20 Women Who Are Innovating Logistics And Supply Chain


Women are becoming increasingly crucial in logistics and supply chains for several reasons. Firstly, they bring a valuable skillset. The industry thrives on organization, planning, and meeting tight deadlines–areas where women often excel. Additionally, women bring diverse perspectives that can spark innovation and improve problem-solving in a complex global network.

Read also: Unveiling the Vast Global Gender Gap: A Deeper Dive into Women’s Legal Rights

Secondly, the logistics industry is experiencing a talent gap. By actively recruiting and promoting women, companies tap into a wider pool of qualified candidates. This is even more important as the industry evolves with technology and requires a broader range of expertise.

Finally, diversity in leadership is proven to benefit businesses. Studies show companies with strong female representation in supply chain leadership tend to be more profitable. This is likely due to a combination of the factors mentioned above–a wider range of skills and fresh perspectives at the decision-making table.

In short, women are a driving force for growth and innovation in today’s logistics and supply chain landscapes. Their skills, diverse perspectives and increasing presence in leadership roles are essential for the industry’s continued success. Let’s meet just some of these industry changemakers.

Shelley Simpson

President and Incoming CEO 

J.B. Hunt

global trade supply chain

Simpson is currently the president of the Lowell, Arkansas-based trucking and intermodal provider, but on July 1 she will have chief executive officer added to her title. Current CEO John N. Roberts III is transitioning to become Hunt’s executive chairman of the board, which Simpson will join as a member. “Shelley challenges us to be excellent and innovative and always in pursuit of customer value,” Roberts says of his CEO successor, who has been with Hunt nearly 30 years. “She will continue to remain focused on disciplined investments to drive appropriate returns and long-term growth for the benefit of our people, customers and shareholders.”

Jennifer Coulter-Lissman

CEO and President

NTG Supply Chain Solutions

global trade supply chain

With nearly two decades experience working with international logistics and supply chain management, Coulter-Lissman has achieved incredible results in past roles, including growing a company from $15 million to $150 million, securing company-wide Customs Brokerage and International Air Transport Association licenses, and growing teams by 1,000 percent. As Indianapolis, Indiana-based NTG SCS’s CEO/president, she focuses on organizational growth, strategic planning and finding new and innovative ways to provide value to clients and the NTG community. Her team has grown to be comprised of about 50% women and an equal representation of minorities, and she is recognized for promoting employees from within the organization.

Elisabeth Cosmatos 

CEO

The Cosmatos Group

global trade supply chain

Having worked in the shipping, forwarding and logistics sectors for the past 25 years, Cosmatos was appointed managing director of Thessaloníki, Greece-based The Cosmatos Group of Companies in 2000 and leads business activities across a portfolio of well-known industry brands that include Hub Logistics, Fairplay Forwarding and Cosmatos Shipping Services. Last year, she also became president of The Heavy Lift Group, a consortium of western-European heavy-lift operators founded in 1987. Cosmatos confessed to Project Cargo Journal in September that it sometimes bothers her that women are treated differently, or their achievements are made to seem greater, explaining, “In my experience, gender doesn’t matter when it comes to working with others.”

Sharon Lee

CEO 

High Road Inc.

global trade supply chain

Lee’s illustrious career includes spearheading a boutique trucking and logistics company, actively participating in Nashville, Tennessee’s emerging artist scene and contributing to initiatives supporting touring professionals. Providing trucking services to touring acts, from big names to up-and-comers, High Road boasts of “revolutionizing logistics one concert at a time.” Lee participated in the Live Production Summit’s “Going the Distance Panel” in January, when logistical variances between European and U.S. tours were discussed, shedding light on critical aspects impacting tours on both continents. 

Cornelia Raportaru

CEO

Stuart 

global trade supply chain

Raportaru has more than 15 years of industry experience leading businesses across tech scale-ups, telecommunications and fast-moving consumer goods. She was previously Head of Partnerships at Twitter, Global Senior Product Manager at Vodaphone and Global Audit Manager at Cadbury. Prior to Stuart, she grew Taskrabbit from a small logistics startup to an $81.5 million concern. Raportaru recently navigated the European delivery platform’s acquisition by private equity fund Mutares, leading Stuart to a path of profitability. She is passionate about building a fairer, more equitable delivery ecosystem for retailers, couriers and consumers and is a key champion for small businesses. 

