I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Tracy Black, an accomplished technology executive in the logistics industry and partner at NewRoad Capital Partners. Tracy served as Senior Vice President of Information Technology at J.B. Hunt Transport, leading major technology transformations for the company. She now serves on the boards of several early-stage companies and offers advice to founders in the logistics and supply chain technology space.

In our discussion, Tracy shared insights from her impressive career journey and offered advice for developing strong IT talent.

A few of the key takeaways include the following:

Implementing new technologies at large companies requires alignment at the top and a clear focus on expected outcomes. Quick prototyping can help demonstrate possibilities to leadership.

When evaluating startups to partner with, Tracy looks for strong leadership teams and an “unfair advantage” that differentiates the business. She advises founders to surround themselves with smart people and pay close attention to unit economics.

Attracting IT talent, especially in Northwest Arkansas early in her career, required creating a culture of career growth, learning, and empowerment. Tracy invested heavily in training, mentorship, internships, and giving technologists visibility to leadership.

Asking for help and collaborating with others is key for career advancement. Trying to appear like you know everything can hold you back.

Tracy is passionate about leveraging data, AI, and her team of operating partners to provide added value to the startups NewRoad Capital invests in.

It was fascinating to learn from Tracy’s perspectives on navigating major technology changes within large corporations and high growth startups. Her strategic mindset and focus on people clearly contributed to her success as a leader.