Each week the White House honors “ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things” through its “Champions of Change” initiative. This past week, the White House recognized leaders who have developed innovative programs in the area of transportation.

Ellen Voie, president & CEO and founder of the Women In Trucking Assn., was selected with 12 others for representing “organizations that have provided exemplary leadership in the growth and expansion of the transportation industry at the local, state or regional level.”

Voie was invited to the White House and recognized by Dept. of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“Meeting our nation’s transportation challenges requires innovative thinking and the leadership skills to translate plans and dreams into greater mobility, better jobs, and more livable communities,” said LaHood.

Voie founded the nonprofit association in 2007. The group’s mission is to encourage women to consider a career in the trucking industry and to address challenges that women in trucking face. In 2011 the Women In Trucking Scholarship Foundation was formed to provide funding for members pursuing careers in trucking-related areas such as safety, maintenance, leadership and driving.

Leigh Foxall, Women In Trucking’s chairwoman, attended the White House event. “It is very exciting to have Ellen recognized for her work. It is evidence that Women In Trucking’s efforts to bring awareness to the great careers in the transportation industry is being recognized,” she said.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro introduced Voie before her participation in a panel discussion led by Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta. The event was streamed live via the web to viewers around the world.