The Women in Trucking Association (WIT) and Freightliner Trucks revealed the six finalists for the 2019 Influential Woman in Trucking award. This is the ninth year for the award which was developed in 2010 to honor female leaders and to attract and advance women in the trucking industry.
The award highlights the achievements of female role models and trailblazers in the trucking industry. More than 100 outstanding nominations were submitted for this year’s award, recognizing women in various roles in the industry.
The 2019 Influential Woman in Trucking award finalists are:
- Niki Bolton, senior truck auditor and executive projects officer, American Truck and Rail Audits Inc. Bolton is the senior truck auditor and executive projects officer for American Truck & Rail Audits, Inc. (AMTR). She has been with the company for 11 years. She began as a data entry clerk, quickly moved to truck audits team manager, received her Certified Transportation Cost Auditor certificate from AMTR, and then transitioned into her current role in early 2019.
- Kristy Knichel, president & CEO, Knichel Logistics. Knichel has been the driving force behind the company’s annual growth and reputation as one of the top service providers within the Intermodal Marketing Company (IMC) community. While the company has grown to $73 million in revenue, Knichel’s proudest accomplishment is the family atmosphere she has created for her team members.
- Ruth Lopez, director of transportation management, Ryder Logistics. Lopez, along with her team, creates specific execution plans with comprehensive strategies for Ryder’s key customer segments and new client implementations. She 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.
- Kellylyn McLaughlin, over-the-road training engineer and professional driver, Schneider National Inc. McLaughlin transitioned to passenger safety after becoming a mother and worked for both National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and SafeKids as a child passenger safety expert. She discovered professional driving quite by accident through accepting a logistics position with a large marching band. She is now focusing her efforts to make a positive difference for drivers by being a professional driver stake holder representative at local, regional, national and international levels.
- Jodie Teuton, vice president, Kenworth of Louisiana. Teuton is passionate about business and proud to carry on her family legacy as a dealer. She currently is president of American Truck Dealers – ATD (a division of the National Auto Dealers Association) and is an advocate for her industry as well as for the rights of the disabled.
- Lidia Yan, CEO and co-founder, NEXT Trucking. In 2015, Yan founded NEXT as the first trucker-centric app and marketplace. Since then, she has led the company to 500 percent revenue growth, 250+ employees, and $125 million in funding. Yan has been a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year, received a Stevie Award for Startup of the Year, and been recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal Women’s Council and Awards.
The judges for the 2019 award are Ellen Voie, WIT president and CEO, Dave Nemo, talk show host, Sirius XM Radio, and Angela Eliacostas, founder and CEO of AGT Global Logistics who was also the 2018 Influential Woman in Trucking award recipient.
All six finalists will participate on a panel at the WIT Accelerate! Conference & Expo held in Dallas, TX, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2019. The winner will be announced at the general session panel discussion, "How Remarkable Women Unleash their Leadership Potential,” on Tues., Oct. 1 from 8:45 am – 10:00 am.