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Alum Goes Full Speed Ahead in Trucking Industry

In the five years that Caty Simandl has worked at Werner Enterprises, she’s achieved so much.

Her career at the transportation and logistics company started when she took a job as an operations management trainee in the area of transportation. In this role, Simandl worked with new drivers who had just received their CDL-A.

“It was a great learning opportunity for me, as I was new to the industry and they had many questions to keep me learning throughout my time in the position,” she said.

Because Simandl had previous supervisor experience from working as a reservation sales supervisor at Omni Hotels and Resorts Reservations Center in Omaha — where she managed 40 sales associates and oversaw the company’s Work From Home program long before the boom of remote work — she was quickly promoted to Werner’s operations manager of its One Way division. In this role, Simandl managed a team of about 10 transportation managers and helped guide them through the remote work process once the pandemic hit.

“My early experience in managing a remote team really came in handy in those years,” she said. “During this time, I also completed my Master of Science in Leadership with an executive coaching focus from Bellevue University in March 2021.”

The following July, Simandl joined Werner’s dedicated division as an operations supervisor.

“In this role, I have more ability to strategize and communicate with the customer directly to ensure they are receiving the best performance and collaboration from Werner Enterprises for their transportation needs,” she explained.

Simandl also serves as co-chair of the company’s Young Emerging Leaders associate resource group, through which she creates programming, networking and volunteer opportunities for up-and-coming leaders within the organization. In addition, she’s a steering committee member for the Women’s Leadership Alliance doing similar functions, but specific to supporting the women of Werner.


Caty Simandl, Bellevue University Alumna

The degree I completed has been helpful to me every day, I have been able to apply my knowledge with my team and ensure they are receiving resources and coaching that leads them to succeed in their roles. 

Caty Simandl, Bellevue University Alumna

Over her time at the company, Simandl has earned such recognitions as the 2022 Safety Award, the 2021 Acceleration Award Winner, and the Heavy Duty Trucking Emerging Leader of 2023. The list goes on.

One thing Simandl is especially proud of is her service as a WEPride steering committee member. This group is Werner’s LGBTQIA+ associate resource group.

“I had the honor of serving on the steering committee and ensuring that Werner was a safe place for them,” Simandl said. “I launched our Safe Faces program highlighting those within our company who are safe for our LGBTQIA+ associates to go to should they ever need support and the stories behind why it matters to them. This has also branched off to another associate resource group focusing on Safe Faces for domestic violence survivors.”

Simandl recently received the 2023 Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s Women in Supply Chain Award as well.

“There are so many amazing women in this industry who are changing the face of it for the better, and many with years, decades even, more experience than I,” she said. “To be included in that group has been such an honor that I don’t have words. It feels great to be recognized for all that I’ve put my mind to. I truly care about the industry and diversity. Being honored for the work I’ve been a part of within DEI is something I will cherish for years to come. There is so much more work ahead, but seeing all of the women who were included in this honor, I know that we have a beautiful road ahead.”

Throughout her journey thus far, Simandl has felt the impact of her Master of Science in Leadership daily. It’s a degree she chose to pursue because she enjoys building up and encouraging others, and she takes pride in knowing she’s helped her colleagues grow within their own personal strengths and careers.

“The degree I completed has been helpful to me every day,” Simandl said. “I have been able to apply my knowledge with my team and ensure they are receiving resources and coaching that leads them to succeed in their roles. I always encourage people to attend Bellevue University should they be considering it because I had only positive experiences with the professors and coursework.”

Simandl, who took six years to complete her bachelor’s degree because she was working full-time, hopes to encourage other non-traditional students like her to consider pursuing their college education. She’s thankful for institutions like Bellevue University, who make it easy to do so.

“I think a lot of kids and young adults are feeling pressure to get it all done and be out on their own by 21 or 22 years old, but I feel very successful for my age, and I definitely went non-traditional with a longer undergrad experience,” she shared. “It’s OK to experience the world and take your time finding what you love. After graduation is when you are settling into your adult life, so revel in the opportunity to take on new experiences and find the path that’s best for you.”

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