International Women’s Day 2024





Business Manager, Dubuque, IA

The transportation industry has evolved over the past 24 years. Just ask Nickole O’Connor, as she has had an up-close look at how much the business has changed.


Since joining Foodliner and the McCoy Group in April 2000, O’Connor’s roles with the company shifted along with the gender landscape. During her tenure, she has held a variety of positions, including administrative assistant – executive admin. and business analyst manager before settling into her current role as the manager for sales and marketing.

Q: What are the key functions and responsibilities of your position?

Today, I oversee all pricing and customer relations. I act as a liaison between sales and operations to ensure we are working together to service our customers and meet their demands.

Q: What about your position motivates you?  

Transportation can be complicated but very rewarding. I enjoy collaborating with internal and external customers to help find solutions to their challenges.

Q: What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?  

In the winter, I like to snow ski. During the summer months, I enjoy being on our boat enjoying the sunshine.

Q: The transportation industry has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. What has been your experience been like in the industry? 

Transportation is male-dominated industry, but it’s evolving. Today, it is common for women to hold vital roles, ranging from being drivers to executives in the industry. When I first joined the company 24 years ago, it was rare for a woman to hold a leadership role. Personally, I have been fortunate to work for a company that has recognized my dedication to the job, work ethic and passion for success.


Tank Wash Manager, Chicago, IL

In 2015, Ashley Madden was facing a career crossroads.

Unhappy with her current career track, Madden took a calculated risk when a family member tipped her off about a career opportunity with Foodliner and the McCoy Group.

“I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my career, as I wasn’t happy where I was presently at,” she recalled. “I had no experience in the transportation industry, but I remember how happy my brother was working in transportation. I thought this might be the change I needed.”

Madden has worked herself up the ranks, starting with the organization in an office administrative role, before moving on to take a role as a shop foreman assistant and eventually being promoted to tank wash manager for all locations across the company.

Q: What are the key functions/responsibilities of your position?     

I’m responsible for overseeing that all wash techs have been trained and have demonstrated that they have a clear understanding of the procedures and policies that we use to maintain the highest level of food safety possible. I’m also in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the tank wash facility, ensuring compliance with Foodliner standards and safety regulations.

Q: What about your position motivates you?

I’ve always been motivated by the desire to help others and the opportunity to lead and contribute to a team’s success. It gives me nothing but joy to see the growth of my team as a whole, and to see their professional and personal achievements.

Q: What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work? 

I love the water. I’m in for anything that has to do with the water. I love spending time with my dog, Roxie, and being outside and staying busy. I enjoy gardening, and shopping is one of my main hobbies!

Q: Transportation has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. What has your experience been like? 

The transportation industry is male-dominated, so I reminded myself of my strengths and I made sure to own them. Working with mostly men, made me want to work harder as I felt like I had to prove myself.

I was lucky enough to have worked with a great group of men and a great terminal manager who taught me a lot. He saw that I was eager to gain more knowledge in the industry and I wanted to grow within the company, so he took the time to help become a better employee and gave me the knowledge to do so.

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