Regional sales director — Ontario | Distribution Stox | Barrie, Canada | Age: 38
What was your first job in the industry?
Warehousing and delivery at a tire distributor.
What attracted you to the industry?
I got my start in this industry purely as a matter of chance and quickly became hungry to learn more about the products I was handling each day. I was a young sponge soaking up every ounce of information I could — studying the products and the fitments, challenging myself to find answers when I didn't have them.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
My biggest challenge has been navigating my way through an industry which has been historically championed by men in all facets: sales, service, knowledge and leadership. I have been fortunate to have fantastic mentors to guide me on the path to leadership — both men and women — and I'm thrilled to carry the torch and develop a team of industry experts who provide the best in customer experience and relationship development.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My longtime business mentor Robert Bullock has been my biggest cheerleader and northern star, helping me navigate whatever circumstances have come my way. His belief in my abilities helped to propel me in the direction I'm headed today and for that I'm eternally grateful.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I am proud to have played a key role in two acquisitions over the past four years ensuring that the customer and employee experiences throughout the acquisition and conversion process were managed efficiently and with a personal touch. I am also pleased to be an advocate and champion of women in automotive and I am working hard to develop relationships with other industry leaders who share this passion to help foster a welcoming and inclusive industry for the next generation of bright, dynamic young women who will accelerate the automotive and tire industry into the future.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your workday?
In my current position, I oversee the expansion of the market I serve and lead a team of eight incredibly talented account managers, supporting their professional growth and development. I collaborate with other teams to ensure seamless experiences for clients and employees alike. I organize and champion various training opportunities throughout the year because I believe that ongoing training and professional development are a key to success in any business and vital to a rapidly evolving industry.
What's been the biggest surprise of your current job?
The biggest surprise has been how often I have to adapt my leadership style to meet the needs of the individual. I consider myself somewhat of a chameleon — changing my approach with each member of my team to match their personality or learning style.
Tell us about your family.
My family is my biggest cheerleaders. They have watched me evolve in my career path and supported me along the way. My incredible husband works in the industry as a licensed automotive technician which leads to a lot of industry chatter around the dinner table! I'm also mom to two bright teenagers — one of whom has no interest in driving, at least for now!
If you could wake up tomorrow with one new skill, what would you choose?
To always have the right words at the right time. Too often the perfect response comes to me long after the conversation has ended.
In a single word, how would your friends describe you?
If you could switch jobs for a day, what job/who would you choose to swap with, and why?
The Marketing team. I love coming up with bold, fun, engaging ideas and executing events with my marketing team. The planning and organizing is equally as fun as the event itself. I'm an outside-the-box thinker and people-pleaser which leads to some wild ideas at times!
What's the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
Short of what we've witnessed over the last few years with supply chain disruption throughout the pandemic in both production and global shipping, there are a number of strong impacts to the tire industry on all levels: manufacturing, distribution and retail. As manufacturers move to reduce their carbon footprint throughout the manufacturing process and use sustainable materials, what impact will it have on the product and the cost? There is also consideration to be had for distributors (and manufacturers alike) housing more sizes and SKUs than ever before and how this impacts warehousing and logistics. Lastly, on the retailer side, the availability of technicians is at an all-time low impacting their ability to service the end user. It's impossible to consider any of these issues bigger than the others because they all have the ability to impact our industry in such a meaningful way.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A foreign ambassador or diplomat — in the way they were portrayed in the movies. Secrecy and mystery, bodyguards, black tie affairs, high-level national security meetings and all!
What goal did you set for yourself this year? Are you on track to reach it?
I set a goal to take a more active role in empowering women in the automotive and tire industry through social media representation, networking marketing and mentoring. I'm happy with what I've managed to accomplish year-to-date and look forward to continuing to expand upon it moving into 2024.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Selling tires on a beach somewhere warm??!! Truthfully, I'm motivated to continue to grow in the industry, wherever it takes me and having a positive impact on others along the way.