What was your first job in the industry?
As a family member, I jumped into the business at a very early age and spent summers answering phones and assisting with billing. I think my earliest memory is showing up at the Wilkes-Barre store after school with the entire family and all of us helping to fold invoices. While obtaining my accounting degree, I would spend summers working with our accounting team and our HR team. After graduating from Villanova Law School, I spent six years as a commercial litigator before signing on as general counsel to McCarthy Tire in 2017.
What attracted you to the industry?
While I enjoyed my first six years of practice in the courtroom, I felt that the boardroom was where I was meant to be. After experiencing all types of commercial disputes that resulted in litigation, I felt I could use that experience to better guide my family to prevent similar issues. It was the energy and excitement that my family exhibited when speaking about the industry and about the business that drew me in. I wanted to be part of that excitement and felt that I could use my background in commercial matters to advance the interests of business.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
As general counsel, I feel that I am often the person in the room who is providing cautionary advice or pointing out the roadblocks in certain endeavors. As my brother will joke, I am always playing defense on a team where everyone else is playing offense. However, it's this dynamic that creates the meaningful discussions necessary for our business to continue to grow and succeed.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My dad, Neil, who is vice president of operations, has had the biggest influence on my career. My dad inspires me to be both a great employee, a great employer, and a great parent. As a mother of three children, work-life balance is something I am always focused on, and something I hope our employees focus on as well. Growing up, my dad was my coach and never missed a game, a practice, or anything that was important to his children. It was not until later in life that I realized how incredibly busy he was at work.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I think my biggest accomplishment has been working with our acquisition team to negotiate and paper three acquisitions in two years, with our last acquisition adding 16 new locations. There is a real sense of accomplishment seeing the deal through from the handshake to final turnover.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your workday?
As general counsel, I manage a team that handles all acquisitions, real estate transactions, customer/vendor contracts, and labor and employment-related disputes, as well as managing outside counsel for all litigation or workers’ compensation matters. I also work as an advisor to the executive team, weighing in on corporate policy, corporate planning, and insurance matters. Each day is different, which makes the work exciting.
If a friend expressed an interest in joining the industry, what advice would you give them?
It’s a fast-paced industry and the work is round-the-clock. Get ready to work quickly and efficiently.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I hope to be doing exactly what I am doing now, but on a larger scale with more locations, more employees, or even a larger footprint.
Aside from the basics like health insurance, what’s the most important perk/benefit an employer should offer?
Flex time. As a working parent, flex time is everything to me. Being able to add an hour here or subtract an hour there and get to a child’s game or school event makes for happier employees.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
Finding and retaining qualified employees. There is a huge push for everyone to go to a four-year college in order to be more successful, and I believe that high school students are not made aware of the great success to be found from attending a trade or vocational school.
Tell us about your family.
I have a husband, Patrick, who is partner in a civil litigation law firm. We have three children, Claire, Patrick III (“Tripp”) and Brannon.
What’s the worst cliché or generalization made about your generation?
That we are a generation that is constantly “playing on our phones.” We may be attached to our iPhones, but it’s a necessity as we live in a time of instant gratification.
Name a talent you wish you had.
I wish I had a photographic memory. It would be a huge time-saver to remember every term of a deal, lease, or contract without going to any files.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memories are from our lake house. At the end of each school year, the entire McCarthy family would all move to that house. We spent the summers swimming, boating, and having family dinners every night. It was a great way to grow up.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Sheryl Sandberg. I think she’s an inspiration to all working women.
Do you live by a mantra or motto? If so, what is it?
We have a sign on our fireplace mantle that says, “I’m a great believer in luck. It seems the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. – Thomas Jefferson”
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
I love to cook and love creating new dishes for my family.
What’s your go-to song for a road trip playlist?
With three kids under the age of five, my road trip playlist usually consists of the “Mary Poppins” soundtrack and other Disney tunes. Maybe one day I will return to adult music, but until then I will enjoy Disney!
If tomorrow you could move into any other position in your company, what would you choose, and why?
I’d stay right where I am. I’ve experienced life as a litigator and as an accountant, and I believe that I am happiest as corporate counsel.
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
Spending time with my husband and my kids. We are fortunate to live near both sides of our very large families, so our weekends generally consist of family time.
Who’s your role model?
My parents, aunts, and uncles are all role models to me. They’ve each taught me something different and inspire me to constantly improve in all areas of my life. My dad has had a particular influence on me in teaching me how to balance being a parent with my work schedule.
If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?
An hour of quiet shopping---no kids and no cell phone!
What advice would you give your high school self?
You may not always have the answer, so surround yourself with people who do. At home, my husband and I are a great team. At work, I am part of a great team. Being part of a great team makes for an easier life.