Paul Daly: 0:02You're listening to a soda con sessions by effective live from a soda con 2023.
Jordan Cox: 0:18
Thanks for tuning this next episode of a soda con sessions presented by effective here at a soda con 2023. And we had a chance to catch up with Ashley camozzi. Those who is the marketing director at DeMontfort Automotive Group. And recently you just really relocated back to Texas. So how cool is that?
Ashley Cavazos: 0:36
It's so cool to be back with one in our home state. Right. We've been gone for 10 and a half years. Cool. We typically while we've been living in Minnesota, we would go home once a year. Sure. And now that we've been back, we've been home every other weekend, we've been back to here family, which is so cool, because he missed out on a lot of time. And it's great to kind of just go down dry by the water and see the golf and it is hot. But you know, it's her family is Yeah. And it's taxes. Why can get better than that?
Jordan Cox: 1:07
Yeah, sure. And for those who don't know you, you are super passionate about diversity within the automotive industry in a variety of ways. So let's talk about Wilkin for a second.
Ashley Cavazos: 1:17
Yeah, definitely I you know, as a Latina and a woman of color. I've been really fortunate actually, we were just talking about this with Duran and with Dana and our session with Cirilo by, you know, having somebody give me a chance to be where I am and why I'm here today, sitting with you Sure. Means a lot, right, somebody saw something in me and they, they wanted to develop me and help me grow in my career and show me what the industry is, what the possibilities are for us, and the opportunity for you and the opportunity for me, but you know, also like, just for others, and actually being able to showcase my talents, right things that I didn't know that were in me, and they were like, Hey, did you know because of this, you can actually do this? And I'm like, never thought about that. Yeah. So it's pretty cool. And so with that, you know, we have this amazing organization called Whoa, can women of color automotive network that carry wise and Patrice Banks and Erica Tiffany wells and Amanda Gordon, founded in 2020, and I'm on their executive board. And it's just so cool to be a part of this organization, we have over 800 members that are part of it, and just three years old, with 800 members, 800 members and three years old, right, and it continues to grow. We're getting ready for a second annual event, which is so cool. We're going to be at an event in Miami. I don't know I'm pretty pumped with where we are and the growth that we've had even this year. But we built committees within the organization because we needed help. We have a demand for our members, they wanted more engagement with us. And we're like, okay, like, let's figure out what we need to do. And we're a nonprofit, right? So everything that we do is volunteer is I'm sure. And so we've got people with these full time jobs in these big positions. And they're taking time out of their day at home, to help build and grow can to recruit and retain and attract more women of color to automotive.
Jordan Cox: 3:01
How cool. So well, Ken obviously has a very similar to initiative of what we're trying to do with the SOTU because we've got a community that we know needs to be able to grow and collaborate together. And the people that need to learn from each other Network Connect, and then just find the best opportunities for like the industry. And I mean, like you've had huge experience, you know, not only with where you're at now but also with Walzer for that, which is what's so cool when someone like you can bring so much value to other people in this in this great industry.
Ashley Cavazos: 3:30
Yeah, it is really cool. I love what a soda stands for. I love what y'all are doing. Bringing thank you to people who are wanting to change the reputation of automotive and the industry and are wanting to say look at us, we are different. We're not what you thought we are. And we're here and we're successful. We have awesome people. And check out you know what it's like to be in the industry and, and you know, it's it's pretty cool to see what y'all do with highlighting what what we're doing in the industry like Walzer, right. I was I was at Walmart for almost four years. And we did some really incredible things and they are doing incredible things continuously, right. But having their ERG is like women have walls or in dry with pride in the agent long Alliance. And these, this place where as I said, you know, in my session where I was told for the first time for your whole self to work, and that's a pretty cool thing.
Jordan Cox: 4:25
Yeah. It's very empowering because they really, when you're in a good organization, they want you to be the best version of you. So that you're really hitting on all cylinders all the time. And it's not like you go to work and you're your work self and then you go home and you are different stuff at home like it's literally you're who you are all the time which is so cool.
