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News ReleaseATI Welcomes First Women's 20 Group!

Leading Ladies/Chubby's Angels

Leading Ladies/Chubby's Angels, from left to right: Donna Grady, Michelle Long, Tammy Shoemaker, Janet Manning, Karen Donald, Megan Hines (in front of Karen Donald), CATI CEO Chris "Chubby" Frederick, Beth Ammazzalorso, Patty Carroll, Shelle Bennett, Sheila Kissane, Diane Steinback, Judi Haglan, Barbara Parise, Allison Brunovszky.

Pay attention gentlemen. The winds of change are blowing, and a force to be reckoned with is gathering on the distant horizon. Fortunately, it's a force for good and its sole purpose is to help make your shop - and every other owner's - become better than ever! 

Meet the Leading Ladies/Chubby's Angels: ATI's first - and many would say long overdue - women's 20 Group! These 16 shop owners/co-owners have arrived with the experience, insight, skills, determination, spit and gristle to tackle anything in their paths. And that's exactly what they intend to do. 

To ATI's forward-thinking-credit, CEO Chris Frederick himself came up with the idea some years ago. But it wasn't until this year's SuperConference that the concept began to get traction. Judi Haglin brought up the subject at SuperConference, a sufficient number of women threw their hats in, ATI Coach Kim Hickey agreed to be facilitator and the ball was rolling. 

To get the group started, an invitation was sent out to all the SuperConference attendees. For the initial group, everyone that responded was accepted - a mix of owners, owner spouses and managers whose involvement varies from doing the books at home to running the business. They will meet at ATI-HQ twice annually. 

The moniker "Chubby's Angels" was originally conceived by Mike Haley as a placeholder name for the group. At its first meeting, the ladies decided the group's permanent name should reflect their roles as trendsetters and professionals - while still having a little fun. As they plan to take the lead in the industry as far as serving as good role models, as well as mentoring and educating other women, it was agreed that we would become "Leading Ladies" - under the Chubby's Angels umbrella. 

Going forward, the women's 20 Group members will be chosen just like regular 20 Group members. They will need to fill out an application and will be placed in the most appropriate group for their skills and interest levels. It is hoped that two or three additional groups can be formed quickly and that each will include a good mix of people who will give as much as they take - a core 20 Group principle. Potential applicants should know that, for the most part, these groups will not be delving into numbers or KPI's during at least the first few meetings; allowing the focus to be on subjects that either are specific to women or are not being given the attention they might deserve - and, of course, supporting each other. 

Kim Hickey mentioned some of them: "The ladies have agreed on a number of areas of interest - assisting other women in the automotive industry, humanitarian projects, community outreach and involvement, mom/wife/business owner life balance, learning to delegate, learning to NOT be a "Jill of all trades, master of none," establishing and implementing better shop policies and procedures and putting well-prepared disaster/tragedy contingency plans into place." And what about special skills that the Angels can bring to bear on the day-to day challenges facing every shop? 

"That's easy," said Hickey: "Generally speaking, women are more in tune to appearances. This helps with making sure the shop, waiting area, rest rooms, uniforms, etc. are visually appealing and well maintained. More than half of the customers that bring in vehicles are women. It is a proven fact that female customers feel more comfortable dealing with a woman. Women often have a greater capacity for sensitivity and empathy toward both customers and employees. Those dynamics can provide an otherwise non-existent early warning system to management." 

She concluded: "Women are not afraid to ask for help. They can multi-task and be different things to different people. And women are able to objectively put policies and procedures in place, without worrying about being able to stay 'buddies' with the techs." 

What these ladies discover and recommend will be worth noting, as their observations come from a unique perspective. That's basically what an outside consultant provides - a fresh look at old problems and new ideas for solving them - or even preventing them in the first place.

The fact that ATI's collective industry-expert brain is going to grow a lot of unique new cells bodes well for all of us! 

Email Facilitator Kim Hickey for more information.

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