Time was when the supply chain profession had very few female practitioners. But today, that's all changed. Women have ascended to key leadership roles in logistics and related fields and are using their influence to change lives. For an example of that, look no further than Andra Rush.
Rush, who was recently honored with the Women In Trucking Association's (WIT) 2017 Distinguished Woman in Logistics award, is chair and CEO of Wayne, Mich.-based Rush Trucking Corp.—a company she founded in 1984 with one van and two pickup trucks. Today, Rush Trucking transports goods for Fortune 100 companies across the U.S. and Canada with 1,100 trucks and 700 drivers. In addition, she is president and CEO of Dakkota Integrated Systems; and chair, president, and CEO of Detroit Manufacturing Systems (DMS), two affiliated companies that supply components and assemblies to the auto industry. As founder, chair, president, and CEO of Rush Group, which operates Rush Trucking, Dakkota, and DMS, she leads the largest woman-owned business in Michigan, and one of the largest Native American-owned businesses in the U.S. Her mission from the very beginning has been to create sustainable job opportunities in underserved communities.
President Barack Obama acknowledged Rush during his 2014 State of the Union address for creating manufacturing jobs in Detroit with the June 2012 opening of Detroit Manufacturing Systems—the first such plant opening in the city in decades.
Rush served two terms from 2013 to 2016 as a member of the U.S. Manufacturing Council, which regularly advises the U.S. Commerce Secretary on matters related to government policies and programs, and their impact on the U.S. manufacturing sector.
In a measure of the growing role of women in the industry, other finalists for the award included respected leaders Lacy Starling, president of Legion Logistics LLC, and Karen Duff, president and CEO of International Express Trucking Inc. (IXT). The prize was established three years ago to promote the achievements of women employed in the North American transportation industry, highlighting their work in the field of commercial transportation and logistics, which encompasses both logistics service providers and motor carriers, according to WIT and award sponsor Truckstop.com. The winner of this year's award was announced at the Transportation Intermediaries Association conference in Las Vegas last month.