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The Log Book: Pilot announces $1B remodeling initiative

Women Automotive Network publishes industry diversity survey

Pilot announces a remodeling initiative. (Photo: Pilot Company)

The Log Book is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: Pilot announces details of its three-year remodeling plans; the Women Automotive Network releases diversity survey data; and Fayetteville State University honors successful supply chain interns.

Pilot announces $1 billion remodeling initiative 

Pilot Company, founder of Pilot J and Travel Centers, announced Wednesday that it will be spending $1 billion over the next three years for an initiative called New Horizons, a plan to modernize and remodel more than 400 locations and make upgrades to other locations across the country. 

“For 63 years, we’ve been proud to fuel millions of journeys and as we have done since our founding, we will continue to evolve the travel center experience to meet the changing needs of our guests and team members,” said CEO Shameek Konar. “We are listening to what our guests want most at our locations and how we can improve our offerings to make their travels easier and more enjoyable. New Horizons will incorporate this feedback as we overhaul our entire network to deliver on what our guests value today and prepare our stores for the future.”

Key enhancements under the New Horizons plan will include lighting inside and outside of stores; complete remodeling of restrooms, showers and laundry facilities; redesigned store layouts of food and beverage areas; improved seating in lounges; updated fuel and point-of-sale technology; and equipping locations with fuel alternatives.

Pilot also announced it would be donating more than $500,000 to local school districts within its new building and remodel locations to go toward providing students with equal access to educational technology.

“Our team members are an integral part of the guest experience, and we want to equip them with the tools to succeed while furthering our commitment to being a great place to work. With New Horizons, we are investing in the total Pilot experience — from our team members to our guests and to the communities we serve,” said Konar.

Women Automotive Network publishes industry diversity survey

The Women Automotive Network met Monday for its annual spring gathering to create goals and provide actionable insights to promote female leadership and diversity within the automotive industry.

The event consisted of 320 one-on-one meetings, a number of career and leadership workshops and speakers including Miranda K. Brown, nonexecutive director at Switch Mobility, and Fedra Ribeiro, chief operating officer of Mobilize.

During the meeting, 408 attendees from 35 different countries participated in a survey focused on improving diversity in the automotive industry.

When asked why so few female mechanical engineers were in the automotive industry, 53.4% of respondents said a lack of industry awareness and education were to blame.

Many of the respondents said they did have career mentors, but 40.3% said those mentors worked outside of the automotive industry. According to the survey, 20.3% of respondents believed their employer lacked career opportunities for women overall.

Positively, 36.4% of respondents liked their current jobs and felt like they could keep up with their workloads and current lifestyle indefinitely, illustrating that the industry is good for long-term career stability. 

The group plans to meet again for its summer summit in June. Although no date has been announced, the event will focus on technology trends and how diversity drives innovation in the automotive industry.

Fayetteville State University honors supply chain interns

North Carolina’s Fayetteville State University unveiled Tuesday a video Wall of Success at the Rudolph Jones Student Center showcasing successful student internships that have led to post-graduation employment including supply chain opportunities at companies like FedEx, Dell, Lowe’s and NASA.

FSU Chancellor Darrell T. Allison at the Wall of Success. (Photo: Fayetteville State University)

“The Wall of Success is representative of student success and possibility. We want to see every student showcased here,” said FSU Chancellor Darrell T. Allison. “The resources are in place. Employers are increasingly eager to work with our exceptional students. Moreover, our impact is stretching beyond campus, economically benefiting our community and the entire state. I’m looking forward to greater opportunities for our students.”

The 36-foot-by-7-foot LED video wall is made up of 176 modules to showcase all those who participated in paid internships leading to job opportunities in 2021 and to date in 2022.

FedEx announced this week that it will be providing the university with a $250,000 grant to provide additional resources for career preparation and leadership development. 

“FedEx is proud to support the leadership, professional development and student support program at Fayetteville State University to enhance career and workforce readiness for students,” said Tracee Walls, managing director of equity, inclusion and engagement at FedEx Ground. “We continue to build on long-standing relationships with historically Black colleges and universities, and this investment demonstrates our commitment to develop clear pathways for future leaders.”

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F3: Future of Freight Festival


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

Grace Sharkey

Grace Sharkey is a professional in the logistics and transportation industry with experience in journalism, digital content creation and decision-making roles in the third-party logistics space. Prior to joining FreightWaves, Grace led a startup brokerage to more than $80 million in revenue, holding roles of increasing responsibility, including director of sales, vice president of business development and chief strategy officer. She is currently a staff writer, podcast producer and SiriusXM radio host for FreightWaves, a leading provider of news, data and analytics for the logistics industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Michigan State University. You can contact her at [email protected].