410: Women In Supply Chain™, Julie Tilenius

In today’s episode of Women In Supply Chain™, I’m joined by the incredible Julie Tilenius.

Julie has nearly 30 years’ experience in the supply chain industry. She’s honed her skills with roles across a variety of industry specialisms, from Financial Planning and Reporting, and Acquisition and Integration, to Customer Solutions and Sales Operations. And she’s pulled all those skills together for her current role as President of TrueSource, a national leader in critical facility operations.

Today Julie will be talking to us about her career journey; the importance of building your skills by trying new things; how the industry has changed, especially for women; and her biggest achievements.





GoFreight is proud to sponsor the ‘Women In Supply Chain™ podcast series, recognizing women’s vital role in the industry and the need to highlight their contributions and experiences. We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the supply chain field and are honored to support initiatives that empower and inspire women in their professional journeys.

GoFreight is the world’s leading cloud-based freight forwarding management system. In addition to its comprehensive core features, including business quoting, ocean and air freight processes, invoicing and payments, accounting, and finance, customers highly favor it for providing a customer-facing platform that meets the needs of freight forwarders and their clients and agents.

With GoFreight, tasks such as quoting, booking, cargo tracking, and data reporting, which traditionally required email or phone communication, can now be quickly completed through a user-friendly online platform, similar to booking flights or hotels.

For more information, visit GoFreight.

Supply & Demand Chain

This year, we received over 400 submissions for our Women In Supply Chain™ award, the highest amount of applications not only for this award but also for all of our awards. What’s more, 118 of those applications were submitted by male counterparts, nominating their boss, co-worker, or associate. Last year, that figure was just at 75. Also this year, 39 women self-nominated, a tremendous uptick from last year’s award, which just saw 12 self-nominations. This shows progress. This shows hope that one day, we won’t need an award like this because men and women in the supply chain will be equal,” says Marina Mayer, Editor-in-Chief of Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “While there’s still more work to be done, what we’re doing is working. That’s why this award is so important to Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executives. From truck drivers to CEOs, what these winners are doing matters to the future of all supply chains. What these female leaders, entrepreneurs, and supply chain professionals are doing continues to push the needle toward excellence, and every year, I feel blessed to celebrate these wonderful women of logistics. And we’re doing just that at this year’s Women In Supply Chain™ Forum, set for Nov. 14-15 in Atlanta. Go to www.WomeninSupplyChainForum to register and learn more. We’re all better together. Collaboration is key to promoting and supporting Women In Supply Chain™.

For more information, vision Supply & Demand Chain.



[08.57] Julie’s early years; how her father’s career ignited a passion for finance; and the job that laid the foundations for her future career path.

“I was so fortunate that my first job out of college was for KPMG… working there exposed me to so many industries and different business models…. That was really the stepping stone for my career.”

[11.30] How a personal tragedy drove a career change for Julie, and led her to supply chain.

“Here I am, a 25-year-old female, going to work for an industrial tool distributor!… But, little did I know, that was going to be the beginning of something amazing for my career.”

[13.46] The many and varied roles that Julie experienced during her time at MSC and the importance of trying new things; how she was able to move through disciplines within the business; and her advice for professionals looking to take this approach.

“Take the chance, be open to change. Yes, it’s scary! But it’s OK to feel comfortably uncomfortable.”

[17.15] An introduction to TrueSource, and Julie’s role as President.

“In this business, service is key. So, when I first took on the role as President, that was my main focus. How are we going to deliver top-notch service to our customers?”

[20.31] A closer look at Julie’s key areas of focus within TrueSource; her ambition to deliver best-in-class service; and the importance of building strong partnerships.

[23.30] From increasing costs and decreasing footfall to rising theft, a closer look at the current market and the challenges faced by Julie and TrueSource customers.

[26.22] What Julie loves so much about supply chain; the motivations that drive her; and the importance of celebrating success.

“Always having a purpose is really what motivates me every day.”

[29.36] Julie’s experiences as a woman in the industry, and utilizing curiosity, dedication and a commitment to learning to build trust over time.

“Early on, it was a challenge working in a male-dominated industry. There would be so many times I was the only woman in the room. I put up a barrier, I wasn’t confident. But I pushed myself through that barrier to speak up. And, at first, my voice fell on deaf ears.”

[32.12] The gap between different generations of supply chain professionals, and the importance of building relationships.

[34.30] How Julie’s daughter is following in her finance footsteps; how the industry that she’s stepping into is a very different one; and Julie’s advice to her daughter for navigating the journey that’s ahead.

“Build strong relationships, because you have to rely on others – success doesn’t come on your own.”

[38.52] Julie’s biggest achievements over the course of her career so far.

[40.14] The future for Julie, and for TrueSource.




You can connect with Julie over on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more from strong women in the industry, check out 342: Women In Supply Chain™, Juliette Samson, 405: Women In Supply Chain™, Lalitha Rajagopalan or 191: Women In Supply Chain™, Lora Cecere.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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