Ashley Cavazos: 4:46
It is and because of that now I get to take that two on with me right and I get to talk about it here and their employees are talking about it and I get to bring it to my new group and I'm, I've learned from the people aspect of that Like what we need to hear. And I think that's what needs to happen is that collaboration. That's right, and how critical it is right for us to connect and talk about, you know, what we're doing internally, to thrive our employees and having them feel happy and just having them have fun at work. And then taking that on back to you know, your jobs and your your dealerships and your, you know, service departments, collision centers, whatever it is you're doing in automotive, right, but taking that back with you, and expanding it, and just letting it grow and grow from there. Yeah,
Jordan Cox: 5:36
that is so cool. So you just had a great session with obviously you were there, Ashley, there was Dana clean. And then also, we had to re uncage in that group, for that session. So let's talk about some key takeaways. What was your favorite thing you guys talked about during your session?
Ashley Cavazos: 5:53
You're gonna have me pick one.
Jordan Cox: 5:55
When you want to do 20. I had like 25 things.
Ashley Cavazos: 5:58
I mean, we talked about so much. I think the really cool thing is what we all said unanimously, is where you start to build a career path with your employees is communication. And I think that is a key part is asking them what they want. What do they see for themselves? Are they happy with what they're doing? And actually just starting that conversation, and also going back to them with, you know, from the top down here, what the plans for the company are? Here's where the leadership sees us going, here's where we see you going. And here's the feedback we have for you. I think the key part of it that we got from that conversation is communication. And it goes both ways. Sure, not just asking your employees, but going back to them as well.
Jordan Cox: 6:44
Yeah, one of the cool things we set up at a soda con is the opportunity for multiple people to be on stage talking about a very similar topic. And so I was catching up with dinner cleave after yours. And I said, it's really cool how here we are, we're all moving the same direction. But there's different lanes, and there's different ways to do things. And it's so cool to hear from multiple perspectives on how to do that. And one of the things that Dana brought up was like scorecards and coming up with opportunities for growth, but also like seeing strengths. So you said communication is key for employees, and really trying to figure out where they're going next. What are some things that you guys work on the mantra?
Ashley Cavazos: 7:19
So we're just getting into the beginning of it,
Jordan Cox: 7:22
which is, there's a reason they brought you there. Right? Yeah. I'm
Ashley Cavazos: 7:24
so excited. Because coming into demand, Ron and I, I brought I, you know, obviously I've been there three months, I'm learning all the avenues of everything. What have we been doing? Where have we been? Where do we want to go? But one of the things that became very apparent to me as they launch their CRM, about a year ago, sure. And I asked questions that a lot of people didn't know the answers to because it was a new CRM for me. Sure. And I know CRMs I do not know this CRM, right. And so I'm trying to understand it. And I'm asking what I think are simple questions, and people can answer them for me, and I'm like, You know what? I think we need to do a retraining and we need to do a workshop.
Jordan Cox: 8:06
Oh, you were asking employees?
Ashley Cavazos: 8:08
I was asking him? Yeah. Yeah, I was asking them, like, how do I do this? And they're like, Whoa, I think you go here. I'm like, okay, red flag. So what I did is I brought them all in centrally to our corporate office, and I did a CRM workshop with every single sales person, sales manager, and GM, who brought them all in and we did some training with them. Sure. to Montreux has been in business for, we're celebrating 70 years in business. And I had salespeople who have been with us for 20 years, and they're like, in my 20 years, I have never been brought in for training before. And I was like, Oh, okay. And it's not a bad thing, right? They've been very successful. But for me, who my, you know, superpower is change management implementation of processes. Like, okay, we haven't done training, we're gonna continue this, you know, path, right. And I need to start building processes and giving them guides of how to do things. We launched a new Dr. Tool. Yeah. And I was like, You know what, I'm gonna give you a one pager, and they're like, oh, my gosh, like, this is so cool. So this tells me exactly how I need to talk to the customer. I'm like, Yes. And it's just those little things that we're starting to build that I'm so excited to know how successful that we are, and how much more we're going to be as we just get these roots grounded in us and develop our people even more, right and get some processes built in enhance the customer experience. How
Jordan Cox: 9:38
cool so you've gone through a ton of changes recently at the Monotron what were one of the biggest struggles that you've had to go through how did you overcome it and what advice would you give to someone that's probably going through something similar?
