Howdy Kayla! As always, let's start with how you entered the automotive industry.
Despite my father owning a dealership, I didn't start in automotive. Post-college, a hiring freeze at the World Bank led me to Charlotte, North Carolina, where I joined a home builder company. My growth there and a suggestion to start my own business led me to acquire them as my first client. I later took on a dealership as a client. I realized the similarities between homebuilding and automotive, which brought my father's dealership on board, too.
How did your father react to you joining the business?
He was initially hesitant, preferring that I gain experience elsewhere to avoid the pitfalls of nepotism and ensure success through proven worth.
Now, I oversee three dealerships full-time. I still engage with the homebuilding sector but focus on automotive dealerships.
How has your role evolved at the dealership?
Initially overseeing marketing, my role expanded to include business processes. Promotion to Vice President came with encouragement to maintain outside industry activities, providing a competitive edge.
What's the secret to doing your job?
Patience and communication during changes are vital. Setting realistic expectations helps manage transitions. Innovation is essential for growth and serving customers.
How have you seen retail auto love people more than it loves cars?
The industry offers vast opportunities for diverse individuals to grow. Our goal is to improve work-life balance and culture, evident in our four-day workweek initiative for sales staff and flexible department schedules.
Oh, that's cool. How do you foster that healthy work-life balance for your team?
Besides the four-day workweek, we focus on hiring the right people who embody a work-hard, play-hard mentality, support each other, and thrive in a cohesive system.
Unlike the traditional 'sink or swim' approach in parts of the industry, we invest heavily in our staff's growth, which speaks to our culture and values.
So, getting hired is like entering a deep, trusting relationship from day one?
Trust is integral to our operations. We don't expect years of service for better work conditions. Our investment in training and development is significant, offering support from the start where it benefits everybody.