When Tracie started out in the trucking business nearly 30 years ago, she had one goal—to one day be able to look her grandchildren in the eye and explain all she was able to accomplish as a woman in a male-dominated field—something she now dreams of doing with her partner Lynsey by her side.
"I just want to be an example. You never know who is watching you and who can accomplish something by watching us from afar. I am never too busy to slow down and tell people how we got to where we are as a couple," said Tracie.
Lynsey and Tracie met in 2008, and from the start, Tracie knew that Lynsey could complement her life not just personally, but in business, too.
"I had this business before I met Lynsey, but I felt like something was missing. I wanted someone to help me with the business who had attributes that I did not. Lynsey is genuinely patient and kind—she has a way of listening to people's concerns and is very empathetic. She takes a much more purpose-driven approach."
The duo explained that their differing personalities work in harmony, bringing out the best in their trucking business, Savannah-Tyler Logistics (aptly named after Lynsey's daughter and Tracie's son). Tracie, a Virgo, is a self-proclaimed perfectionist who has strong goals for their business and family. Lynsey, a Pisces, is mellow and doesn't let everyday stressors shake her. Savannah-Tyler Logistics is a trucking company with 30 trucks, employing 20 drivers who haul freight for companies like Amazon.
"One of the things we had to learn very quickly is that if you don't learn to compromise and adapt to some of the characteristics of your partner, it's going to be terrible," laughed Lynsey. "Tracie showed me how to get my voice in business and in life. In turn, I showed her how to have more compassion for others—and to relax sometimes."
Compassion is at the core of their business philosophy. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they created a second-chance program where individuals who needed extra income could receive training to drive the Sims's box trucks—a truck type they've used in addition to semitrucks since 2019 to haul freight for Amazon. They trained people on truck operations, which is more flexible to train and recruit for than semitruck driving, and it paid off. These individuals now help Savannah-Tyler Logistics transport customer packages in between Amazon’s operations sites to fulfill customer orders quickly.
"They loved the jobs so much that they stayed," said Tracie.
Tracie makes sure the two stop and acknowledge the progress they've made together.
"One of the things that's amazing to me is that Lynsey and I are from completely different eras. We have had so many opportunities that can easily be taken for granted. I try and slow her down to savor those moments. You don't realize when you're going through life that you could easily miss a moment where history is being made—politically or even with your family. Just us being able to stand in front of a magistrate was history in the making."
The two have been married since November 2014, a month after same-sex marriage became legal in North Carolina. Today, they continue to savor every opportunity and accomplishment they've made as a couple, knowing how much those accomplishments can inspire others.
"Somewhere, there may be a young Black girl who knows she's attracted to women and her family may not approve of that. She may not be in the best headspace to make plans for her future. For young men and women who are gay, we want them to know that not every door is closed."