One thing is for sure: more and more women are driving new-car dealerships forward and into the future.
After an incredibly successful and inspiring first outing in 2018, NADA again launched its #WomenInAutomotive contest for the 2019 NADA Show. NADA took to social media in early January to once again invite women in the industry to share a quick video talking about their experiences, and how they encourage other women to consider pursuing automotive careers.
This year’s video entries highlight the depth and breadth of women in automotive jobs and experiences. “Today’s dealerships have more pathways for women than they ever had,” said Dottie Fitzgerald, President, Fitzgerald Auto Malls with locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida.
Several of the women shared their stories of the unconventional route that brought them into their current jobs. Mustang Ford Specialist Chrissi Coalter of Auto Plaza Ford Sainte Genvieve in Missouri came to the dealership as a customer two years ago and “fell in love with the employees at the dealership. So they took me on and I stayed.”
Lexus Certified Service Technician Lisa Kowite of Johnson Lexus of Durham, North Carolina started her career as a teacher with a master’s degree in education. “I loved teaching….but then I thought…‘If I could do anything what would I do?’” It turned out that Kowite’s dream job involved problem solving and working with cars every day.
But the two careers aren’t that different, Kowite said. “There are a lot of connections between what I do now and what I used to do when I was teaching. When I was teaching, you start off with a plan, [but] you don’t know how it’s going to go, you don’t know what’s going to happen in class. It’s the same working on cars in a sense that you never know what’s going to come into your bay.”
While all of this year’s entries were great, we’ve managed to narrow it down to our 10 favorite submissions. Nine of our favorite submissions will receive a $500 gift card and the grand prize winner will receive free admittance to the NADA Professional Series (along with a $1,000 gift card). Be sure to check out all the great submissions here or by searching for the #WomenInAutomotive hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.
Congratulations to each of the following winners! Scroll to the bottom to see the grand-prize winner’s video.
Continental Toyota, Tina Roberts, Collision Center Manager
Auto Plaza Ford Ste. Genevieve, Chrissi Coalter, Sales Specialist
Fitzgerald Auto Malls, Dottie Fitzgerald, President
Walser Automotive Group, Ellie Swenson, Business Development Manager
Tempe Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Emily Snelling, Sales Agent
LaFontaine Automotive Group, Maureen LaFontaine
Patriot Subaru, Amy Harrup, Express Service Advisor
Austin Infiniti, Arianna Afzal, Technicians
Fred Beans Auto, Beth Beans Gilbert, VP
AND the Grand Prize Winner:
Johnson Lexus of Durham, Lisa Kowite, Service Technician