Women in Business: Judy McReynolds

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,004 views 

Class of 2018 Women in Business Judy McReynolds Chairman, President & CEO ArcBest Corp., Fort Smith

Residence: Fort Smith

Education: B.B.A, accounting, University of Oklahoma

Professional background: McReynolds leads a nearly $3 billion transportation company and has 27 years of experience in the logistics and transportation industry, including 21 years at ArcBest, the parent company of less-than-truckload carrier ABF Freight and a logistics business segment. A certified public accountant, she started at the company in 1997 as director of corporate accounting before becoming vice president — controller and the senior vice president — chief financial officer and treasurer. Since she was named president and CEO of the company in 2010, revenue has risen more than 90% to $2.83 billion in 2017, and profits have risen to $59.73 million, from a $127.52 million net loss in 2009. She’s served on the company’s board of directors since 2010 and has been chairman since April 2016. Before joining ArcBest, she was director of financial reporting and taxation for Tontitown-based carrier P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc. and a senior manager of accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP. She serves on boards for OGE Energy Corp., First Bank Corp., First National Bank of Fort Smith and the Transportation Industry Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. She’s on the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board for the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, is chair of the University of Arkansas Fort Smith Foundation Board and board chair of the American Transportation Research Institute, as well as a member of the American Trucking Associations Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

What’s one key leadership lesson that’s stuck with you during your career? The speed of trust. Surrounding yourself with a leadership team that can be trusted accelerates the time to success for any initiative or strategy being deployed in an organization.

What achievement are you most proud of so far in your career? I am most proud of building a team that has returned ArcBest to profitability through better serving customers. Our company suffered losses during the Great Recession, and we are growing revenues and improving our profitability.

What’s the most important aspect of achieving a balance between your career and your family? To realize that it is an active and purposeful goal to have balance in your life. My husband and I made it a priority to enjoy meals with each other and our children when they were younger. It is also important to be respectful of the needs of each family member. Planning ahead to ensure that your family has time together is essential.

What’s your biggest passion? Enabling our 13,000 employees to do the best job they can to serve our customers. The reason why this is my passion is that we have a lot to offer our customers, and I know we will help them win if we are all doing our very best.

What goals do you have in the next three to five years of your career? I would like to see our company take full advantage of the market opportunities we have positioned ourselves for in the transportation and logistics marketplace. Our leadership team and our employees have worked hard to be in this position.

What qualities do you feel are most important in a company leader? Listening, openness and courage.

Last good book you read? Stephen Covey’s “The Speed of Trust.”

What’s the first thing you do at the office each morning? First of all, I get to the office early. I use that time to review my calendar for the day and make sure I’m prepared. I also review and respond to emails. I enjoy feeling like I’m ahead before the day officially begins.

I wish I knew I how to … what? Relax.

What is something unique people would be surprised to know about you? I was a fourth grade Sunday school teacher for many years.

What’s your favorite smartphone apP? The ESPN app. I’m a huge sports fan, and I like to know the latest scores and standings.

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