Celebrating the Women at Star

March is Women’s History Month and it’s a great time to honor and learn more about the women that have impacted the transportation industry throughout history. This year, in observance of both Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we decided to spotlight some of the key women that help make our company great. Keep reading to learn more about who they are, their roles at Star, why they love being women in trucking, and their thoughts about the transportation industry.

RACHEL COLLADO | Senior Account Manager

Senior Account Manager Rachel Collado is part of the Atlanta North team and has been with Star for over three years. Rachel wasn’t always in transportation, for a few years after graduating college, she worked as a crime scene technician. After that, she spent the following 15 years of her career at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. While both career paths are different from her work at Star, she mentions that her entire career experience has been both fun and challenging in numerous ways. 

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
During the three years that I’ve been at Star, I’ve seen a drastic change in how people think about their equipment and assets, specifically their trailers. Initially, trailers were an afterthought and not as important as the tractors. Now, as trailers and equipment telematics are becoming more sophisticated, companies are beginning to realize the importance of superior trailer specs and how valuable trailer data can be.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in five years?
In the next five years, I am hopeful that the transportation industry will start to adopt more Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. I would love to see autonomous vehicles being used as well. In the future, the transportation industry will be in a great place assuming businesses adapt to more sophisticated technology. E-commerce has expanded in the past year due to the pandemic and I believe that it will continue to grow in the future.

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
My favorite thing about being in the transportation industry is that it’s always changing and fast-paced. No two days are alike and I love learning about new advancements and technology that is being used. 

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
This industry, just like all industries, can benefit greatly from having a diverse workforce. Everyone can bring different strengths to the table, men and women alike. Women can provide just as much value to the transportation industry as anybody else can. 

HEATHER WULLENWEBER | Account Manager

Heather Wullenweber is one of our Account Managers at Star and she is part of the Dayton branch team. Prior to joining Star, Heather worked in the landscaping/horticulture industry. While transportation is very different from landscaping, she shared that there are many similarities between the two industries. Keeping plants alive, maintaining semi-trailer equipment, and product knowledge all have an environmental impact on the world. 

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
The most notable change has been in the equipment age requirements, new food sector enhancements, and technological advancements. These are more than just trailers now; there is tracking, onboard technology, and extreme fluctuation in equipment needs and driver shortages.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
I see the industry eliminating long hauls as much as possible. Expanding terminals into more regional hauling is a potential solution which, in turn, will attract more drivers. 

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
My favorite thing has to be the ability to work with a wide array of people and businesses to help them succeed. I love having something new and different every day.

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
I believe that more women should be in the transportation industry to diversify a predominantly male industry. Women in trucking and other industries bring a different perspective and value to the workforce.







MARLEY RUTKOSKI | Sales Enablement Leader

Marley Rutkoski joined the Star team in 2020 and she is our Sales Enablement Leader. She is responsible for creating and executing strategies around sales training, communication and tools. Her resume includes roles in the Retail Energy Industry, where she supported the U.S. and Canadian sales team. According to Marley, transportation, much like energy, is essential to the economy and impacts all communities. She does note that there are some similarities between both industries from a sales perspective. She’s seen familiar sales challenges for multiple services and products. 

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
I joined the team in September 2020—during the strangest year ever! I haven’t seen much change so far but it’s inspiring to see how technology shapes the industry’s future. I’m excited about what is to come.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
I think the industry will be turbo-charged by giving customers insights into their business that they didn’t have access to in the past. Especially during this pandemic, everyone has increased their use of technology, and our customers have evolved very quickly. Even customers that were initially uninterested recognize now that technology allows them to adapt and maintain their business. This will lead to more customers engaging with us online, using telematics to manage their fleets, and looking for vendors who can meet those needs. Star, in this case, is very well positioned to meet our customers where they are.

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
My favorite part of being in transportation is that I can clearly connect what we do to the impact on the lives of our customers and our customers’ customers! Transportation is a crucial aspect of keeping businesses open, food in grocery stores, and life moving along as normal as possible. It’s gratifying to play a small part in a company with that kind of impact.

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
This industry has the same fundamental challenges as any other. There are roles in operations, finance, technology, and maintenance. Whether you want to be a mechanic, an executive—or both—the sky’s the limit! The industry is stable and evolving quickly which means there are a lot of opportunities for anyone trying to build their career. Transportation wasn’t on my radar when I considered my next step but I was hooked once I was aware of the career growth opportunity—I’m thrilled to work for Star!







STEFANIE JANICE | Marketing Leader

Stefanie Janice joined Star in 2019 as our Marketing Leader. Prior to joining the Star team, she worked at multiple digital marketing agencies. This allowed her to be immersed in several different industries such as technology, real estate, education, sports, and more. Star is the first company Stefanie has worked for in the transportation industry and, according to her, one of the most exciting industries she’s ever been involved with. 

