Influential Woman in Trucking Award

Women make a positive difference in the trucking industry every day. We  salute these women by recognizing those who make or influence key decisions in a corporate, manufacturing, supplier, owner-operator, driver, sales or dealership setting.

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2020 Influential Woman in Trucking Winners

Congratulations Knichel and Teuton!

Women In Trucking Association and Freightliner Trucks presented the tenth annual Influential Woman in Trucking award to Kristy Knichel, CEO, Knichel Logistics and Jodie Teuton, vice president, Kenworth of Louisiana/ Hino of Baton Rouge and Monroe during the 2020 WIT Accelerate! Virtual Conference & Expo.

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Kristy Knichel, a lifelong Pittsburgh native, is a second-generation logistics executive. Since taking over as president of Knichel Logistics in 2007, Knichel has been the driving force behind their yearly growth and reputation as one of the top service providers within the IMC community. As of 2019, Knichel Logistics has grown to $83 million in revenue.

Knichel’s proudest accomplishments are winning the inaugural Distinguished Woman in Logistics Award from WIT and her appointment as the Intermodal Logistics Conference Chair on the TIA Board of Directors. She has recently been featured in Pittsburgh Magazine for Women in Business. For the second year in a row, she has received an award for the top 50 fastest growing companies in Pittsburgh. 

Today, her focus is on expanding Knichel Logistics’ footprint via strategic development and continuing to offer her team members the opportunity for growth and self-improvement.

Jodie Teuton is the co-founder of Kenworth of Louisiana, a heavy-duty truck dealership group representing both Kenworth and Hino truck brands with seven Louisiana locations. Before devoting her professional career to the retail auto and truck business in 1997, she practiced law locally in South Louisiana. Teuton is a native of Terrebonne Parish where she currently lives with her husband and business partner, Scott Oliphant. She is also “Wonder Woman” to their daughter, Victoria, a Junior at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. 

Teuton received her B.S. in Business from Nicholls State University in 1987 and her J.D. from Loyola University in 1990.  She is passionate about business and proud to carry on her family’s legacy.  She is a past President of American Truck Dealers – ATD (a division of the National Auto Dealers Association) and currently represents Kenworth Dealers on the Board of Directors at ATD.

 

Influential-Woman-stackedThe 2020 Finalists Also Included:

  • Crystal Anderson, owner, Donald D. Anderson Jr. Trucking 
  • Katrina Liddell, president of global forwarding and expedite operations in North America, XPO Logistics
  • Vana Matte, senior vice president of engineering & technology, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. 
  • Michal Yariv, vice president and general manager of strategic initiatives, Omnitracs, LLC

Learn more about their achievements as female role models and trailblazers in the trucking industry in our recent press release: Women In Trucking Announces Finalists for 2020 Influential Woman in Trucking Award

Recent Winners

The award was developed in 2010 as a way to honor female leaders in trucking and to attract and advance women within the industry.

2019-Influential-Finalists

2019 Award Winner: Ruth Lopez, Ryder System, Inc.

Freightliner Trucks and the Women In Trucking Association presented the ninth annual Influential Woman in Trucking award to Ruth Lopez, director, transportation management, Ryder System, Inc.

Lopez’s career with Ryder System, Inc. spans 20 years. She currently serves as director of transportation management, leading teams in the U.S. and in Mexico. Lopez 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. She also was named a Supply Chain Excellence Award recipient for work recognized within the Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) division, which has over 8,000 employees. Lopez also received a Ryder Outstanding Award Recognition (ROAR) award. It is given each quarter to an employee or team who consistently goes above and beyond in their duties and truly exemplifies the Ryder guiding principles. “The greatest recognition is when people say I have changed their lives,” she said. 

The finalists of the 2019 Influential Woman in Trucking award also included Niki Bolton, senior truck auditor & executive projects officer, American Truck & Rail Audits, Inc.; Kristy Knichel, CEO, Knichel Logistics; Kellylynn McLaughlin, OTR training engineer & professional driver, Schneider National Inc.; Jodie Teuton, chairwoman, ATD/vice president, Kenworth of Louisiana; Lidia Yan, CEO and co-founder, NEXT Trucking.

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2018 Award Winner: Angela Eliacostas, Founder & CEO, AGT Global Logistics


Freightliner Trucks and the Women In Trucking Association presented the eighth annual Influential Woman in Trucking award to Angela Eliacostas, Founder and CEO, AGT Global Logistics.


With more than 30 years in transportation, Eliacostas has worked her way from the ground up. In 2005, Eliacostas formed All Girls Transportation and Logistics, Inc. As offerings and services grew, a name change was required to fit their expansion and AGT Global Logistics was born. In addition to raising four boys, and now being an active loving grandmother, Eliacostas has been recognized for making AGT Global Logistics one of the top 50 in Illinois and top 1000 woman-owned businesses in the United States. 

The finalists of the 2018 Influential Woman in Trucking award also included Nozuko Mayeza, Managing Director, Tulsawiz Logistics and Brooke Willey, Vice President – Human Resources, CRST International.

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2017 Award Winner: Daphne Jefferson, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, FMCSA


Freightliner Trucks and the Women In Trucking Association presented the seventh annual Influential Woman in Trucking award to Daphne Jefferson, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).


“We are truly honored to have such a positive relationship with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration through Daphne Jefferson. She took the time and made the effort to spend two days in the truck with two of our female drivers in order to better understand the industry from the driver’s perspective, and this helped her lead the agency. She is one of the most influential women in the trucking industry and we are pleased to recognize her with this award,” said Ellen Voie, President and CEO, WIT.

The finalists of the 2017 Influential Woman in Trucking award also included Tana Greene, CEO and Founder, Blue Bloodhound and Traci Crane, Sr. Manager Fleet Services, Contract Freighters, Inc.

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Past Influential Woman In Trucking Award Recipients

  • 2016 - Ramona Hood, Vice President of Customer Operations
    Transportation Logistics at GENCO, a FedEx company
    Read press release

  • 2014 - Marcia Taylor, CEO
    Bennett International Group

  • 2012 - Joyce Brenny, President
    Brenny Transportation, Inc./Brenny Specialized, Inc.
  • 2015 - Kari Rihm, President
    Rihm Kenworth


  • 2013 - Rebecca Brewster, President & COO
    American Transportation Research Institute

  • 2011 - Rochelle Bartholomew, CEO
    CalArk International