Kim Nolan isn’t afraid of grease or getting into the weeds on auto parts. She has worked on an assembly line putting together alternators, has been in charge of purchasing and tracking finances all while working under the guidance of her father, Robert McLaren, founder of Genco Auto Electric. As a girl, she remembers her dad starting the business out of their home basement in Setauket, New York, and as the business grew, so did she– both literally and in her skillsets, which would serve her throughout her whole career in the automotive aftermarket.
“if you worked with my dad, you didn’t walk in and become vice president,” she recalls. “Growing up in a family that owns a business. I really appreciate the work ethic. There’s no money tree in the backyard, the buck stops with you, whether you’re sweeping the floors or you’re working on profit sharing and everything in between. It is your responsibility. I’m thrilled that I had exposure to the blue-collar-type of work and got out behind the desk to see what it takes to get the job done.” So I learned a lot of valuable lessons growing up”
That staunch work ethic combined with her relationship-building skills and fearless advocacy and passion for the automotive aftermarket led Kim to be named to AftermarketNews’ Women at the Wheel Class of 2020 as well as the 2022 Woman of the Year from Women in Auto Care.
After she and her father sold the family business to BBB Industries in 2006, Kim has worked to become senior vice president of sales– traditional market and NAPA Auto Parts. In this episode of the Women at the Wheel Podcast, hear from Kim as she describes fond memories of working with her father, the tough decision of selling the family business, what she loves about her role and BBB and so much more.
- Kim’s start in the automotive aftermarket and lessons she learned from working with her father (0:24)
- How Kim has expanded her territory and learned the new product lines at BBB (4:19)
- How Kim has confronted challenges being a woman in the industry and how it is changing (7:36)
- The ways she balances work and life (10:00)
- The tough decision behind selling her family’s business and how she has adapted and thrived at BBB Industries, including building her team of sales professionals (11:12)
- Kim’s advice for women who want to advance their careers in the aftermarket (15:31)
Watch more Women at the Wheel podcast episodes here.