Honoree headshot

Michael McLary

Chief Executive Officer
Ascend

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Founded: 1969
Industry: Transportation

Growth is not new to Michael McLary.

During his career, he has always had an eye for innovation. McLary’s career has ranged from building processes that allowed the global business unit presidents at UPS redistribute capital globally, to spearheading efforts at Amazon to build a load board that automated supply and demand for truckload movements.

As the CEO of Ascend, he maximizes his eye for innovation to impact the transportation industry and by transforming the regional truckload sector.

With operations focused on the U.S. South, Mid Atlantic and Midwest and 80 drop yards throughout, Ascend possesses the density and capacity to serve these areas where demand for high-performance short-haul shipping is high. Ascend operations has secured driver-friendly shuttles and relays to connect shorter-haul routes to get drivers home more often. The firm caters to all industries and is the most reliable, predictable and trusted partner in the transportation sector.

Under McLary’s leadership, Ascend is transforming the regional truckload sector by leveraging technology, building density and offering driver-friendly routes and policies. He strives to make the firm the carrier of choice for shippers that demand high performance and flexibility at competitive rates, and the employer of choice for drivers seeking a better work-life balance.

Ascend’s dedicated drivers and employees take pride in its greater than 97 percent on-time delivery rate and impressive safety record. According to McLary, the team is setting new standards for transparency and predictability in both price and performance, driving costs down for shippers while meeting their most exacting requirements.

McLary is well versed in media coverage and has represented the company in truckload conferences, private equity forums, shipper councils and industry publications. At Ascend, he continues to drive innovation which has translated into extensive revenue growth.

As a leader, McLary said that it’s the people that make the company great. “I’ve learned the importance of listening and learning,” he said.

Instead, McLary said you will rarely see him in his office. “It’s hard to retain that sense of what the job is really about when you are sitting in your office,” he said. “You’ll see what people actually do, rather than what people tell you they do, and you’ll see their commitment, effort and achievements firsthand and feel proud to be part of the same team.

“It’s always inspiring and informative and better than any meeting.”

For his commitment to leadership and progress in the industry, McLary has been named a Titan.

Honoree fun fact

Michael is an accomplished guitarist, plays competitive tennis, and is active in his local church.

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