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Women In Trucking Association Announces its October 2017 Member of the Month

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Women In TruckingAssociation Announces its October 2017 Member of the Month

Plover, WI (October 2, 2017)– Women In Trucking Association (WIT) announces Johnelle DeBusk Hunt as itsOctober Member of the Month. Johnelle loved driving her friends around theneighborhood in one of her dad’s big trucks used for hauling poultry feed. Shehad no idea that those drives around town would prepare her for a lifetimeworking in transportation and helping build a Fortune 500 company with herhusband, J.B. Hunt.

Johnelle was born in HeberSprings, Arkansas. She met Johnnie Bryan Hunt when she was a junior in highschool, and four years later they were married. She attended the University ofCentral Arkansas in Conway. Johnelle and J.B. Hunt were married for 55 yearsand were blessed with two children and seven grandchildren.

“For the first 12 years wewere married,” says Johnelle, “he drove a truck, I took care of the ‘business’from the house. While he was on the road, I took care of the money, paid thebills, and raised the children. It was my job and I never complained, becausehe was providing for us and I could handle the rest.”

In 1961, the J.B. HuntCompany, a rice hull packaging company, opened its doors in Stuttgart,Arkansas.

Eventually, Johnelle wasneeded outside of the home and went to work part-time to help her husband growthe business. As the company expected, she found herself working more and more– helping with correspondence, financial statements, and bookkeeping. Beforelong, she was working full time. In 1969, the couple expanded the company’sservice offerings to include five trucks and seven refrigerated trailers,marking the start of J.B. Hunt Transport. Its success is a tribute to theHunt’s entrepreneurial spirit and hard work.

“I always do the best I can,”says Johnelle. “I make decisions, and when something doesn't turn out like Iwanted it to, I let it go. The struggles are what make us appreciate when thegood times come.”

Today, J.B. Hunt is one ofthe largest transportation and logistics providers in North America,encompassing intermodal, dedicated, truckload, LTL, final mile, refrigerated,flatbed, and expedited services.

As the company grew, Johnelleheld a number of positions. “I did all the collecting from the beginning,” saysJohnelle. “Even after we got larger and I hired some other people, I kept thetough clients. The key was being persistent. I would call them morning, noon,and night.”

Even after her retirementfrom the Board of Directors in 2008, Johnelle remained an active and importantpartner who continues to contribute to the company’s development and success.

“Transportation is a greatfield for women,” says Johnelle. “Women can get things done. We see situationsdifferently, and I'm thrilled to know that we have women driving trucks.”

Since her husband’s passingin December of 2006, Johnelle has returned full time to the workplace asChairman of Hunt Ventures. Her company is primarily responsible for theconception and development of the more than 700-acre project in Rogers,Arkansas, known as Pinnacle Hills.

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Women InTrucking Association, Inc. isa nonprofit association established to encourage the employment ofwomen in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments andminimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its membersare men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is supported byits members and the generosity of Gold LevelPartners: Arrow Truck Sales, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems,Daimler Trucks North America, BMO Transportation Finance,Expediter Services, Great Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, RyderSystem, Inc., U.S. Xpress, and Walmart. Follow WIT on TwitterFacebook,or LinkedIn. For moreinformation, visit www.womenintrucking.org orcall 888-464-9482.

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