Beth Morgan

Founder and CEO 

boom!

global trade supply chain

Morgan was Research Vice President for SCM World, a Gartner community for Chief Supply Chain Officers and their teams, when she decided to leave and launch boom! in September 2019. With a vision to empower women in supply chain for the benefit of all, boom! boasts members representing all supply chain and procurement functions, and they span multiple industries across 42 different countries, bringing a rich diversity of experience, thinking and ambition. “There simply aren’t enough women in supply chain, particularly at senior leadership levels,” says Uckfield, U.K.-based Morgan. “I created the boom! community to help empower women who want to reach their full professional potential in harmony with fulfilling personal lives.”

Kelly Raia

Chief Operating Officer

Blue Tiger International

global trade supply chain

Raia literally grew up in logistics, as her father owned a freight forwarding business and, as a teen, she worked in the warehouse loading and unloading freight. Now, as COO of the Long Island, New York-based global trade and supply chain consultancy, she has helped more than 500 companies manage import and export, written over 100 articles on trade compliance and co-authored Mastering Import and Export Management, widely considered the go-to reference on the topic. Raia is actively involved in numerous supply chain, logistics and compliance organizations as well as numerous trade organizations. And she co-founded a nonprofit that works with wounded combat veterans.

Terri Bennett Robbins

Chief Operating Officer

ProvisionAi

Robbins started as support for desktop personal computers at then-small Chicago third-party logistics company Nexus. By the time she left 23 years later, she had risen to Chief Information Officer, and Nexus had gone national. As COO, Robbins is now ProvisionAi’s second in command, responsible for overseeing all activities and running day-to-day operations at the Franklin, Tennessee, supply chain optimization company. She enjoys using logic and analysis to solve problems and collaborates closely with other members of the organization, from fellow execs to team members. Outside of work, she recently started a foundation that helps disadvantaged and special needs youth, foster children and other young people.

Lisa Vegso

Chief Commercial Officer

PECO Pallet

As both a leader and mentor at the Itasca, Illinois, pallet rental company for grocery retailers, wholesalers, club stores and mass merchandisers, Vegso plays a pivotal role in embodying a supportive and inclusive environment where all employees feel valued and empowered to excel. She is known for her open-door policy, which encourages communication and transparency across all levels of the organization, as well as her willingness to engage with employees from any department and address their questions or concerns. Vegso was recognized by the Supply Chain Management (SCM) Association as one of the top 100 most influential women in supply chain for 2019.

Christine Barnhart

Chief Marketing and Industry Officer

Nulogy

Christine Barnhart, VP Product Marketing and Go-To-Market, Nulogy (CNW Group/Nulogy Corporation)

Barnhart’s rich knowledge of supply chain management, combined with broad experience as a software industry executive, positions her uniquely to unify sales, product development and customer success within the marketing strategy of the Toronto, Canada-based platform. She was appointed to the SCM Board of Directors, for whom Barnhart leverages her extensive industry experience to offer valuable insights, guidance and recommendations. She’s also a notable advocate within the Supply Chain Insights Network of Networks group, pushing for job posting revisions to attract candidates from historically underrepresented groups, as well as a board member for various nonprofit organizations.

Christine Klemmer 

Chief Innovation Officer

Jettainer

Klemmer was appointed in August 2023 to the newly established department, which aims to enhance unit load device (ULD) management services through cutting-edge technology, strategic AI applications and tracking solutions. “Christine Klemmer’s experience at home and abroad and her wide-ranging expertise in ULD management, air freight, and IT, makes her the ideal fit,” Jettainer CEO Thomas Sonntag said at the time. Klemmer also held onto some previous duties at the Raunheim, Germany-based freight and cargo transporter, remaining responsible for strategic development and managing the wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa Cargo’s project portfolio and corporate communications. 

Sarah Ruffcorn

President

Trinity Logistics

Ruffcorn, who has presided over Trinity Logistics since 2019, was instrumental in the transition of the Seaford, Delaware-based 3PL/freight brokerage/cold storage provider to a Burris Logistics Co. beginning in April of that same year. She was recently recognized by the Transportation Intermediaries Association and Truckstop as the 2024 Distinguished Woman in Logistics. “Sarah’s significant career accomplishments and passion for mentoring others embody the key characteristics of this honor,” remarked Jennifer Hedrick, president and CEO of Women in Trucking, when the winner of the 10th annual award was announced.

