In this new series, the Truckload Carriers Association spotlights the industry’s younger leaders
When she stepped into the role of CEO for her family’s company, Ralph Moyle, Inc., Ashley Moyle Kordish knew she would have to work hard to prove herself. The journey to where she is today is a story of hard work, determination, and a desire to make sure her family legacy thrives.
As the granddaughter of company founder Ralph Moyle, Kordish says she was eager to make sure everyone knew she had earned her position, and that it wasn’t something that was just handed to her.
“I was raised right outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan, in a small village called Mattawan,” she shared. “Recently, I purchased land from my grandparents and built a house right in Mattawan. My family has lived there since around 1910.“
Starting with “typical” jobs during her teens, Kordish began her career the same way as many people — with odd jobs such as sweeping trailers for a dollar apiece, and babysitting.
“At 16, I was able to get my first ‘official’ job at a local grocery store, where I worked for a couple of years as a bagger,” Kordish said. “That job is where I first learned about customer service and learning how to deal with people. When I turned 18, I was old enough to drive a forklift, so after school I worked second shift at the Ralph Moyle warehouse.”
Kordish says she always knew she wanted to join the family business. To that end, she worked hard to earn a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management from Western Michigan University (WMU).
“Our local college had a highly rated program that gave me the perfect foundation to start my career,” she explained. “I later decided to pursue my master of science in management, strategy, and leadership from Michigan State University. I graduated in May (2022), and it was the perfect program to help prepare me for my current role of CEO within our organization.”
During college, Kordish spent time working in Ralph Moyle’s billing department, learning scheduling and dispatching. She also spent a summer working on trucks in the shop. She says she knew, even at a young age, that if she wanted to play an active role in the business, she needed to have a firm grasp of every aspect of the company. To that end, she worked her way through each area, learning the ropes as she went.
To gain outside experience, she got an internship at a local manufacturing company, American Axle, where she worked in the quality department as it launched two new assembly lines. She later moved to the materials department, where she managed inventory, ordered parts, and scheduled trucks to pick up finished goods that were delivered to larger factories.
“During that period, I learned how to stand up for myself, and that I could do whatever I set my mind to,” she said.
“I spent almost three years away before the spot of operations manager opened at Ralph Moyle. I decided to apply for the job, and my uncle and father hired me back into the family business,” she recalled. “I spent three years in the operations position, then moved to vice president of operations, and then to where I am today.”
Earning the title of CEO wasn’t enough for Kordish, however.
“I had one more job I have always wanted to learn, so I went through our CDL program and received my commercial driver’s license,” she shared. “I am still training and learning but am excited to have completed that to learn more about what our truck drivers go through daily.”
Kordish’s dream of working for the family business sprang from watching her grandfather, her father, and her uncle as they worked at Ralph Moyle. She loved the family atmosphere and how everyone knew each other.
“I knew from a young age that I wanted to continue my family’s legacy,” she said.
Family is incredibly important to Kordish. Her own family includes her husband, Dennis, who is a physician assistant and specializes in dermatology. The couple has two children, 5-year-old Valerie and 3-year-old Xander.
Kordish believes it’s the employees that work for the company that keep her going — and those employees always come first in her mind.
“My employees are what drive me every single day,” she said. “I am so lucky to work with incredible people that make our organization run smoothly. I enjoy walking into the office and warehouse, seeing all the smiling faces and feeling like everyone is a part of my family. I couldn’t do what I do without each person at Ralph Moyle.”
Kordish began her current position as CEO in March of last year. Since then, she has also completed her master’s degree, earned her CDL-A, joined a Truckload Carriers Association committee, volunteered for Junior Achievement, become a board member of WMU’s Supply Chain Program, and expanded her professional network.
“I do all of this by simply being intentional with my time — putting it on the calendar, and making it happen,” she explained. “I would like to continue to expand my network going forward, continue to (gain education) about the trucking industry, continue to build Ralph Moyle’s legacy, and make us well known amongst the industry and more.”
Kordish is keenly aware that she is not a one-woman show, and that it’s her fellow employees who really make the company work.
“I have incredible individuals on our executive team, each of whom bring their own expertise and experience to the table,” she said.
“We are working on everything from restructuring departments, documenting processes, retention efforts, improving our technology, expanding our warehousing, to strategies such as what our ideal customers are and how we take care of them and much more,” she continued. “We know we want to grow and are laying the groundwork to be able to do so. We are very excited about our futures and the possibilities ahead of us.”
One thing that is vitally important to Kordish is inclusivity, especially when it comes to having more women in her industry.
“There are so many incredible opportunities in this industry, and I am watching it evolve, become more inclusive, diverse and accepting,” she said. “It is challenging and rewarding, and absolutely crucial to making sure our supply chains get their parts, stores have stocked shelves, and people get their packages delivered to their doorsteps.
“My advice for women entering the industry would be go for it, take the challenge head on. Roll up your sleeves and show anyone who ever doubted you how capable you are,” she continued. “We can do any of the jobs within the industry just as well as any man. Don’t doubt yourself, and be persistent. We can do anything we put our minds to.”
For Kordish, keeping the family’s legacy going is an intensely personal goal.
“At the end of the day, I just want to be able to say that I was able to educate people about the industry, help improve working conditions for drivers, inspire young minds to join the industry, take good care of my employees and continue my grandfather’s legacy through Ralph Moyle,” she concluded.