On the Rise: Jenn DeChico
Xcelerate Dealer Program Manager | Allen Rubber Co. Inc. dba ARW/ITW | Age: 32
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the automotive industry was in the management trainee program at Enterprise Rent a Car.
What attracted you to the industry?
My senior seminar professor told my class in 2011 that if you ever have the opportunity to work for the management training program at Enterprise Rent a Car, to take advantage of that. The professor said it will open doors for your future, give you opportunities and provide you with the tools to sell anything. Once being in the automotive industry, it became more about helping people and making connections with customers. Everyone travels in one way or another and the only thing that makes contact with the road in automobiles are tires. It is a need for all vehicles and provides the opportunity to help so many, which is why I love being a part of this industry.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
My biggest challenge was my education in the tire industry. When I first started at Allen Rubber Co., I spent hours training with our core brands as well as major brands’ training websites to familiarize myself with the tire brands offered. It will forever be an ongoing endeavor, as learning never really ends and it continues to help when I speak with my dealers about the products we offer.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
The regional vice president at Enterprise Rent a Car was a large influence on my career. She had a strong presence when she was around but still relaxed at the same time. She showed me that you can demand respect but earn respect at the same time from your coworkers as well as your customers.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I set goals each month, week and day and strive to accomplish those goals by building relationships with dealers. My biggest accomplishment is yet to come, and I will continue making steps towards that goal of gaining business from a dealer who purchases at a large quantity. Until then, I will continue to work on building relationships and learning as much as possible to get there.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I am the Xcelerate dealer marketing manager with ARW/ITW and my job responsibilities are to ensure we are taking excellent care of our current dealers as well as acquiring new dealers each day. I spend my days visiting repair shops and strengthening relationships as well as building new relationships with shop owners, service writers and mechanics to show them the value that comes with being a partner with ARW/ITW.
What did you do before you entered the tire industry?
Before I entered the tire industry, I worked at Enterprise Rent a Car and then I was an account manager at a managed services IT company.
Aside from the basics like health insurance, what’s the most important perk/benefit you’d want from your employer?
The most important benefit I would want is support and encouragement. I am motivated to work for my company (ARW/ITW) because I work with our sales team, but I also work directly with ownership of our company. Each day they motivate me to get out and gain business for our company. They support me by answering questions, and providing feedback to assist with moving forward with potential dealers.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
The biggest issue facing the tire industry is the lack of people wanting to work in the automotive industry. We are noticing shop owners looking forward to retiring and selling their business, but they are unable to find someone who will take over and also take good care of their customers that they have had for many years.
Tell us about your family.
When we aren’t in a national pandemic, my family likes to gather often for large dinners and celebrations. We love laughing together, playing card and board games, and playing with our nieces and nephew.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory would be playing basketball in the summer leagues outdoors in Philadelphia. My family would come and support me at all of my games and cheer me on. Nothing felt better than having the support of my teammates and family.
It’s report card time. What grade would you give yourself for how you’ve handled 2020?
I would give myself a B. I don’t think it was anyone’s favorite year; it was my first year of marriage. (We just celebrated our one-year anniversary on September 27th.) We made the best of the year even though we were quarantined for most of it.
What’s been your biggest challenge this year?
The biggest challenge of the year has been being quarantined and not being able to spend as much time as I would like with my family and friends. We have been able to socially distance, although it is never quite the same.
Did you pick up any new hobbies or habits during the pandemic? Good or bad, tell us about them.
My husband and I spent our time during the pandemic remodeling our new home and gardening. We spent time walking with our dog, Yogi, to enjoy the fresh air.on the nice days.
What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to?
When I’m by myself in the car, I sing to “Run the World” by Beyonce.
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
Something about myself that others might not know is that I have a 4-year-old border collie/blue heeler named Yogi.
If you could wake up tomorrow with one new skill, what would it be?
If I could wake up tomorrow with a new skill, it would be to worry less and seize each day!
What keeps you up at night?
Planning for the next work day.
In a single word, how would your friends describe you?
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
In 20 years from now, I expect my husband and I to be celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary and have grown a family of our own. I hope to be continuing my career in the tire industry and building our company’s business each year.