PLOVER, Wis. — Kristy Knichel, CEO of Knichel Logistics, and Jodie Teuton, vice president of Kenworth of Louisiana/Hino of Baton Rouge and Monroe, have been honored with the 10th annual Influential Woman in Trucking award by the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) and Freightliner Trucks.
The winners were announced during WIT’s Accelerate! Virtual Conference & Expo, after a panel discussion that included all of the finalists for the 2020 Influential Woman in Trucking award and was facilitated by Dr. Rita Webster, a women’s leadership coach. The award was presented by Kary Schaefer, general manager of product marketing and strategy for Daimler Trucks North America.
“Congratulations to all the nominees and the 2020 winners, Kristy Knichel and Jodie Teuton. The diverse pool of nominations, from across all parts of the trucking profession, highlight the impact women have in our industry and the contributions they make to help promote careers in trucking and logistics,” Schaefer said. “Kristy and Jodie are inspirational not only for being exceptional business leaders and role models but for driving change in their local communities. It is an honor for Freightliner to be able to recognize all of the nominees for their achievements over the past year.”
The Influential Woman in Trucking award recognizes women in the trucking industry who make or influence key decisions, have a proven record of responsibility, and mentor and serve as a role model to other women. The award was developed in 2010 as a way to honor female leaders in trucking and to attract and advance women within the industry.
Finalists for the 2020 Influential Woman in Trucking award also included Crystal Anderson, owner of Donald D. Anderson Jr. Trucking; Katrina Liddell, president of global forwarding and expedite operations in North America for XPO Logistics; Vana Matte, senior vice president of engineering and technology for J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.; and Michal Yariv, vice president and general manager of strategic initiatives for Omnitracs LLC.
“The six finalists were all outstanding candidates,” said Ellen Voie, WIT president and CEO. “After scoring the nominations, the judging panel had a tie for first place. With 2020 being the tenth anniversary of this award, it seemed appropriate to have two winners this year. This award is our way of thanking Kristy and Jodie for their commitment and service to the industry.”
Knichel, a lifelong Pittsburgh native, is a second-generation logistics executive. Since taking over as president of Knichel Logistics in 2007, she has been the driving force behind the company’s 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 said her 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 through strategic development and continuing to offer her team members the opportunity for growth and self-improvement.
“I am so honored to be chosen, along with Jodie, by the Women in Trucking Association for this prestigious award. All of the finalists are such talented women in this industry and deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments,” Knichel said. “WIT’s mission is one that I wholeheartedly support and am passionate about, which makes being named a 2020 Influential Woman in Trucking even more amazing. Words cannot describe how grateful I am.”
Teuton is the co-founder of Kenworth of Louisiana, a heavy-duty truck dealership group that represents both Kenworth and Hino truck brands and has 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 the couple’s daughter, Victoria, a junior at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.
Teuton received a bachelor of science degree in business from Nicholls State University in 1987 and her juris doctor degree from Loyola University in 1990. She said 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 ATD’s board of directors.
“All women who choose transportation careers are winners,” Teuton said. “I am humbled by this recognition and ready for more opportunity to grow our ranks in an industry that welcomes all. Trucking has been called the lifeblood of this country. Let’s keep it flowing together.”