When Auto Remarketing asked Susan Hughes a series of questions about her industry experiences, the senior lender solutions manager at Black Book mentioned three different people for a variety of different reasons.
Hughes first mentioned Jeannie Chiaromonte, who heads up remarketing at Bank of America and is a past Women in Remarketing honoree. Hughes summarized a past conversation they shared.
“I asked her what kept her up at night,” Hughes said. “Her response was keeping the people that worked for her employed. It wasn’t her profit margins or keeping her bottom line right. It was the people she was worried about most.
“It is evident that she truly cares not only about what she does but also about everyone she works with,” added Hughes, a 2016 Women in Remarketing honoree.
Next, Hughes mentioned the recently retired Ricky Beggs, who served Black Book for more than 30 years and was honored last year during Used Car Week.
“He is truly a man of integrity, sound work ethic and immense knowledge. He made it his mission to know this industry inside and out,” Hughes said. “He was relentless in his efforts and inspiring in his enthusiasm.
“I worked with him on our quarterly calls with our clients, and it would have been easy to just clone the presentations from client to client,” she continued. “But he personalized each and every one of them, knowing each client, what issues they faced, and what population of vehicles would be most concerning to them. He was always available, always working, always thinking about how to make things better. His insights in the industry and life have been invaluable to me.”
Finally, Hughes noted the work of Mike Compton, who now is vice president of information technology at Black Book. Hughes indicated she started her career with the company at about the same time Compton did; back in 1999 when “there were floppy discs, typewriters and data reels. Obviously there has been a lot of change since then.” Hughes credited the work of Compton for helping to position Black Book where it is today.
“We were a publication company turning into a data company. This changed everything we did from the way we gathered and processed our data to our end products, and everything in between,” Hughes said. “Our company’s executive team did an incredible job hiring the best technology people around.”
That trio of industry professionals helped to mold Hughes into the Black Book executive she is now. Hughes described her approach to working with clients.
“I approach problem-solving by breaking it down into the smallest parts and then connecting it back together and looking for the problems,” she said. “Many times when there is a problem, what we think of as solutions turn out to be just a Band-Aid on the underlying issues. When you break down the process into its smallest parts, the true source of the problem is more evident.
“If a customer or colleague comes to me and says, ‘I need to know how to do this?’ I rarely just answer them even if I know,” Hughes continued. “I typically have a barrage of questions. ‘Why are you doing that? What outcome are you looking for? What do you do before that? What systems or processes are involved?’
“In most cases what they initially wanted from me isn’t what they truly need and you have to get to the source and identify the need before you start solving the problem,” she went on to say.
Check out the April 15 edition of Auto Remarketing to learn more about the entire class of 2016 Women in Remarketing honorees.
These outstanding leaders will be honored at Used Car Week 2016, where we will be launching our National Remarketing Conference partnership with the National Auto Auction Association.
Used Car Week is scheduled for Nov. 14-18 at the Red Rock in Las Vegas.