Sarah Massie

President

S Massie Consulting LLC 

Best known in the Pacific Northwest, Massie runs her company from France. She specializes in export consulting, creating written processes and protocols for export and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance programs, and training companies to navigate the complicated laws and regulations for U.S. exports. With more than 20 years of experience in international business, she has organized promotions at international trade shows as well as U.S. state governor-led trade missions across five continents. The author of an upcoming memoir uses her personal story to empower women to stay true to themselves as they overcome their fears and pursue their dreams with confidence.

Jill Gross

Vice President of Strategic Accounts 

Sunset Transportation 

Gross’ leadership at the St. Louis, Missouri-based 3PL transcends mere business expansion, emphasizing the cultivation of an environment where mentorship and teamwork thrive. Her project management prowess is particularly visible in diverse areas such as customer onboarding, IT, process enhancement and sales. Moreover, she champions sustainability in both operations and personnel, paving the way for a culture of mutual respect and professional growth that resonates strongly with Sunset’s commitment to inclusivity. Her guidance propelled the company to achieve an impressive Sustainability Rating of 81 in 2023, which has proven to be a boon for business and the environment.

Chelsea Lamar

Vice President, Global Sustainability

AIT Worldwide Logistics  

Hired to the newly created role this past September, Lamar leads the Itasca, Illinois-based 3PL’s sustainability initiatives, furthering AIT’s commitment to environmental responsibility and ethical corporate citizenship, including its goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2035. She brought with her more than a dozen years of experience in sustainability strategy development and execution. In her previous roles, she implemented electric vehicle and renewable fuel pilot programs, introduced energy efficiency initiatives to Illinois public schools, and launched sustainability programs across more than 200 facilities, saving $3 million in annual energy costs.

Julie Colona

Director of Operations & Global Solutions

Mesa Logistics Group 

Colona brought extensive experience in supply chain management, project leadership and trade compliance when she joined the Chesterfield, Missouri-based 3PL specializing in furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) in June 2023. Her previous expertise involved designing scalable supply infrastructures and driving process improvements. “Her operational expertise, commitment to excellence and passion for customer satisfaction align perfectly with our values,” said Casey Ellis, president of Mesa Logistics Group. “With Julie leading our Operations & Global Solutions division, we are confident in our ability to deliver industry-leading FF&E supply chain solutions.”

Lisa Flohr

Director of Operations 

Nexterus

Flohr celebrated her 25th year with the New Freedom, Pennsylvania-based 3PL and supply chain management solutions provider by being named Director of Operations. She started at Nexterus as the Truckload Manager but now manages all day-to-day tactical activity for the company, overseeing global 3PL, including domestic freight, international freight, claims and freight bill audit and pay. “Lisa is the definition of a Nexterian,” says Ryan Polakoff, president of Nexterus. “She is a true leader respected and admired by other team members, clients and partners. She’s a true asset to our team.”

Olga Dubinok 

Director of Business Development, USA

MYCRANE

Headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the world’s first global platform for online crane rental hired Dubinok for the newly created role in February. “Her established contacts in the industry and can-do attitude will be a great asset to the company as we expand our presence in the USA and advance the digitalization of the crane rental process,” explained Andrei Geikalo, MYCRANE founder and CEO, at the time of Dubinok appointment. Working out of Phoenix, Arizona, she is responsible for engaging with customers and crane rental companies and raising awareness of the MYCRANE brand. She’s a familiar face in the industry, serving on a Specialized Carriers & Rigging Foundation committee.

Destinee Broussard

Senior Customs Compliance and Logistics Analyst 

Acushnet Co.

Broussard has spearheaded several major initiatives for the Fairhaven, Massachusetts-based operator of such golf brands as Titleist, Pinnacle and FootJoy. She recovered more than $314,000 in duty savings by reviewing entries for exclusion eligibility and optimizing Free Trade Agreement utilization. Broussard developed robust procedures that reduced the broker error rate by 60% through comprehensive audits, SOP updates and direct collaboration with brokers. And she enhanced Acushnet’s customer putter return process, streamlining it for customs compliance and user-friendliness through collaborative efforts with cross-functional teams. Broussard serves on the company Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Council and has worked with several nonprofit charities.

Azalia Shamsaei

Product Manager, Platform

Kinaxis

Shamsaei was drawn to the Ottawa-based supply chain management and sales and operation planning software company three years ago because it is recognized as one of Canada’s top employers. Its focus on addressing global supply chain challenges, particularly in the post-pandemic era, also aligned with her passion for making a meaningful impact. She is currently focused on streamlining the experience for developers who leverage the Kinaxis RapidResponse supply chain management solution. Her company was recently named a Leader in the 2024 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning Solutions.



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