenance and repair industry her entire career. She has received accolades for her reporting and editing in the commercial and automotive vehicle fields by the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA), the International Automotive Media Competition (IAMC), the Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) Azbee Awards.

Schueller has received recognition among her publishing industry peers as a recipient of the 2014 Folio Top Women in Media Rising Stars award, acknowledging her accomplishments of digital content management and assistance with improving the print and digital products in the Vehicle Repair Group. She was also named one Women in Trucking’s 2018 Top Women in Transportation to Watch.

She is an active member of a number of industry groups, including the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC),  the Auto Care Association's Young Auto Care Networking Group, GenNext, and Women in Trucking.

In December 2018, Schueller graduated at the top of her class from the Waukesha County Technical College's 10-week professional truck driving program, earning her Class A commercial driver's license (CDL).  

She has worked in the vehicle repair and maintenance industry since 2008.

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