ARLINGTON, Va. — The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) announced its three finalists for the 2023 Influential Woman in Trucking award, which is sponsored by Daimler Truck North America (DTNA). This award was developed in 2010 to recognize 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 2023 Influential Woman in Trucking finalists are:
- Tori Blake, CFO and co-owner of Western Logistics Express (WLE) and WLX;
- Megan Ferguson, vice president of end-to-end delivery acceleration for Walmart; and
- Shelley Simpson, president of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.
Blake has made it her mission to mentor women in all facets of her business. In her role, she is responsible for financial management, talent acquisition, employee development and strategic visioning. WLX and WLE have been recognized as one of Kansas City’s fastest-growing companies each year Blakehas been on the team, as well as one of Kansas City’s best places to work. In addition, Blake was honored as the Kansas City Business Journal’s 2023 CFO of the year.
At the start of her career, Blake was an auditor at Ernst & Young, one of the four largest accounting firms in the world. Over her 16-year career as an executive leader, she has led startup companies and has a true passion for entrepreneurial endeavors.
Blake has a heart for serving others. She was instrumental in supporting Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City through “Sunshine Taggie” blankets for patients, handmade by WLX/WLE employees. She has also served as chairwoman of her church board, has been a children’s church teacher for over a decade, and is serving as the church mission trip leader. Tori is also a coach of two youth sports teams, where she has the honor of coaching and guiding 25 young female athletes and leaders each year.
Ferguson has more than 15 years of experience at Walmart and Sam’s Club, with a deep background in transportation operations and strategy and merchandise operations. Shejoined Walmart in 2007 as a private fleet strategy intern and moved into the role of project manager of Walmart’s private fleet strategy upon obtaining a degree in supply chain management at Michigan State University.
During her career at Walmart, Ferguson has filled transportation leadership roles in sourcing and procurement, inventory management and optimization as well as merchandise operations. In her current role, shebrings Walmart’s delivery strategy to life across the first, middle and last mile, always prioritizing the customer’s needs.
Ferguson is a passionate mentor and leader to her teams. She co-leads Walmart’s Women of Supply Chain Council, in addition to hosting educational sessions and mentorship circles while continuing to grow herself as an active member of Walmart’s Women’s Officer Caucus.
While her passions lie in advocating for women in the transportation and supply chain industries, her mentorship extends to all associates seeking guidance in managing relationships, peer collaborations, and various business topics. Ferguson prioritizes volunteering her time to train and participate in fireside chats and panel discussions to inspire other women to take on leadership roles.
Simpson’s 29-year career at J.B. Hunt reflects the company’s continued progression as an innovative leader in the transportation and logistics industry.
Since joining J.B. Hunt as an hourly customer service representative, she has held multiple positions in business segments across the company, including leading integrated capacity solutions, truckload, customer experience, highway services. Most recently, she served as chief commercial officer and executive vice president of people and human resources.
While leading the strategic direction of marketing, sales, customer experience, and external product development, Simpson also led the development of the company’s freight-matching technology platform J.B. Hunt 360°. As the company evolved the platform and its technology-driven services, Shelley was also responsible for commercializing them on a global scale as the leader of International Services.
In 2021, she was named one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digital, and she has been named one of the Top 100 HR Professionals by the National Diversity Council in 2022. She recently received the 2022 Woman of the Year in Innovation award from the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and the Excellence in Free Enterprise Award from Economics Arkansas.
There will be a panel discussion at the WIT Accelerate! Conference & Expo planned for Nov. 5-8, 2023, in Dallas. The winner will be announced after the panel discussion on Tues, Nov. 7 at 10:15 a.m. CST.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.