Get to know the ruan team

Ruan has opportunities in every direction. Learn more about our culture, how some of our team members started their careers, and why they love to be a part of the Ruan team.

Lexi Smith - Senior Recruiting Specialist

 Photo of Lexi Smith

How long have you been with Ruan? 

This was my first “real” job after graduating from Iowa State University. Before starting at Ruan, I was working two part time jobs, looking for a place to call home. I started in March 2014. 

How many members are on your team at Ruan? What is your team responsible for? 

There are 13 members on the driver recruiting team. We are responsible for hiring drivers, technicians, and warehouse workers. We run driver reports and make sure they meet our minimum qualifications before forwarding their application to the local managers. We work with many different teams at Ruan to get drivers hired including local managers, marketing, compliance, safety, HR, the training center, and start-up teams. 

What projects are you working on that you're most excited about?  

There are always new projects to be excited about in recruiting. We set yearly goals as a team. For the year 2020, we want to have 80% of our operations at zero openings. As a team we grow and get stronger every year. Some of the things we succeed doing now, I never would have imagined back in 2014 when I started. My big picture goal would be to become the Driver Retention Team. We’d have openings close to or at zero, and we could focus on driver comforts. Recruiting costs could go to continuing to make Ruan a preferred employer and keeping our professional drivers happy. 

Tell us about your life outside of work.  

I never thought I was going to be in the transportation industry, but as soon as the opportunity arose it all made sense and I knew it was where I belonged. My father and grandfather are both truck drivers. I’ll always remember going to work with my father or helping him study for the National Truck Driving Championship when I was little. He had me record myself reading the study materials so he could listen to it on the way to work and then I’d quiz him when he got home. Working with drivers came so naturally to me because it was what I knew and how I grew up. This industry really grabs you and doesn’t let go.

Outside of work I like to spend time with my dogs. I love and adore my pets. I have a terrier mix named Emily and an Afghan Hound named Lorenzo.

Allison Meiners - Director of Safety Programs

 Photo of Allison Meiners

How long have you been with Ruan?

Around this time 11 years ago, I was a senior at Iowa State University looking for a job in the transportation industry. I interviewed with someone who would quickly become one of the most influential leaders I’ve had, Bob Hogstad. I landed my first job out of college as a manager trainee and haven’t looked back since! Fast forward from 2009 and I’ve been fortunate to work with amazing colleagues in all areas of the company, whether it be behind the wheel, behind the wrench, behind the desk, or in field operations. After moving to the safety department in 2014, I found a passion for safety, compliance, and regulations.  

Tell us about your team.

I lead a team comprised of six compliance specialists, a compliance manager, and a safety support specialist. Our team is responsible for training and maintaining compliance at a federal, state, and local level. Much of our time is spent performing internal audits, training team members across the company, and taking deeper dives into regulations. We manage a compliance hotline for our drivers to call in with questions. We enjoy being able to connect with our most important asset, our drivers, each day. Many of our days in 2019 were spent prepping for and implementing the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate across our 4,500+ driver fleet. We’re kicking off 2020 with continued education and training on ELDs and internal process auditing, as well as other industry initiatives such as the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and potential hours-of-service reform. 

Tell us about your life outside of work.

When I’m not with my work family, my husband and I are busy with our four kids. We enjoy watching and playing sports; our closets are filled with Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Iowa State University, and University of Iowa gear. I also enjoy bike riding and have participated in RAGBRAI (a bike ride across the state of Iowa) six times.

Christina McNeeley - Director of IT

 Photo of Christina McNeeley

How long have you been with Ruan?

I started as a contractor in May 2017 and joined Ruan as a full-time employee July 2018.

Tell us about your team.

I partner with Bob Struble to lead the IT Business Operations team. We focus on supporting warehouses, field operations, maintenance shops, and new business growth, along with business architecture and delivery responsibilities. Our team is made up of the network team, the JDA warehouse team, scrum masters and analysts, the PC admin team, the dedicated delivery team, and the enhanced business solutions team.

What project are you working on that you're most excited about?

We have the opportunity to be on the front line of supporting existing and new business start-ups with the growth we are experiencing at Ruan. It is extremely gratifying to know we are making a difference in this area. We are also doing network refinement on several fronts, which will promote better services across our field operations. 

Tell us about your life outside of work.

My husband and I enjoy riding motorcycles, and we keep busy maintaining a small parcel of land. We just bought a project house in Hannibal, MO, so I am finding myself very busy these days. My son, Riley, will be graduating from the University of Iowa in May, so I’m excited to see what new adventures come his way.  Riley and I will often plan our vacations around sporting events so we can support the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Cardinals, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Iowa Hawkeyes. We have more dogs than I should mention, but I love them all and they are a spoiled bunch. 

Carlisle Wheeler - Manager of Extended Operations

 Photo of Carlisle Wheeler

How long have you been with Ruan?

I’ve been with Ruan for five years. Three years in the field at T230 in Austin, TX, and two years in Des Moines, IA.

Tell us about your team.

Currently, 18 team members make up the Extended Operations Center. The Ruan Extended Operations Center provides seamless support and business continuity to Ruan’s operations team members and customers outside of traditional work hours and provides services that can be more efficiently and as effectively completed by a centralized team through:

  • Timely support and resolution of regular and critical operational events

  • Monitoring and updating of systems to maintain the flow of real-time data

  • Execution of time sensitive business processes

  • Tracking and reporting capabilities

  • Administrative and customer service responsibilities

Through the Ruan Extended Operations Center, we:

  • Reduce the workload on the on-site team to support after hours events involving their operation

  • Provide a readily available resource with access to real-time data to support our driving professionals and customers after traditional office hours

  • Reduce waste and cost and drive efficiencies through the organization

What project are you working on that you're most excited about?

In August, the Dedicated Contract Transportation and Managed Transportation after hours teams merged to create a single, stronger team to provide better support to our customers, drivers, carriers, and operations team members. Going forward, the improved Extended Operations Center will be a central hub for all support outside of traditional work hours. After only working on the Dedicated side of Ruan, I am excited to learn about the Managed Transportation business so that the EOC can present ourselves to our internal and external customers as “One Ruan.”

Tell us about your life outside of work.

I met my husband at the University of Maryland where we both played sports. We love watching college football, and we’re excited to be living in Big Ten territory so we can drive to see Maryland play. We have a son, Hudson, who turned one in July. He has been keeping us very busy, but we are enjoying every minute of it!