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
Technology. If you compare the industry ten years ago to now, you’ll see a significant improvement from a technology standpoint. From cloud-based systems to telematics, technology has revolutionized the transportation industry.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
While this industry is usually seven to eight years behind compared to other leading industries, technology will continue to be crucial and evolve. More and more companies will invest and rely heavily on artificial intelligence, equipment technology, integrated data systems, all-encompassing dashboards, and so-on.

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
Being a part of an industry that is essential to our economy’s health is pretty rewarding. All companies and employees in this industry play a key role in keeping America rolling. Trucking moves 70% of all freight in the country and just about every sector of the U.S. economy depends on transportation. Without trucking, everyone would be affected.

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
One of the first reasons that come to mind is the shortage of truck drivers. This is one of the top challenges in our industry. Female truck drivers only make up about 10% of the total driving population. If the gender ratio were to improve, truck driver availability would increase nationwide. With that said, women make up about 47% of the entire transportation industry workforce. That tells me the industry has overall become increasingly appealing to women everywhere. Overall, I would highly recommend the transportation industry to anyone who enjoys learning new things, thrives with being constructively challenged, and wants to be a vital puzzle piece to our economy. 







CASSI WALKER | SBS Shift Lead

SBS Shift Lead Cassi Walker has been at Star for about two years. She began her journey at Star Breakdown Service (SBS) as an Incident Coordinator and has worked her way up to her current role. As Shift Lead, she provides support to all SBS Incident Coordinators, assists in major breakdown cases, and helps to implement new processes. Prior to Star, Cassi worked at other transportation companies so she’s extremely knowledgeable when it comes to trucking and logistics. With that said, her career didn’t start in the transportation industry, Cassi worked in retail for some time and assisted customers with any issues related to their brand experience. 

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
There has definitely been an increase in the use of data and technology industry-wide. At Star, technology is really important to us because it improves the customer experience with our company. Since I’ve joined Star, we’ve focused on different technological initiatives such as digital dashboards, telematics, apps, and more.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
I believe that in the near future we will all be relying a lot more on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to find any inefficiencies or gaps within our systems, protocols, and even customer experience. I also think that self-driving trucks and automatic over-the-road breakdown notifications will become more and more prominent. 

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
My favorite thing is that the industry can change based on the customer’s needs and for that reason, it will continue to thrive. Transportation is necessary and will always be which, to me, is one of the best things about the industry—especially when it comes to job security.

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
The nature of the transportation industry can appear to be intimidating to a lot of women. However, I believe that women can, at many times, see solutions and ideas from a different perspective. The more women join the industry, the less intimidating it becomes.







ABBY COSART | Marketing Coordinator

Abby Cosart recently joined the Star team as our Marketing Coordinator. Prior to joining Star, she worked in several different industries including law, entrepreneurship venture coaching, petroleum, and healthcare. While the transportation industry is relatively new to her, she notes it’s quite similar to healthcare in a sense that the workforce is composed of industry veterans. People in transportation, the majority of the time, have worked most of their lives in the industry and they’ve seen it all.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
I believe we’re going to see more of an emphasis on technology. Telematics has begun making its presence known, which will revolutionize communication between vendors and customers. 

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
My favorite thing about being in this industry is stability. We’re always going to need transportation. In marketing especially, it provides us with the flexibility to become industry leaders without fear.

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
When we have more diversity in the workforce, we have a higher ability to be front runners in the industry. We need new ideas, new faces and new experiences to take our company from good to great and we can drive that by closing the industry’s gap of being male-dominated.







TERESA ARRUE | SBS Customer Service Representative

SBS Customer Service Representative Teresa Arrue has been at Star for a little under two years. Before stepping into her role as Customer Service Representative (CSR), Teresa spent a little over a month training as an Incident Coordinator in order to learn the inner workings of SBS and Star’s Branches. In her CSR role, Teresa serves as a liaison between the branches, SBS, and our customers—assisting with customer questions, resolving billing/invoice disputes, and more. Prior to joining the Star, Teresa worked in both the restaurant and health & fitness industries. While these industries are vastly different from transportation, she noted some similarities such as her current role requiring a lot of customer relationship management skills.

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
I’ve been at Star for a little over a year and a half but the changes that stand out the most are the technological advancements and green initiatives.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
I think industry tech will continue to evolve, allowing us to perform our jobs more efficiently and better help our customers. I expect to see the workforce more technologically advanced in the next few years. 

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
I’ve always loved helping others, so one of my favorite things about working at Star and in this industry is that I’m able to do just that. 

