North Kingstown, R.I. — Ellen Voie, president and CEO of the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) is the first inductee into the Howes Hall of Fame as a part of the inaugural class of 2020. Voie founded the nonprofit organization WIT in March of 2007 with the intention of promoting the employment of women in the trucking industry, removing obstacles that might keep them from succeeding and celebrating the successes of its members.
“I am so honored to be the first inductee into the Howes Hall of Fame,” Voie said. “It’s really surreal to think that they are recognizing me and others for our contributions to the trucking industry. Just watching the video online takes my breath away.”
Prior to venturing into the nonprofit arena, Voie served as the manager of retention and recruiting programs at Schneider Inc., where she was responsible for creating corporate-level programs to encourage nontraditional groups to consider careers in the trucking industry and designing initiatives to eliminate (or reduce) irritants that lead to driver dissatisfaction, which ultimately affects turnover.
From March 2000 through January 2006, Voie served as the executive director of Trucker Buddy International Inc., a pen-pal program between professional drivers and elementary school students. Prior to becoming the executive director, she served on the board for three years, becoming familiar with the program and its mission. Under her guidance, the organization grew to become an internationally recognized mentoring initiative.
Voie’s background in the trucking industry began at a steel-fabricating plant in central Wisconsin, where she started as an assistant and later became the traffic manager. She then worked as a dispatcher for a grain-hauling carrier before becoming co-owner of a small fleet. After starting a family, she used her background to become a freelance transportation consultant to carriers in Wisconsin, licensing and permitting trucks for more than 16 years.
“If you had told me in 2007, when Women In Trucking was just an idea, that we would be viewed as a having a positive impact on our industry, I would not have imagined how much of a difference we’ve made,” Voie said. “This recognition is the result of a lot of hard work from our entire team, not just myself.”
Howes is delighted to acknowledge Voie’s great work and the equally impressive efforts of WIT and the profound impact both Voie and the organization have had on the industry. Voie also said she recognizes the importance of a long-standing company such as Howes, which makes the award even more of an honor.
“Howes’ history as an industry leader in additives and lubricants shows their stability, but more importantly, their ability to react to a fast-changing industry that would challenge any supplier of truck products,” Voie said.
The Howes Hall of Fame is a virtual platform designed to honor the trucking and agriculture industries. With the goal of recognizing great achievements and contributions across a broad spectrum of categories, the Howes Hall of Fame can now be viewed at www.howesproducts.com/HOF.
“In honor of our centennial, we proudly opened the doors today to the Howes Hall of Fame,” said Robert B. Howes II, executive vice president. “All those enshrined here represent industry excellence and tireless dedication to their professions. The Hall of Fame inductees help keep our country thriving, and deserve to be recognized for those efforts.”
The Howes Hall of Fame offers guests the chance to learn about inductees and their contributions to their respective industries, as well as the company’s 100-year history. The institution will remain open indefinitely, with new inductees announced once or twice each year.
The second inductee will be announced in May, and the third in June. In the future, Howes will look to enlist the community to provide nominations of their peers for consideration.
Erika Howes, vice president of Business Development explained, “We see the Howes Hall of Fame to honor the people, places and innovations that have helped shaped the trucking and farming industries. We are proud to be a part of these industries ourselves and are excited to be able to showcase those who play vital roles within them. We want to share their stories and hope that they inspire others to be great as well.”
To further celebrate the honor, not only will all the Hall of Fame inductees be forever enshrined in the hall, but they will also receive a selection of memorabilia to enjoy.
“The Howes Hall of Fame is meant to recognize the individual pieces that make up these great industries as a whole, knowing full well that we wouldn’t have reached our centennial milestone without them,” said President Rob Howes. “A big part of our 100 Year Celebration is to say ‘thank you.’ This seemed like the perfect kickoff opportunity to do just that.”