Car shows and swap meets teamed with shiny old cars and spare parts strewn on blankets. All were adorned with “For Sale” signs. These events filled much of my time as I passed from childhood to adulthood. Like the son my father never had, I accompanied him on his automotive ventures. His hobby was working on cars, specifically classic car and muscle car restoration. I was his assistant, always there by his side knowing what tool to hand to him. Whether it was cherry pickers, big blocks, bodywork, or tires, at a very early age I was aware of what made cars go!
My career in the automotive industry began over 23 years ago, before I entered college. Initially, I was involved in auto shows and special events. One of my first jobs was with Isuzu where I served as a spokesperson and facilitator. In this capacity, I appeared on the Oxygen network in a segment about “Women in SUV’s.” I was also involved in the product launch of the Axiom, where I trained both regional staff and dealers. When the Cadillac Escalade hit the market, GM sent teams of facilitators out across the country with one of its top competitors, the Lincoln Navigator. As part of this team, I was responsible for training on both of the products.
In the midst of this activity, I attended The University of Michigan and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. My work responsibilities required that I frequently and seamlessly “shift gears” between college coed and automotive trainer. I chose to pursue a degree in Kinesiology, the study of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement. With my high school athletic history, which included varsity golf, varsity volleyball, and a First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwon, studying Kinesiology was a natural extension of my interest in competitive sports.
With college graduation, I was now able to extend my focus on my automotive career pursuits. Over the years, my role had grown increasingly technical in nature and I relished the opportunity to expand my knowledge and instructional skills related to technological complexities and advancements. When Mazda geared up with its program on the new RX-8, we hit the road training on the RENESIS rotary engine and other advanced technologies. Since the RX-8’s introduction, I continued to work with Mazda on their dealer trainings. One of the most rewarding trainings was Mazda’s “Power and Precision Challenge” where I co-facilitated a four-hour technical training program addressing the RX-8, MX-5 Miata, MAZDASPEED MX-5 Miata, and the MAZDA 6. This training took me to an entirely new level of understanding performance-tuned cars.
Since that time, my technical expertise continues to skyrocket. Whether it’s engines, suspensions, steering systems, drivelines, body design, construction, or safety, I am training anyone from top sales consultants to service technicians to trainers themselves. Involved with a number of automotive manufacturers, my knowledge base of trucks, cars, and SUV’s continuously increases. I have come a long way from handing the appropriate tools to my father!
Outside of my profession, my strong passion for the outdoors brings me balance and a constant positive outlook to life in general. From tending my flower and vegetable garden to kayaking, camping, or fly-fishing, I truly enjoy the bounty of nature. Athletics, also, continues to be a sense of joy for me, as well as my family activities. It’s all about enjoying what I do, and I am fortunate that my lifelong interest in cars has enabled me to participate in such rewarding career endeavors!