For Immediate Release
Brynn Everett, Women In Trucking Association
952-442-8850 ext.220, brynn@WomenInTrucking.org
Women In Trucking
Announces its August 2020 Member of the Month
Plover, WI – Aug 3,
2020 – The Women In
Trucking Association (WIT) has announced Rochelle Montes as its August
Member of the Month. She is the Chief Import Operations Officer for
Terminal Transfer, a proud military wife and mother of two beautiful boys.
Montes grew up in
southeastern Alaska on a commercial fishing boat. She remembers anxiously
seeing the barge as her curiosity of logistics sparked in wonder. Awaiting
supplies seemed so mysterious as the only access they had to the outside
world was by boat or plane. Her hometown of Yakutat, AK is not a frequented
location by much more than fisherman and locals. You grow up to do one of a
few things if you are lucky enough; work for the cannery, the K-12 school,
logging, the local native corporation and a few other limited opportunities.
The chance at any of these opportunities seemed slim and her mother wanted
more for her at a young age.
After relocating to Oregon, a whole new world was before her. Montes is
Native and looking different was an obstacle, but she found comfort in being
a tomboy. She feels that was an advantage while pursuing her career in a
“man’s industry.” At the age of 17, while still attending high school, she
began her first logistical job in distribution. She learned the basics
about inventory, discrepancies, shipping, receiving, dock doors, and
trucks. In 2000, she started as an entry-level employee at Terminal
Transfer, the company she ultimately would circle back to years later and
find her lifetime career. Pushing paper, answering phones, checking in
drivers were part of her daily tasks and soon became more. Moving into the
international side of transportation working hand in hand with Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) for inspections and compliance on ocean import
cargo was her new found passion.
Montes was recruited by Nike World
Headquarters at the age of 21 and it was there she gained a lifetime of
experience and appreciation for logistics. Working nationwide with
distribution centers, routing guides, transportation providers and
retailers was an incredible insight on the true behind the scenes consumer
products timeline. “Not only was it a privilege to be a part of the Nike
culture and surrounded by top athletes of the world, but Nike also helped
me to embrace my heritage and feminism in a way I never had before.
Something I had often felt ashamed of had now become some of my strongest
attributes,” she said.
In 2006, Montes had her first child, who was
born with several medical complications requiring multiple operations. This
forced her to leave her dream job to be home with him during this trying
time. She tried to find her identity and a way to repurpose her career path
to one that would be more in line with her new lifestyle as a mother of a
child with special needs, so she became a massage therapist. Upon
completion, she struggled to connect with this new industry.
She helped her father get his trucking company
established and before she knew it, she was running a full trucking
operation out of her home in Spokane, WA. Dispatching four over-the-road
trucks, processing oversize permits, accounting, payroll, mileage, taxes
and the works. She couldn’t get enough and here she was back in trucking.
Once she got his operation rolling, he was ready to take over the reins.
Shortly after in 2011, she was contacted by
Terminal Transfer to see if she could come back and assist because one of
the owners was ill with breast cancer. She relocated her family back to
Portland to get re-established. “Given this huge new array of knowledge
from the many new perspectives I had the blessing to obtain, I brought a
significant piece of the puzzle with me and quickly moved up the ladder,”
celebrating nine years back with the company and has been an Officer since
2017. “I am blessed to have found a company who embraces and celebrates
women in the industry,” she said. She has had the privilege of taking part
in regular speaking engagements at the Columbia
River Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association (CRCBFA), Agriculture
Transportation Coalition (AgTC) and Western Cargo Conference (WESCCON)
“I have been blessed to help inspire other
women, women of minority and women without college education that you can
make something of yourself in the trucking industry. You can be a success
if you have the right drive, mindset and willingness to do what it takes to
do what others won’t. Be willing to get out on a forklift, lump boxes, ride
with drivers, get all the certifications you can. Soak up every piece, even
if you don’t think it would be of value, do it anyway. Get dirty, because
that willingness to be a team player and show your integrity may just stand
out amongst people who aren’t willing,” she said.
Women bring such an added value and
perspective to this industry. Organization, precision, nurturing, undying
strength are some of a few attributes Montes and many other women bring to
the table. Our obstacles we are given in life can do one of two things for
us; it can define us, make
us bitter, make us angry for the inequality we may have experienced. Or, it
can fuel us to grow, learn, become all we want to be and use these lessons
to benefit ourselves and others around us.
“It is our duty as women to help bring up the
next generation of women leaders, coach them, prepare them and most of all
change the stigma that this is a man’s industry,” she said.
In Trucking Association, Inc.
Women In Trucking, Inc. is a nonprofit
association established to encourage the employment of women in the
trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles
faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited
to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission.
Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generosity of Gold
Level Partners: Amazon, Arrow Truck Sales, BMO Transportation Finance,
Daimler Trucks North America, Expediter Services, FedEx Freight, Great
Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Michelin North America, Penske Transportation
Solutions, PACCAR, Ryder System, Walmart, and Waste Management. Follow WIT
on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. For more information, visit www.womenintrucking.org or call 888-464-9482.