2015 Choosing Transportation Summit a Real Success!

 The Southeast Transportation Workforce Center hosted a regional conference titled "Choosing Transportation: Attracting Women to the Profession" on Thursday, March 19, preceded by the second annual Blue Pump Gala hosted by the Memphis-area Society of Female Transportation Professionals (SFTP) on Wednesday, March 18.

Hosted in conjunction with the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute, the regional conference, titled "Choosing Transportation: Attracting Women to the Profession," focused on improving efforts to attract, retain and advance a diverse transportation workforce. The conference included panel discussions and breakout sessions relevant for transportation professionals and high school students interested in the profession. The Honorable Susan L. Kurland, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs with the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Elise L. Jordan, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with FedEx Express, delivered keynote addresses during the conference, as well as participated in the conference's executive panel session with other leading ladies in the transportation industry.

"Memphis is a worldwide leader in transportation and logistics, and our city is teeming with women who would greatly enhance the field," said Dr. Stephanie Ivey, associate professor and faculty advisor for the student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers at the University of Memphis. "Susan and Elise are incredible examples of women who have found success in the industry and continue to work toward educating other women about opportunities in transportation."

Additional featured speakers included members of an executive panel session:

  • Shannon A. Brown, Senior Vice President and Chief HR & Diversity Officer for FedEx Express
  • Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President Planning and Chief Information Officer, Norfolk Southern Corporation
  • Adrianna Clark, Southeast Region Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, United States Department of Transportation
  • Ellen Voie, President & CEO, Women in Trucking Association

Taking place the night before the conference, the Blue Pump Gala raised scholarship funds in support of female students pursuing majors in transportation and logistics. The event was held at The University of Memphis Holiday Inn and Kurland served as the gala's keynote speaker. Those in attendance were encouraged to wear blue shoes of any kind as a symbol of the growing female presence in the transportation and logistics industry.

"We are thrilled that The Honorable Susan Kurland took time out of her demanding schedule to join us for the Blue Pump Gala this year," said Cheryl Citrone, director of Vaco Logistics and board chair of SFTP. "Women are making great strides in the field of logistics and transportation, and we're looking forward to supporting those who will be the future of the industry through this great event."

A highlight of the gala included the presentation of two awards, a surprise to each recipient:

  • Frances Gutt, Vice President Import Operations for V. Alexander & Co., Inc. was named Outstanding Female Transportation Professional by the SFTP.
  • Corinna Carter was named Outstanding Female Undergraduate by the SFTP and also received a scholarship from Women in Trucking.

A special thanks to our Summit Sponsors, CN Railroad and Vaco Logistics!  Also, thanks to our Gala table sponsors: Cornerstone Systems, FedEx, Peer Power, FedEx Services, V. Alexander, and IMC Companies.

View photos of the Blue Pump Gala >

View the Summit coverage in the Memphis Minute! >




Click here to learn more about the 2014 Blue Pump Gala and Assistant Secretary Kurland's visit to Memphis.