Director of Communications and Engagement
Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc.
How did you begin your career in the aftermarket?
By accident! I spent my undergrad at Northwood University studying automotive retail management. I never dreamt I would end up in the aftermarket, in fact it was an entirely separate degree program. Through relationships I made at Northwood, I began my career 10 years ago – not only in the aftermarket – but the commercial vehicle aftermarket!
What is the proudest accomplishment of your career, thus far?
Taking risks and believing in myself as a working mom. Advancing your career in the aftermarket after having children is difficult. Time away is often viewed as a weakness and the struggle to “balance it all” seems impossible. I’m proud of the accomplishments I’ve enjoyed and the family I’m raising.
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?
My only advice is to support and celebrate each other. Shining the light on someone else will never dim yours. Women go through so much in their personal lives throughout their careers, those milestones should be highlighted and lay the path for future generations coming into the industry. When’s the last time you cheered for someone else? When’s the last time someone cheered for you? The slightest gesture of enthusiasm and encouragement can change the course of someone’s day, week, month, or year. How can you change someone’s future in a positive way?
What do you believe are some of the most important skillsets to excel in a career in the aftermarket today?
The fundamental: caring about people. The reason most of us love this industry is the relationships we’ve formed along the way. Take a real interest in people, their stories, businesses, and personal lives. The rest of the industry can be learned.