Ellen Voie founded the Women In Trucking Association in March of 2007, and currently serves as the nonprofit organization's President/CEO. Women In Trucking was formed to promote the employment of women in the trucking industry, remove obstacles that might keep them from succeeding, and to celebrate the successes of its members.
Ellen's prior role was the Manager of Retention and Recruiting Programs at Schneider National, Inc., North America's largest truckload carrier. She was responsible for creating corporate level programs to encourage non-traditional groups to consider careers in the trucking industry and designed initiatives to eliminate (or reduce) irritants that lead to driver dissatisfaction, which ultimately affects turnover. Ellen was also responsible for communication to drivers (newsletter, audio magazine and driver website)
From March of 2000 through January 2006, Ellen served as the Executive Director of Trucker Buddy International, Inc., a pen pal program between professional drivers and elementary students. Ellen had served on the Board for three years prior and had become familiar with the program and its mission, and under her guidance the organization grew to become an internationally recognized mentoring initiative.
In 2005, Ellen earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives, the leading authority in association management and a professional society for the association industry. In December 2008, she attended Tri-C Truck Driver Academy in Cleveland, OH to earn her Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL.)
In July 2012 Ellen was honored by the White House as a Transportation Innovators Champion of Change. You can read her blog and watch the event online.
Ellen's background in the trucking industry began in 1980, when she earned a diploma in Traffic and Transportation Management while employed as Traffic Manager for a steel fabricating plant in central Wisconsin. She later worked as a dispatcher for a grain hauling carrier prior to becoming co-owner of a small fleet. After starting a family, Ellen used her background to become a freelance transportation consultant to carriers in Wisconsin, licensing and permitting trucks for more than 16 years. During that time, Ellen earned her Master's Degree in Communication from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, where she completed her Thesis research on the complex identities of women married to professional drivers.
In her effort to promote the trucking industry to the public, Ellen helped found and organize Trucker's Pride Day in Waupaca, Wisconsin, which grew to include thousands of visitors to this annual truck show. She convinced Governor Tommy Thompson to proclaim the event as a statewide "Trucker Appreciation Day" in Wisconsin. Ellen also worked as an advocate for women married to truck drivers. She assisted in promoting and expanding the Families of Trucker's Support Group, where she was active in providing a network for women who felt isolated because of their lifestyle.
Ellen served as chairwoman of the ATA Safety and Loss Prevention Council's Recruiting and Retention committee and on the ATA Image and Communications Committee. Ellen serves on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Motor Carrier Association and is a member of the Wisconsin DOT's Motor Carrier Advisory Committee. She was involved in adapting the Wisconsin Driver's Manual to include information on sharing the road with trucks. Ellen is the recipient of the Skinner Humanitarian award, presented annually to a trucking advocate in her state.
In March of 2010 Ellen was elected to serve as President of Mensa of Wisconsin and she also serves on the board of directors for the Mensa of Wisconsin Foundation. In 2008 Ellen was nominated to the board of directors of Transport for Christ International which she continues to serve. In 2010, Ellen was elected to the role of Vice Chairperson. Ellen also serves on the boards of Driving's Cool and The Saint Christopher's Fund.
Ellen has written extensively about trucking and family issues, and her articles have appeared in print and internet magazines. Ellen has also published a book, Marriage in the Long Run, a collection of some of her most popular columns. Her most recent book, Crushing Cones, was written to provide potential drivers with information on what to expect when attending driver training school. In addition to these, Ellen created a work book for professional drivers and their families which assists the driver's family in coping with the time and distance apart.
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Ellen holds a private pilot certificate and a motorcycle license. She is a member of Women In Aviation International and recently became the proud owner of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk. In 2010 she started jumping out of airplanes (with a parachute) and is enjoying the skydiving experience.