PLOVER, Wis. — The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) and Freightliner Trucks on Sept. 9 announced six finalists for the 2020 Influential Woman in Trucking award. This is the 10th year for the award, which was developed in 2010 as a way to honor female leaders and to attract and advance women in the trucking industry. The award highlights the achievements of female role models and trailblazers in the trucking industry.
The 2020 Influential Woman in Trucking award finalists are:
- Crystal Anderson, owner, Donald D. Anderson Jr. Trucking;
- Kristy Knichel, CEO, Knichel Logistics;
- Katrina Liddell, president of global forwarding and expedite operations in North America, XPO Logistics;
- Vana Matte, senior vice president of engineering and technology, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.;
- Jodie Teuton, vice president, Kenworth of Louisiana/Hino of Baton Rouge and Monroe; and
- Michal Yariv, vice president and general manager of strategic initiatives, Omnitracs LLC.
All six finalists will participate on a panel during the WIT Accelerate! Conference & Expo, which will be held virtually, Nov. 12-13. The winner will be announced after the panel discussion, “How Remarkable Women Unleash Their Leadership Potential” on Friday, Nov. 13 at 9:15 a.m. CST.
Anderson is co-owner/partner of Donald D. Anderson Jr. Trucking. She actively works in many roles within her trucking company alongside her husband, who also drives for the company. Anderson has over 40 years of experience in the transportation industry. She is the daughter of a truck driver, the wife of a truck driver, the mother of a truck driver, and a driver herself.
Anderson attended Buena Visa College, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in business and finance. She also holds an associate degree in risk management, is a certified director of safety and maintains a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Anderson is an active member of the Nebraska Trucking Association (NTA), and currently serves as the organization’s executive chairman. She is a member of NTA’s Logistic Council as well as the newly formed Women’s Council, where she actively participates in mentoring youth.
Knichel, a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, 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 had 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’s 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.
Liddell is president of the global forwarding and expedite operations of XPO Logistics in North America, and is the first woman president within the North American transportation group. Prior to her current role, she led XPO’s sales organization for North American transportation, including the national account management team. Liddell made the transition to the supply chain industry from the industrial technology sector, where she was initially one of the few woman executives who had an engineering background.
During her 14-year tenure with Johnson Controls International, Liddell’s positions included general manager of the global building automation systems business and senior roles in enterprise account management, vertical market development, operations and customer relations. She earned a juris master’s degree from Emory University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Matte, who serves as senior vice president of engineering and technology for J.B. Hunt, is a global technology and digital transformation executive who leverages business-centric technology leadership to scale growth while safeguarding the business through cybersecurity expertise. Matte is described as a strategic, innovative leader and has more than 20 years of experience delivering competitive edge solutions on a global scale.
Vana leads the J.B. Hunt 360 digital freight-matching platform infrastructure and operations, cyber security, cloud, network, business continuity, databases, unified communications engineering, digital workplace solutions, enterprise information management, software development and IT operations (DevOps) continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), quality assurance, and performance and tuning. She ensures that J.B. Hunt driver technologies and shipper integration technologies are running effectively, and she was instrumental in enabling J.B. Hunt employees to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 locations within the state. Before devoting her professional career to the retail automotive and truck business in 1997, she practiced law in South Louisiana. Teuton is a native of Terrebonne Parish, where she currently lives with her husband and business partner, Scott Oliphant. She is described as “Wonder Woman” by her daughter, Victoria, a Junior at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.
Teuton received her bachelor’s degree in business from Nicholls State University in 1987 and her J.D. from Loyola University in 1990. She is passionate about business and is 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.
Yariv serves as vice president and general manager of strategic initiatives for Omnitracs. In this role, she focuses on the development and implementation of value-added services and applications that can be deployed on top of the core Omnitracs products. Her teams utilize artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data capabilities to explore new avenues that continue to drive efficiency for Omnitracs customers in addition to top-line revenue growth.
Yariv brings a wealth of market knowledge, product strategy and leadership to the team. She has more than 20 years of experience in transportation and technology. Before joining Omnitracs, she held leadership roles at Coyote Logistics (acquired by UPS) and Expedia. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in IT, both from Northwestern University.