Accelerate! Conference Sessions

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The 2020 Accelerate! Conference & Expo will be packed with 60+ sessions, designed to fall under one or more of these four Educational Tracks: Leadership, HR/Talent Management, Operations, and Sales & Marketing. Here are just a few of the sessions that have been confirmed - check back periodically as sessions and content are added:

Opening Keynote
“Futurenomics” An Economic Snapshot & What to Do Next”
COVID-19 has brought about significant changes in business practices, customer demand, interest rates, imports, investments, housing trends, trade, tariffs, the list goes on. Do today’s news headlines have your stomach in knots? What do the changes in the current economy mean for transportation businesses? What do they mean for your own career? Heck, what do they mean for your family? 

Join Dr. Mary Kelly, one of the world’s most valued economists, as she exposes the true meaning of the current economic structure and what that means for your organization’s future. Learn to operate and make decisions from facts and data, not emotions. Understand what the changes in international trade mean for the freight marketplace. And gain a valuable understanding of today’s economy to improve profits and safeguard your businesses’ bottom line. Attend this session to:

  • Understand the bridge between economics and leadership
  • Use economic data to grow your business and safeguard your bottom line
  • Prepare your team to weather economic uncertainty

About the Presenter: Dr. Mary Kelly is an internationally renowned author and keynote speaker on leadership, productivity, and business growth. In 21 years as a Navy intelligence and logistics officer, Mary trained more than 40,000 military and civilian personnel. She has spent 25 years on active duty in the Navy leading multi-national teams throughout Asia. She was an intelligence officer specializing in Asia and Russia, an HR director, a chief of police, and a professor at the Naval Academy. Her Ph.D. is in economics, and she specializes in development. Mary is the author of 11 books on business growth and leadership.

Closing Keynote
Change Redefined: Strategies To Turn Uncertainty To Competitive Advantage

Competitive, challenging and constantly changing – that is world of transportation! To grow and compete you need a new set of leadership strategies, and a new approach to business growth. In this high-energy, power-packed session, Meridith Elliott Powell shares the strategies you need to navigate change, master uncertainty, and motivate your team to embrace the constant shifts in the market place – particularly in the era of a pandemic. Attend and you will gain:

  • Insight into exactly how today’s transportation and logistics marketplace has changed, and what that means for your customers, competition and your business strategy
  • Deeper understanding of how customers are changing – information, influence, decision making
  • Proven strategies for motivating your team to see change as opportunity
  • Secrets to anticipating change and proactively preparing for disruption
  • Robust techniques to deepen customer relationships and drive referrals
  • Personal plan of action to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

About the Presenter: Meridith Elliott Powell is regularly featured in publications such as Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., Investment News, and American Banker among others. High energy and highly interactive, Meridith helps business leaders learn the new rules of success today, and the strategies they need to thrive In uncertainty. With a background in corporate leadership and sales, her career expands over several industries. Meridith worked her way up from entry-level to earn her position in the C-Suite. She is a Master Certified Strategist, Executive Coach and Certified Speaking Professional, a designation held by less than twelve percent of professional speakers. In addition, Meridith is an invitation-only author for LinkedIn, having published more than six courses on their prestigious education networks.

Panel Discussions include:

"Voice of the Professional Driver: Challenges on the Road"
Hear first-hand from professional drivers with private and for-hire fleets who share their stories, what makes them love their jobs, and the obstacles and challenges they face on the road (and in life). Panelists of drivers include members of the WIT Image Team.

Breaking through Barriers While Finding Balance"
Every day, remarkable women are making a different in the transportation industry - from the corner office to the driver's seat. Gain valuable tips and hear career success stories from several women who have been recently named to WIT's 2020 Top Women to Watch in Transportation and featured in WIT's Redefining the Road magazine. 

"Creating a Culture that Embraces Gender Diversity"
What characteristics make up the best workplaces for women to work in? Corporate cultures supportive of gender diversity, flexibility in hours and work requirements, competitive compensation and benefits, continued professional development and training, career advancement opportunities are just a few. Leaders from WIT's 2020 Top Companies for Women to Work For will provide insights, strategies, and tips on how to create the best work environments for inclusion and diversity - all while ensuring the most productive workforce. 

"Professional Growth Using the Entrepreneurial Mindset"
Employment by woman-owned companies in the transportation and warehousing industry increased 10 percent between 2014 and 2019, and total revenue of these companies was up 28 percent in the same time period. Learn from business entrepreneurs with WOBs in our industry how they've created successful business strategy, leveraged workforce diversity as a competitive edge, and brought success to their professional and personal lives using a resourceful, creative, independent approach. Panelists are executives who have been recently named to WIT's 2020 Top Woman-Owned Businesses and highlighted in WIT's Redefining the Road magazine.

"Accelerate Your Career through Continuous Self-Innovation"
With the speed of change in our industry, it is critical that we female leaders cultivate a spirit of continuous growth to spur innovation and accelerate our careers. Spanning many different stages of career and life seasons, this powerhouse panel of female leaders shares how they have internalized self-innovation to find, own, and use their voices to propel their careers forward within an industry-disrupting, growth-focused organization. Avoiding the typical “canned” female leadership panel answers, the moderator probes panelists to engage the audience through the not-always-pretty, but always honest and genuine personal testimonies of their leadership journeys. Discussion topics will include expanding personal influence, improving professional effectiveness, setting and achieving goals, and overcoming adversity to achieve success.

Breakout Sessions:

"Taking Transportation Forward: The WIT Diversity and Inclusion Index"
Male pattern blandness: When any group (e.g. a conference panel, a list of nominees for a major award, a gathering of congresspeople) lacks any gender diversity, thus lacking any flavor. ~ Lily Lines The trucking industry knows that diversity is its future, but is facing the challenge of how to implement the necessary changes to get there. WIT is introducing the D&I Index, a new program that will promote and share what carriers are doing to support and expand the needs of our evolving workforce. This session will identify gaps in the status quo, and explain how the Index will help to identify best practices to help other organizations to remove the blandness and add the flavor that helps improve decision making, and encourages creativity and innovation. Participants will be given an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback throughout the session to make the program as comprehensive as possible. Presenters are Jane Jazawy and Mark Murrell, Co-Founders of CarriersEdge. 

Interactive Roundtable Discussions

Network with peers and subject matter experts who share common interests on a specific topic. During facilitated group conversations, you’ll discuss opportunities, challenges, and best practices and learn from what others are doing successfully with their organizations. Choose from over 30 topics or dialogue with professionals in similar roles.    

Accelerate! Truck & Technology Tour
See amazing new features in tractors, ranging from platooning trucks and microturbine-electric hybrid drive systems to emission-reduction and 360-degree technology. The latest from industry leaders will be on display during this unique truck tour.