ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Throughout Women’s History Month we’ve been telling the stories of four remarkable women each nominated by you our News 8 viewers. Our third finalist is the youngest of this year’s honorees and she’s making strides in a male dominated business.
A broken leg interrupted Chelsea Conway’s track and field dreams 11 years ago. Doctors doubted her ability to compete at the Olympic level, but with her family’s support and determination she was off and running again. Chelsea says, “Four surgeries later and a lot of training time and physical therapy time, I just missed the Olympic Trials in 2016 by one person.” Four years later she laced up her sneakers and competed again, training before and after work. “I was lucky enough to win a spot in the top fifteen,” she recalls, “It was just an incredible experience to go.”
In 2021, Chelsea officially retired her competition sneakers and exchanged them for a more permanent pair of shoes. Today, she proudly wears her business pumps in the male dominated trucking business. “We sell trucks, we service trucks, we sell parts and we also lease as well.”, said Chelsea. She took over as CEO of Conway Beam & Trucking in 2014. Her great-grandfather Fred Beam started the family run business in 1950. The line of succession has been men, until Chelsea. “It was a huge adjustment for all of our coworkers here to understand that hey we’ve got a young female.” she said.
“I would say that she just cares, ” said Matt Sommers the Chief Financial Officer at Conway Beam & Trucking. He nominated Chelsea for the 2023 Remarkable Women contest. Matt explains, “We have over two hundred employees at Conway Beam and that’s two hundred families and she takes it very seriously. It’s a family owned business but its more than just the Conway family its everyone’s family that she cares about.” When asked about being nominated and chosen as a Remarkable Woman finalist she said, “I guess I’m shocked because I don’t consider myself as remarkable in that manner.” She says she’s always looking at how she can do better, whether its competing in a race or leading her employees. Chelsea says her don’t quit attitude, curiosity and trust in her team have lead to her success. “I’m not a dominating leader in any sense but I more look at it as a team. Let’s come together and make the right decision.” She adds that’s the approach she took when she lead the company’s expansion into the Buffalo market in 2017. That decision also lead to Chelsea meeting her boyfriend Greg Dechert who is also part of the team at Conway Beam. Chelsea enjoys travelling with her family. She’s also on the board of directors for the Rochester Region of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Chelsea says she’s focused on ensuring the business continues to grow especially as the post-pandemic worker shortages and national truck dealerships present a threat to her family business.