Ashley Cavazos: 9:49
Um, you know, there's a few things it's not easy to launch a new tool. It's not easy and not even just a tool like being a new company and new people. I will tell you this And I'm going to be quite honest with you. The biggest challenge for me is been getting to know new faces and not on the dealership side. I know that's going to happen and went to mon Tron. But not only am I having to learn a new team, I have to learn new vendor reps. That's true, right? And I'm having to rebuild those relationships, which I was pretty rooted in I was in Minnesota for 10 years. And I was at the mores Automotive Group for almost seven, I was with Walzer for almost four, all in the Twin Cities, I've gotten to know my reps really, really well. And now I'm in a new markets, and I've got to learn, you know, one, the demographic, but also, I have to get to know new people. And that, to me, has probably been the biggest struggle because I need to learn kind of their habits and how, you know, they work but they also need to learn mine. Now under this your role as a marketing director. I'm getting calls all the time. And I'm like, by the way, I finally just said to everybody, by the way, the best way to communicate with me is through texts, if you want to get a hold of me shoot me a text, I'm not gonna read your email right away, and most likely not going to answer your phone call because I'm busy talking to somebody. So just shoot me a text if it's crucial. And they're like, Okay, that was super helpful. So the I think that has probably been one of the biggest struggles is trying to just rebuild those relationships. Because, you know, our vendors are partners, and I have to work with them very closely. And I want to make sure we build this strong relationship. But I have to start from scratch. Sure.
Jordan Cox: 11:31
And even looking back at the last 11 years through your entire journey in automotive, retail, I mean, obviously, like Minnesota, back to Texas, all this going through three different opportunities with different automotive retailers. What has been one of the coolest things that you've been able to do in the last 11 years? What were things
Ashley Cavazos: 11:52
I think it's a really close tie. One of my favorite things has been helping people on my team grow, and see them start from you know, maybe they were a receptionist. And then they joined my BDC. And then they became a salesperson, and then I see them become a sales manager and they're thriving. And I just love that I love being able to work with my people and just have them side by side and see those light bulbs go off. Yeah, and and then see them succeed and they are hungry for it. And they know now what's possible, and see their lives change before my eyes. Like that is probably one of my favorite things. But I think the other thing is the work I've done with Wolk hand and the work I did with Walzer with women of Walzer, and just being able to have some pretty cool conversations with people Yeah, about how important it is to see the women in your workforce, right and understand sometimes the conversations we have and how that impacts them and what we should be having. And also seeing women understand that there is a place for them in automotive, for sure. And seen people like me, people like Dana, and people like Carrie, people like Erica, right and seeing us in the space and just being able to influence them in a way that like there is a space for you in automotive. We see you we hear you. I love and we want to work with you,
Jordan Cox: 13:21
man. Ashley, that's so great. So obviously, you're very good at connecting with people collaborating with people, where can people find you if they wanted to, like ask you a question?
Ashley Cavazos: 13:29
Um, I think the best place is LinkedIn. Or definitely reach out to me there if it's so funny. We were having this conversation though a few times here at a soda, which is one of the great things about a soda con is we can have these honest conversations and there's no judgement, but I would just say reach me on LinkedIn. But if you're trying to sell me Do not message me on LinkedIn. Let's try to connect some other way. But yeah, if you want to get to know me, you want to just talk like definitely reach out on LinkedIn and, and we'll go from there.
Jordan Cox: 14:00
Ashley, I love that everything you're about everything. Dana is about like helping people collect connecting with them, collaborating with them just making everybody better. Because you know that the industry is a place for everybody. I love. Exactly. So Ashley, thanks for taking a few minutes after dinner. Yeah, thank
Ashley Cavazos: 14:14
you, Jordan. And you know, thank you for always having that smile on your face. It's like my other good friend James Claus who was walking by right now and she's not here me. But those are the type of people we love in this industry that you know, you're gonna see and no matter what kind of mood you're having, you're like, I can't help but smile. I'm talking to Jordan.
Jordan Cox: 14:32
Ashley thanks so much coupled with it's so nice.
Paul Daly: 14:38
Thank you for listening to this. So to concession by effective if you want more content like this, you can check out our other podcasts we have a daily show called The automotive troublemaker Monday through Friday. Here on podcasts also live streamed on YouTube, and LinkedIn and Facebook. We also have a long form podcast called Auto collapse auto collapse. And if you just want to go a little deeper than This community, you should sign up for our regular email we put our heart and soul into it. You can get it for free by going to a sotu.com. We'll see you next time.