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
The successes, failures, and outcomes of the transportation industry affect every man and woman who consumes goods. I believe that more women should be in this industry so that transportation can continue to evolve. Having more women in the industry will help drive business innovation and growth.







ALYSSA CONTI | Digital Product Owner

Alyssa Conti joined the Star team earlier this year as our Digital Product Owner. Years prior to joining Star, she worked in the banking industry. According to Alyssa, there is one main difference between transportation and banking. The opportunity to cater to your clients and build meaningful relationships is significantly more prominent in the transportation industry. 

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
The transportation industry is undergoing a shift towards the implementation of technology. Companies are putting in the time and effort to ensure they have the best products for their customers. While I’ve only been in the industry for a couple of months, I can confidently say that there is a need for readily available information.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
I can see the industry heavily relying on more autonomous processes and technology tools that support customers—both on the road and at the fingertips of those involved. 

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
Since I am an industry rookie, I love that there is always something new to learn! There are a lot of moving pieces in the transportation industry.

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
Transportation is a large market with several opportunities to lead, innovate and make a difference!







SHIRLEY CRENSHAW | Parts Assistant

Industry veteran, Shirley Crenshaw, is the Parts Assistant in the maintenance department at our Atlanta North branch. In the past, she’s held other industry roles such as receiving clerk and parts coordinator.

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
I’ve seen a lot of change in the industry—especially when it comes to process changes. Specifically to my role, I’ve seen a lot of change in the protocol to ordering semi-trailer parts. I enjoy that these changes happen to make us more efficient and also better help our customers.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
The world changed a lot due to the pandemic. While the transportation industry continued to do well, I hope that things are back to normal in the next five years. I’m excited for the bigger and better things to come.

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
While not all roles are customer-facing, the industry is overall customer-centric. I love being able to ensure that our customers are happy at all times.

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
Transportation is for everyone! My motto is, “if they can do it, we can too.”







SHANNON MURRAY | Parts Assistant

Shannon Murray is the Parts Assistant in our Atlanta South branch. While she has always worked in the transportation industry, prior to joining Star she worked for 13 years at a company in the automotive vertical. Shannon shares that her previous and current role have a lot of similarities, but the main one is the importance of customer satisfaction. 

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
I’ve been at Star for a little over a year, which means that most of my time with the company was during the times of COVID-19. Of course, the pandemic impacted all industries in one way or another. However, I was glad to see that the demand for tractors, trailers and trucking, in general, resulted in a positive change for our industry.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
The transportation industry is vital to our economy. I see it constantly moving forward!

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
There are so many different roles at Star and industry-wide—there’s always room for professional growth!

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
Why shouldn’t they be?! Women in trucking and other industries add a different perspective in the workforce and they can help drive positive change in a previously male-dominated field.







HAILEY ELLIS | Sales Support Specialist

Hailey Ellis is one of our sales support specialists and she is based out of our Cleveland, Ohio branch. Prior to joining the Star team, Hailey worked retail. According to her, transportation and retail have a lot of similarities from customer experience and operations perspectives. 

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
I’ve been here for two years now and the biggest change I’ve seen is the increase in trailer demand.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
Due to the impact the pandemic had on smaller businesses, I can see them merging with other companies or being acquired. Besides that, I see a lot of improvement in technology which is exciting.

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
I love that the people in this industry are hard-working and authentic; I love that you can always be yourself.

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
Women are looking for the opportunity to develop and advance in a transportation career. No more, no less.







AMY DAVIS | Account Manager

Accounting Manager Amy Davis has been at Star for over six years and is part of our accounting team. She’s been in the transportation industry for a while now, but prior to Star, she spent some time in the Steel Processing industry. She shared that there are a lot of similarities when comparing both industries—especially the fact that they are very industrial.

Since you’ve been working at Star, how have you seen the industry change?
I believe that the pandemic has made a huge impact on our industry. The demand for trucking continued to increase throughout the pandemic and it pushed all industry businesses to work hard and think outside-the-box to keep our economy going.

Where do you see the transportation industry going in the next five years?
I think transportation of goods and services will continue to be a hot topic in the future. The pandemic has definitely changed the world, but goods will still need to be delivered across the country five years from now. I truly believe that there has never been a more critical time for us to be great at what we do.

What is your favorite thing about being in the transportation industry?
From an accounting perspective, I love the challenge of dealing with transactions that can happen anywhere in the country, not just at a physical office location. Sales taxes are actually one of the biggest challenges in this regard, and it’s the reason why I’m currently leading an initiative to reconstruct and correct the way we collect sales taxes nationally.

Why do you believe more women should be in the transportation industry?
All industries should be gender-balanced because men and women bring different strengths to the business environment, especially in leadership.