Oh Sister, We Celebrate Women Leading in Auto Care
On the eve of Women in Auto Care (WiAC), we look forward to meeting many people who energize our industry. Shop-Ware’s shop management software proudly sponsors WiAC and all its female staff are attending. Watch for our gray and orange logos in the crowd!
As we enjoy these gatherings, we stand in awe of the women who show leadership year after year. Today, we highlight three of them as examples of how one person can help so many shops thrive.
Margaret Palango, CEO of Autoshop Solutions
As a member of the North Carolina Hurricane Region Porsche Club, Margaret loves to take a spirited drive on weekends. In other words, she appreciates a smooth operation.
She also oversees one at the premier automotive services-based digital marketing agency. Margaret earned the CEO title as of Nov. 1, 2021 after 15 years of building the business.
“Every company needs a leader like Margaret,” said founder Danny Sanchez as he handed over the job to her. “She helped Autoshop Solutions stay focused on customer needs and to grow the most successful automotive agency in the industry. I have seen Margaret grow as a team member, as a leader and as a friend. She has been critical to our success and I am honored to be promoting her to this leadership position.”
Most people know Margaret as a dynamic leader who applies best practices across all company segments. She always explores strategic opportunities to support the growth of Autoshop Solutions.
When she joined the business in 2006, she set its brand position for quality website design and progressive internet marketing. Her roles have ranged from working with clients to the full website building process to running the company.
Margaret shares her marketing expertise with clients, employees, and fellow auto industry professionals and partners in the aftermarket. She has actively volunteered with member of Women in Auto Care since 2016.
Lorie Sharp, CEO at KUKUI
When KUKUI sought a visionary leader to keep pace with rapid tech advancements, the company found one in Lorie Sharp.
In fact, she brought more than 20 years of experience leading and transforming innovative global automotive companies as the competitive landscapes kept changing. Before her new role in March 2020, Lorie worked as managing director of asTech®, a global provider of vehicle electronic systems.
People know Lorie for supporting customers’ needs, as the automotive aftermarket industry evolves.
“It is an exciting time of unprecedented growth and opportunity in the automotive industry at large,” Lorie says. “I will continue the mission of supporting the success of automotive businesses worldwide.”
Kukui created the All-in-One Success Platform, which empowers each of its clients with advanced business intelligence. It runs an integrated suite of marketing solutions and custom-built websites optimized for high sales conversion.
Shop-Ware joined the KUKUI program in January 2021. By integrating, users of both platforms get supercharged access to KPI metrics and tools to help their shops succeed.
Kathleen Long, Chief Revenue Officer at Repair Pal
Kathleen Long never thought she’d end up in the automotive industry, even though her father worked as a mechanic.
“To me, the auto industry meant scantily clad women on calendars, endlessly boring trips to the parts store and men arguing about the cause of some intermittent electrical failure in the car’s wiring system,” she says.
After that remark, you can almost hear her trademark laugh that once set off glass-break alarms in a conference room.
Now, she calls herself “beyond proud” of what the auto industry looks like and to be part of a company that is changing the industry for the better. She speaks at WiAC on Friday so tune in for Saying Cool Things (Without Peeing Your Pants). “I promise at least one key recommendation you’ve never heard anywhere before,” she says.
Kathleen insists on connecting people with disruptive, useful technologies, aided by humans who are given space to be themselves. She grew her career from a chair in a call center to a seat at the executive table in 10 years.
While working at three payroll companies, Kathleen built and developed world-class sales, success and support teams, experiences and strategies. She delights equally in mentoring and developing employees who go on to achieve great success.
Her recipe draws on principles of authenticity, hard work and empathy. At RepairPal, Kathleen has led all partner and shop initiatives, including business development and strategy, operations, marketing and customer success.
For more inspiration, check out the full array of speakers.
* Photos courtesy of Autoshop Solutions, Remarkable Results Radio, KUKUI and RepairPal
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