A graduate from Churchill County is now a senior account manager for a tech start-up in Seattle and has gained unicorn status.
Molly Black graduated from Churchill County High School in 2013. She went on to earn a degree in Business Administration with a double concentration in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Gonzaga University. Molly now lives and works in Seattle for Convoy, a rapidly growing tech start-up disrupting the freight industry.
“I loved every second of growing up in small-town Fallon,” Molly said. She was born and raised in Churchill County with her sister Callie and parents Sherry and Lowell Black. The Black family arrived came to Fallon in 1986 when Lowell was offered an accounting job.
“I loved going to the store for a gallon of milk and staying a bit longer because I ran into my 3rd-grade teacher or a high school coach,” said Molly. “I loved the annual Christmas Tree lighting, shopping at Cobblestone Corner for every birthday present, Pizza Barn lunches, and Friday night football games.”
While in high school, Molly served as President of National Honor Society, Student Body Vice President, and Assistant Editor of the CCHS school newspaper. She also worked as a projectionist and concession stand worker at Fallon Theatres.
“I love people. They fascinate me and always have,” said Molly. “I feel so fortunate to have had a high school job and held CCHS positions that allowed me to interact so much within our community.”
Working in Seattle, Molly interacts with people on a larger scale, folks in other cities, states, and countries. “There is a limitless number of problems that need solving in our industry and understanding people is critical to that success,” said Molly. “I'm extremely grateful for the foundational skills I learned growing up.”
At the age of ten, Molly told her mom she would study at Gonzaga when visiting campus for her sister’s volleyball camp. Years later, her childhood goal became reality. She maintains attending Gonzaga was one of the best decisions she made, noting the personal fit and the lifelong relationships she formed.
While attending Gonzaga, Molly ran the gamut of what Gonzaga had to offer. In 2015 she spent a semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy, and serving as Gonzaga's Student Body Association's Italy Liaison. In 2016-2017, Molly served as the President of GU's Society for Human Resource Management chapter. She attended Gonzaga Basketball games religiously, participated in Jesuit retreats, enjoyed "last chance Mass" on Sunday nights, and competed in entrepreneurial competitions hosted by the school.
After graduating from Gonzaga, Molly moved to Seattle to work in the tech startup space. She was one of the first hundred employees to be hired by Convoy. The company reached unicorn status in 2018 with a $1 billion-plus valuation and now has over a thousand employees.
According to their website, “Convoy is the most efficient digital freight network, using machine learning and automation to connect shippers and carriers to move millions of truckloads, saving money for shippers, increasing earnings for carriers, and eliminating carbon waste for our planet.”
During the start of COVID, Convoy partnered with Salesforce to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals in critical need. Molly was on a small strike team and quarterbacked a company-wide effort to deliver over 500,000 COVID-19 testing swabs, enough swabs to test half of the city’s population, to the University of California San Francisco for hospital distribution.
Molly was recently promoted to Senior Account Manager on the enterprise sales team. Her ultimate career goal is to be a Vice President of Revenue for a startup.
“It’s an honor to work at Convoy,” Molly said. “I am part of tangible change, projects that are making an impact on the environment and people’s daily lives.”
When asked about what advice she has for high school students, Molly encouraged students to be serious about studying another language, join clubs, be kind to everyone, develop good study habits, and say "yes" to opportunities that scare them.
“Living outside your comfort zone will set you apart in college and beyond,” said Molly. “Looking back, my greatest experiences in childhood, high school, college, and my life in Seattle have all stemmed from me saying "yes" or trying something brand new.”
When asked if she would like to thank anyone, Molly expressed her gratitude for her teachers – from Northside Elementary through high school – for Bob and Mary Beth Erikson for giving her first job at Fallon Theatres, and lastly her mother, Sherry Black.
“She is everything I hope to become when I grow up,” said Molly. “She taught me the foundational stuff, how important it is to maintain relationships and invest in people.”
Molly’s mom is retired and living on a farm in Fallon that has been in her family for over a century. Lowell Black, Molly’s dad, is living in Indiana and works with his family’s pipeline. Her sister, Callie Black lives and works in South Carolina as an OB/GYN sonographer.
Where are they now is a collaborative series brought to you by LEAD On, a local nonprofit with the mission to prepare students for life after high school. This story was written and produced by Garrett Kalt.
This interview was conducted over Zoom and is packaged into a quick video.