Women Who Mean Business

Laura Gates is a Woman Who Means Business

Laura Gates, one of the Biz 417 Women Who Mean Business for 2024, is president of TransLand.

By Jordan Blomquist | Photographed by Brandon Alms

Mar 2024

Laura Gates, president of TransLand.
Photo by Brandon AlmsLaura Gates is president of TransLand. Purchase Photo

In her daily life, Laura Gates doesn’t combat fear and doubt—she embraces it. As the president of TransLand, a local over-the-road trucking company, Gates uses the challenges she faces in the industry to her benefit. “If I can convince myself that I’ve taken all the necessary steps to succeed, I’m probably doing everything that needs to be done,” she says.

Gates’ career at TransLand started in the accounting department 25 years ago. She created the Human Resources department less than a year after she started and worked in both roles simultaneously. Before becoming president of the company two years ago, she worked as vice president, overseeing the Human Resources, Marketing and Communications, Recruiting and Safety departments. “Laura has made a name for herself because she is a strong, quiet leader who knows the industry,” Mary Walker says in her nomination.

Gates has gained extensive business knowledge through her journey at TransLand, leading to many successes for the company. Under her leadership, TransLand has grown in driver count by 24%, opened a brand new facility in St. Louis and been recognized as one of the best fleets to drive for by Carrier’s Edge and the Truckload Carriers Association for two consecutive years. “Which was a goal of ours for many years, and finally being able to achieve that—that’s pretty awesome,” Gates says.

Working in a male-dominated industry, Gates recognizes the pivotal role she has as a female leader. “It is my job to make it better for whoever comes after me, and I take that seriously,” she says. “Anything’s possible. Just don’t be limited by what society says are your limitations.”

TransLand is home to 200 professional drivers and 50 office support staff. Looking forward, Gates and the team have growth in mind. “We want to grow our presence in the Springfield area, and we want to grow our footprint in the St. Louis region,” Gates says. As a big proponent of giving back to the community, Gates also aims to grow TransLand’s charitable footprint in a variety of ways. For every mile a driver drives, TransLand donates five cents to charities like Care to Learn and a variety of organizations for veterans. 

No matter what, Gates begins every day with gratitude. In the ever-changing landscape of the business world, there are many challenges—especially when it comes to the economy and transportation—making it essential to recognize the good in each day. On top of that, Gates says it is important to adjoin herself with sincere people who help her see clearly. “Surrounding myself with people who know how to tell me when I’m wrong has been instrumental in the success of myself and the company,” she says.


Favorite Podcast
WorkLife with Adam Grant

Favorite Book
The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni

First Job
Working the drive-thru at McDonald’s

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See the Northern Lights

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Wonder Woman