2021 Accelerate! Conference & Expo Highlights


Finally...Back In-Person!

More than 800+ transportation and logistics professionals registered to attend the seventh annual Accelerate! Conference & Expo Nov. 7-9 in Dallas, TX. The unique event works to elevate the issue of gender diversity, develop women leaders, explore how to leverage a diverse workforce for company success, and engage and retain more females in the industry. 

After being completely virtual for the 2020 event, the excitement and buzz from attendees finally being back in-person was palpable! Check out the key highlights below:


Pre-Conference festivities included the highly-rated FEAR NO MORE Workshop presented by Debbie Gardner of Survive Institute. Infused with humor and wit, her 'No Non-Sense Self Defense' proven and effective strategies left attendees empowered and equipped to handle any situation.


Attendees could also partake in Speed Mentoring, a powerful way to connect with peers in a 'speed dating,' small group discussion format and find value in either listening to others share their career stories or sharing their own story. 


WIT Chair Laura Roan-Hays of Great Dane, WIT President & CEO Ellen Voie, and WIT Strategic Advisor Brian Everett took the stage to kick off the event sharing all of the exciting things happening within the association and what to expect for the next three days: relevant, meaningful content, peer networking and mentoring opportunities, integrated expo time with vendors, a truck technology tour, recognition programs, and fun receptions. 


The fun, motivational and educational Opening Keynote by Lisa Orrell inspired attendees to make powerful, positive changes that will improve their leadership style and accelerate their career growth by focusing on their Personal Brand.


With over 75 exhibitors, attendees had access to many valuable products and services specific to our industry.


A fun and modernized Expo game, Photo Networking encouraged attendees to take pics with exhibitors which entered them into a prize drawing at the end of the event.


At the Truck & Technology Tour, attendees could see first-hand new trucks and the latest innovative technologies on the street right outside the Sheraton Dallas Hotel! They could learn from the experts onsite and ask questions. Featured companies included: International Trucks, Freightliner, Volvo, Waste Management, Waymo, Peterbilt, Amazon, Clean Harbors, Schneider, and WITney.


Author & Deception Detection Expert Traci Brown delivered a dynamic and interactive general session, "Liar, Liar Pants on Fire" on the nine tell-tale signs someone is lying, how to quickly uncover the truth and how to keep nefarious people from making you a victim.


A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the official launch of WITney, the association's Driver Ambassador Trailer. Inside the trailer features a history of the association and its mission, interactive kiosks that showcase personal success stories from women in the industry, a quiz to see if truck driving is the right career path, a state-of-the-art driver simulator, a display of a woman’s industry uniform, and more!

Over 60 educational sessions were available to attend on critical transportation issues and trends, along with perspectives of the positive impact women can have on the industry, segmented by educational areas of focus: Leadership, HR/Talent Management, Operations and Safety, Professional Driver, Sales & Marketing, and Professional Development. 


During the "Inspirational Stories: How to Power Your Career" session, attendees heard lessons learned and success stories from the finalists of the 2021 Influential Woman in Trucking Award, sponsored by Freightliner. At the conclusion, Lily Ley, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, PACCAR, was named the 2021 Influential Woman in Trucking. Finalists also included Eileen Dabrowski, Director of Learning, Development and Marketing, ReedTMS Logistics and Amanda Schuier, Chief Operating Officer, Quality Transport Company.


Those who made this year's prestigious lists of 'Top Women to Watch in Transportation,' 'Top Woman-Owned Businesses in Transportation' and 'Top Companies for Women to Work For in Transportation' were celebrated and honored in a special recognition program.


Ready to get their groove on at the 'Dancin' Through the Decades' Networking Reception, attendees came dressed in their favorite decade garb and enjoyed music from the talented Royal Dukes Band. Major shout out to TruNorth Global for sponsoring such a memorable, fun-filled reception!


Another networking opportunity was the interactive roundtable discussions during meal times - a fan-favorite year after year. Each table focused on a particular topic of interest and allowed for participants to share their experiences, best practices, challenges, and more! 


Several companies had large teams participate at this year’s conference. With 91 attendees, Yellow won the Participation Award – demonstrating their commitment to gender diversity in their organization and the industry at large.


Closing out the event, Daniel Murray of the American Transportation Research Institute, and Meera Joshi, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, touched on the most critical issues confronting the trucking industry today and the strategies and solutions that will address those head-on.

Missed the in-person conference? Join us for the Virtual event Nov. 17-18! Learn More

Check out more Accelerate! 2021 conference photos, download, and share! 


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