All throughout March, we’re highlighting female leaders in transportation in celebration of Women’s History Month. This newest blog in this series is dedicated to Millisa Nwokolo. Nwokolo has been working in freight brokerage since the 1990s and today works as a freight broker for FineMark Inc., her family’s Indiana-based freight brokerage and transportation company that specializes in heavy haul freight. Via her consultancy business, LaCrown Logistics, Nwokolo also offers broker training, mentorship and coaching to people interested in building successful transportation businesses.
Meet Millisa Nwokolo: business owner, mentor and coach!
Getting Started in Transportation
“I started in the 1990s and I didn’t get to have all of those mentors and beautiful LinkedIn connections that people have today,” Nwokolo shared. “For me in the 90s, training was roll up your sleeves and let’s go. I actually started in accounts receivable and accounts payable working for Evans, a trucking company/logistics company, to help with their international receivables. Jim and Tim at Evan taught me the ropes and I moved up to international ops manager and then I went into sales. I didn’t even know I was a freight broker back then. It wasn’t until late 2004 that I realized that I was a freight broker. I just thought of myself as working in international sales.”
With nearly 30 years of transportation experience under her belt, Nwokolo today says she can talk trucking and logistics without even thinking. In her time in the industry, she has been able to make a good living and has been a member of several industry leadership teams.
How Transportation Has Changed for Women
“When I came in, women weren’t really in most roles,” Nwokolo said. “Even when I served on the leadership board at Sunteck back in 2000, I was one of 10 people on the board and I was the only female for the first couple of years. When I first started out in this industry, I learned on the job and I was kind of a loner. Now women are no longer just in accounts receivable, payables administration or dispatch. Over the last few years, we’ve begun to see a real influx of female C.E.O.s and business owners. I think there is a lot of room for women in logistics because the industry is so vast. Today, there are so many women doing so many amazing things, but back in my day there really were none.”
With her consultancy business LaCrown Logistics, Nwokolo has trained more than 900 women in freight brokerage in the last two years alone. She currently mentors a group of 70 women virtually through an online community on her website. Three times each week at 6 a.m., the group gathers to discuss sales and trends.
“I lost over $1 million as an agent because I was a novice, didn’t understand the market and had no one to mentor me,” Nwokolo said. “So I have a mission to help as many people as I can — men and women — but in particular minority women because I just have a love for Africa. I pray that women will be able to grow in this industry without competing with one another and just stay in their own lane doing their thing.”
To learn more about Millisa Nwokolo, visit https://www.lacrownlogistics.com.
Don’t miss the previous blog in this series, “Female Leaders in Transportation: Elizabeth Gaines, Owner and Founder of E-Lane Freight Services.”