Other Women in The Industry

In a recent trade publication Amber Kendrick, owner of Pete’s Auto Parts in Michigan was honored as one of the woment leaders in our industry. I was also glad to see Janice Schroder, the VP of Marketing at Car-part.com. She is a fantastic person and leader. All of us can be proud of what Janice and her family have accomplished for this industry.

I loved the idea of honoring women in our industry my list is about 52 ladies long! So I picked a few from my list to honor here as well. I would like to start with the three past presidents of ARA who were women. Ginny Whelan, who was the first woman President of ARA. Sandy Blalock was the second, and Linda Pitman was the third. Soon to be the 4th women President in 2022-2023 is Shan McMillion, owner of Cocoa Auto Salvage, in Florida.

Our thank you is overdue to the following women who have given so much of their time, energy, and talent. Additionally, it is also through the efforts of these ladies that we have gotten better at what we do. I certainly cannot list all the women from the industry in this article, so I’ll list a few in no special order.

For the last 25 years, Barbara Utter has served as the Executive Director of ARM (Auto Recyclers of Michigan) and replaced her husband at the helm of ARM upon his passing. Barbara stepped in, and the association has done very well since she took over. She has proven that obstacles are opportunities to make oneself better.

I certainly cannot omit adding Fran Reitman to my list. Reitman Auto Parts & Sales Inc. is in Melbourne, Kentucky. Fran and her late husband, Randy (also a Past President of ARA) helped many people in our industry grow as recyclers and being a better person. I am a more caring person because I have a friend in Fran Reitman.

Years ago at an “IT” Convention., I met another talented woman, Rachel Rigsby-Lare. At the convention they needed someone to sing, “God Bless America.” Rachel not only is As the Past President of FIADA and owner of Rigsby Auto Parts of Zephyrhills, Florida, where she created a growing business with barely used parts, she also was a graduate from Juilliard with a voice degree. Rachel commanded everyone’s attention with a voice like Celine Dion. Even though she runs a wonderful business, Rachel maintains a full voice studio in her home.

How about this woman who has a sales and training background? Theresa Colbert. Theresa is a sales and training specialist with Car-part.com. Not only does Theresa know sales and training, but she is a wonderful speaker who writes for our trade papers. I learn something every time she speaks. She finds the correct product to fit each customer’s needs and makes sure they’re trained to use it.

Kelly Roepke is the President of Y-Yard Auto & Truck. With over sixty acres to work from in Effingham, Illinois, Y-Yard has a massive inventory to help their customers. Y-Yard is blessed to have Kelly leading their business.

Marcy King of Rebuilders Automotive Supply is another woman that I must mention. Back in 1983, Marcy and her husband, Steve joined the leadership team at Rebuilders. They do a thorough job collaborating with customers.

Lisa Jordan from Jordan Auto Parts began in 1986 in Dilliner, Pennsylvania. Their business started with 2 salvage trucks, a small pole building and a dream. Today, Lisa, her husband, Dave, and family have a “state-of-the-art” recycling facility on 70 acres with 8,000 vehicles and a 23,000 sq. ft. warehouse, complete with 10 dismantling bays and 36 employees. Lisa is a visionary with a great family.

Last one to mention in this issue, but certainly not least, Amanda Zmolek is an industry relations analyst for Copart. A loyal friend to all in the industry, Amanda also writes for trade papers. As a staple in our industry, Amanda never misses a show or convention.

There are so many women to be recognized for their addition to our industry, but I must close. I look forward to honoring more in later issues. Many thanks go to these women who are leading our industry.

See you next time.

Correspondence regarding this article should go to:

D.J. Says, 2820 Andover Way, Woodstock, GA 30189

D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, Caterpillar, and Damon Corporation. He may be reached at 800-352-5252. E-mail: dj@djsays.com. 52 weeks a year, we are as close as your telephone.