Trudy Friend (Jacobson) is an effervescent individual with an inspiring and entrepreneurial attitude. Coming from the heartland of America, Kansas City native Trudy Friend has successfully built one of America’s largest trucking companies alongside her husband. Serving as the Chairman of the Board of Jacobson Holdings gave Friend irreplaceable and unique experiences that created her strong and motivating presence today. Trudy left the trucking business behind and now is creating a new phase of her life in New York City in the Plaza Penthouse overlooking Central Park. Trudy Friend is “Next in the City” as she influences women to be their most empowering self and continues to discover and explore her passions.
My husband’s family had a successful Fortune 200 trucking company, National Carriers, which was attached to a meat packing and cattle feeding business. The more I learned about it the more I wanted to be a part of it. He was a workaholic so it was better to work with him rather than not seeing him as much. When I started working in human resources where I was responsible for hiring and training drivers, it opened up a whole world for me. It was so exciting and I loved it, putting the loads together on the trucks and making it all work at the end of the day. I was part of the team. The only thing missing was that I didn’t know how to drive a truck or what the very people I was hiring were experiencing. So I knew if I really wanted to do a good job I had to learn how to drive the 18 wheelers. That was the biggest and hardest adventure I had.
I call this phase of my life ‘Next in the City.’ I had traveled to NY many times and I could never get enough of it, there was never enough time spent here. My time was over with the Jewish organization, where I was on the board of the Kansas City Jewish Community Center for nine years, and I was wondering what I would do next. A lot of people own second homes so I decided that this was where it was going to be. Even if I do nothing here, I would still be a thriving person. I just love the atmosphere, the excitement and everything about it. This life is unlike the life I had anywhere ever. I’m a girl from the Midwest and I made this decision and had nothing holding me back. I love it, there’s something exciting going on all the time, and the first thing I do every morning is look at Central Park from my apartment.
It’s been a lively story in Kansas City, but for me the best thing is to move on and find something else and if I can’t find it here in NYC I can’t find it anywhere. But I will always be tied to Kansas City. It is my home and where I am still a full time resident.
My advice to women finding their next journey in life is: Always be authentic, be who you are no matter what. You can’t be as happy as you can be by living behind a mask if you are living a life that is not suitable to you. Be willing to take that risk at any age. Always respect others whether you are the boss or part of the team, because you should never take anything for granted or your importance so seriously so that people don’t admire you for who you are as a person.
After being diagnosed with a chronic auto immune disease, I decided to make myself and health a priority. Treat your body well and health is the most important thing in life. You can have all of the money in the world but without good health what is the difference. Be mindful, open minded, and take care of yourself.