In this week's edition of Overdrive Radio, sit in on a wide-ranging discussion of inclusion, bedrock trucking business, minority-owned-business influence and more emerging from the SHE Trucking Expo, held last month during driver-appreciation week in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I spent Day One of the conference speaking to attendees and organizers about goals of network-building within and outside of the minority-owned-business community.
Founded and spearheaded by Chattanooga-based longtime driver/owner-operator/SHE Trucking Facebook group founder Sharae Moore, the expo was diverse in terms of the backgrounds of people in attendance and participating. As Adam Wingfield, former owner-operator and current head of the Innovative Logistics Group consultancy, put it, Moore clearly excelled in bring together a "diversity of thought" as well, no doubt about it.
The bulk of today's podcast features an end-of-day discussion with these stakeholders, in addition to Wingfield, and all directly connected to Moore's efforts to build the Expo:
**Professional driver and trainer Shanna Sellers, Charlotte, North Carolina
**Pierre Laguerre, founder of Fleeting, Inc., Atlanta
**Tristen Simmons and Tawana Randall of the Leading Ladies of Logistix
**Alix Burton of small fleet Good Energy Worldwide, Atlanta
**Sunny Vraitch, CFO of PrimeLink Express, Stockton, California
**Melanie Patterson of small fleet Integrity Transit, Chicago
The presentations also feature former NFL player and Unite Us Logistics fleet/brokerage owner Thomas Johnson, of Memphis.
What emerges, ultimately, is a discourse around the importance of harnessing the power of community, of numbers, of basic teamwork and plenty pride in a job well done.
As Laguerre puts it in something of a challenge to big freight business players to take all of these qualities seriously: "There's a team of minorities taking this industry by storm," with a growing presence and influence. There's real value, he said, that team brings not only to itself through trucking education and innovation, but to long-existing businesses, with new relationships. Take a listen:
Catch more scenes from the SHE Trucking Expo via this contemporaneous coverage of the September event.