Katy Christensen worked in the retail industry early in her career, even earning a promotion to being a department manager. However, she quickly found the work not giving her the sense of fulfillment that she was hoping for.
“My aunt knew of an open position within the company and recommended me, knowing I wanted more,” Christensen recalled of the scenario from 14 years ago. “I am forever grateful for the opportunity as I never would have guessed I’d be working the transportation industry.” Over the past decade-plus, Christensen has steadily worked her way up through the ranks to a satisfying career.
“I started as the receptionist working for the claims and safety team,” she said. “I have also handled the company travel, lease-purchase coordinator (role), recruiting administrator, and (owner-operator) and broker coordinator before moving into my most recent position.”
Christensen enjoys the challenges, and being able to find solutions to problems, that come with her role.
“I know each day brings a new challenge and different tasks to complete,” she said. “My office co-workers, offsite managers and office personnel, and drivers that call in need assistance, know they can count on me to help in any way,” she said. “That brings me pride.”
Raised by truck driver and the sister of a diesel mechanic, Katrina Galvan jokes that she was “born into this industry.” And while she has a familial connection to the transportation business, she made a conscious decision to pursue a career in trucking.
“Since starting my first job at a trucking company over 20 years ago, I’ve worked in safety, brokerage, dispatch, and now in my current role as a terminal manager,” Galvan said
In her role overseeing Terminal 63, Galvan leads a group of five fleet managers to solidify deliveries for the United States’ Western region.
“I work closely with our shop foreman and shop techs to keep the equipment flowing through the shop and safely on the road,” she said. “I communicate with our drivers on any concerns they may have, coach them on safety and staying compliant. I work with our internal and external customers to keep our drivers moving and getting freight transported safely and on time to uphold the Foodliner reputation of excellent customer service.”
Galvan compares her job to that of putting a puzzle together for the good of the country and beyond.
“I genuinely enjoy working with our team and putting the daily puzzle together,” she said. “I take pride in being part of a team that is a huge part of food production for our country and others.”
Kristin Hoffmann joined Foodliner team as a fleet manager in 2016 before transitioning to a similar role with Quest Liner in 2021. In her role, Kristin dispatches and tracks trucks for the Channahon location.
“I communicate directly with several shippers and coordinate with them to cover customer orders going to various location throughout the U.S. and Canada,” she said. “Some loads are planned, while others are urgent requests.”
Kristin was initially attracted to a career in the transportation field by the fast pace and continued evolution of the business. She started her career in the field working for a logistics company prior to joining the Foodliner and Quest Liner teams.
“The biggest challenge I have faced is gaining respect from those who worked in the industry for years and (then) taking direction from me,” Kristin recounted. “Building relationships has been a personal development area, and I continue to build upon the progress I have made.”
Hoffmann offers the following tips for other women who are pursue careers in transportation:
“Stay focused, continue to learn and educate yourself, and you can accomplish anything with hard work and determination.”
Katherine Schmidt’s career in the transportation industry started at the ground level.
“I applied for a clerk position at a transportation company years ago and worked my way up as a fleet manager and assistant terminal manager with other companies,” said Schmidt, who has been a part of the McCoy Group transportation team for more than eight years.
In her current role as operations manager for Foodliner and Quest Liner in Houston, Schmidt wears many different hats, including those of manager, problem-solver, PR representative, compliance manager, recruiter, and bean counter.
Schmidt has proven her value as a woman who can juggle many responsibilities. Ironically, early in her career, some doubted if she was up for any type of leadership role in the transportation industry.
“When I first started with Quest (Liner) in Houston, most drivers did not feel like I could handle the position,” she said. “Getting them to trust me was one of the biggest challenges.”
Schmidt overcame these trust issues by sharing her knowledge and allowing others to see her decision-making abilities in action.
She encourages other women who are embarking in careers in the transportation field to follow her blueprint.
“Always be strong and confident in your role,” she advised. “Always be open to learning as you grow and sharing your own knowledge.”