Jessica Toliuszis - aftermarketNews

2022 Honoree

Jessica Toliuszis

VP Major Accounts
Highline Warren

What is the proudest accomplishment of your career, thus far? 

My two proudest accomplishments are our Auto Care volunteer community and the team at Highline Warren.

I am honored to be a part of our Women in Auto Care committee. During the pandemic, people were scared, lonely, confused, busier than imaginable, and desperately needing connection. Our entire committee showed up for the automotive aftermarket. We are giving away more scholarship money and more tools than ever before to young women interested in automotive careers thanks to our generous supporters. We provided more touch points than ever before, quickly pivoting to virtual platforms, adding resources, mentoring mixers, book clubs, and more. An F16 pilot flew us through expanding our bandwidth. A FedEx executive changed the way we communicated in a COVID environment. A teacher shared her gift of meditation. An automotive category manager brought us along on her self-love journey. An automotive content manager showed the correlation between authenticity and successful business relationships.

Secondly, I am proud of the team we are building at Highline Warren, where we strive to be the best company to work for, buy from, and sell to while providing world-class products for the best possible driving experience. Elevating people’s careers, like Savannah and Lisa, fills my heart while providing a rich future for our industry.

What is your best advice to other women who want to excel in the automotive aftermarket? What is one thing the industry could do better or do differently to support women in the aftermarket? 

Know your “why.” For me, access to transportation gives people the freedom and ability to provide for themselves and their families. Gaining the right to drive in 2017 was transformational for the women of Saudi Arabia, something many of us take for granted. Moreover, I am deeply grateful for the resiliency of the automotive industry. I hosted a virtual event amidst the global pandemic. One after another, we went around the group, sharing how grateful we were that we worked in the automotive industry. At a time when many other industries were suffering, we were surviving. What could the industry do better? There’s a wonderful article my brother sent me the day he and his wife had twin girls. It was advice “for fathers of daughters: what you can do to be your child’s champion.” The author, Jules Piere, gave three pieces of advice: easy, medium, and hard. The easy was to educate your daughter about women who transformed history. The medium was to include successful women in your lives – your accountant, doctor, mechanic, pilot. The hard included supporting a cause, investing your money in support of women, and mentoring women yourself.  If you’re looking for a way to support women, follow these paths.

How do you build up your confidence to prepare for challenging professional situations? 

Wow, what a question. If I’m being honest, I don’t always have the confidence. Like many people, imposter syndrome creeps up and challenges my belief in myself. There are a million little tricks you can use: breathing exercises, gratitude, acting as if, preparing 10x more, positive affirmations, chamomile tea, hydrating. A book that helped me is “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first agreement is to “be impeccable with your word” to others, and more importantly, to yourself. The words you say to yourself shape the person you become. You may not completely silence your inner critic, but you can turn down the volume and respond back with something positive. If that’s still difficult, try stepping outside of yourself. What would your friend say to you? What would you say to your friend?

What do you believe are some of the most important skillsets to excel in a career in the aftermarket today? 

Skills are great. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already a sharp person. What you need are great mentors, sponsors, allies and mentees. Surround yourself with a tribe. Maya Angelou wrote that “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Learn how to make people feel. Start with heart.