Leading a business with a national footprint, finding the right people to fill tough jobs, dealing with unfamiliar challenges on a daily basis—all while standing up to bias: if that sounds overwhelming, you’re probably not a woman in charge of a trucking company.
Karen Smerchek, owner and president of Veriha Trucking, doesn’t balk at the workload. After taking the family business over from her father, she has helped the 250-person fleet grow and stay successful in an industry that’s not only notoriously difficult, but historically dominated by men. In a recent profile in Fleet Owner, Karen talks about she manages it all.
“I’ve been in the industry for 12 years now, and there are definitely some men who are more welcoming of female opinions than others,” she told the magazine. “Attending industry events made me realize that. Over time I’ve learned not to allow one person’s disapproval, whether it was a stray comment or email, to impact my confidence in doing the job and making a difference.”
Rather than emphasizing the difficulties, Karen focuses her attention on building a stellar, forward-thinking trucking operation:
“We have goals in place, and we are small enough that we can make quick decisions. We can shift quickly if an opportunity becomes available. It’s a fun industry. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be doing it. It’s ever-changing and never boring. There are always new hurdles to overcome.”
You can read the full article here.
Full disclosure: Veriha is one of our customers. We’re honored to help the company achieve its leader’s vision and remain nimble and innovative. Go, Karen and team!