WITH MARCH BEING Women’s History Month, the TIA Membership Department reached out to women executives in our industry to learn more about their experiences and insights working within a freight brokerage. Whether these women are business owners themselves or serve on their company’s leadership team, they make an impact within their organizations and in the 3PL industry. Below are interviews with two women brokerage executives that we would like to share with you this month!
Laura Shorette, President & Founder, Time Logistics
Laura Shorette is president and founder of Tennessee-based Time Logistics. Formed in 2001, Time Logistics focused on the niche space of moving newspaper inserts for printers, retailers and agencies. The company then merged into moving direct mail, and just recently opened a freight brokerage division. Time Logistics handles managed transportation services, LTL and all modes of truckload.
Laura entered the transportation industry in 1985 as a switchboard operator for a 3PL based in Forest, Virginia. She developed a passion for logistics and providing truck drivers with assistance over the road. She worked her way up the ladder at that brokerage and after 17 years of service departed as vice president of operations.
As her previous company made acquisitions, she was fortunate to be chosen to travel to various major cities throughout the United States to help train employees and grow development within divisions. Laura moved several times as opportunities presented themselves. She ran divisions in Pineville, North Carolina, Reno, Nevada, Atlanta and Chicago. Throughout these opportunities she built a strong network, a good reputation and continued to gain knowledge of the industry throughout the U.S.
When speaking on the challenges women may face in the transportation industry, Laura said that “like any other industry or professional growth, if you want it bad enough, you’re willing to work for it, no matter your gender. Yes, when I started there were more men than women in the logistics industry but that meant nothing to me. I know what I wanted and what I was capable of. I was also fortunate to have great mentors in my life, both male and female, who made careers in the logistics industry.”
She also had the following advice for women in logistics. “The logistics industry is an ongoing challenge. Stay flexible, open to new changes, keep up with technology, and the industry laws. Treat your employees and carriers as you would your customers. Communication and being pro-active is also a major key to success.”
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Bonnie Supan, Vice President of Operations & Finance, Brenny Transportation
Bonny Supan serves as the vice president of operations & finance with Brenny Transportation Inc., a 25-year TIA Member located in Minnesota.
Supan began her start in the transportation industry with a keen interest in trucks. She stated that she “just loved being around trucks, so when the opportunity came up to work at a transportation company, there was no question. I needed to take that chance.” She enjoys being a broker as she can talk with so many different people across the country and world. “Being able to help so many people, we solve their problem before they even know there is a problem,” Supan said.
Supan finds her TIA membership special as it allows her to network with various committees and those at logistics companies all over the country. She stated that TIA provided legal advice over the years and appreciated TIA’s Advocacy Department’s involvement at the Capitol to fight for brokers’ rights.
Bonnie offered a word of advice for new brokers: “Be kind, help no matter what the situation is, and care about the drivers and what they go through. Accommodate the drivers by making sure you know where scales are, if they can park overnight, if there are bathrooms on sight, and, most importantly, if it is a safe area to stay.” She encourages new brokers to join TIA as “you get to have a bigger voice to what is going on in this industry, no matter how big or small of a company you are.”