In a special ceremony Thursday, nine of this year’s 10-member Women in Remarketing class were on hand to accept their awards. Allison Weller, of RemarketingEdge, which sponsored the ceremony, spent some time asking these women to share some of their secrets.

This year’s class included Lilicia Bailey, of Manheim; Jennifer Costabile, of General Motors; Jody DeVere of, Kristie Griffin of Milwaukee Auto Auction; Deborah Malinowski, of Santander Consumer USA: Cynthia Mitchell, of BSC America; Gina Paolino, of Affinity Auto Program; Rachel Richards, of Sonic Automotive; Jennifer Schade, of ARI; and Ronna Webb; of ADESA. All but Richards were in attendance.

One question that came up was how do these women balance work and family demands?

Malinowski explained that she keeps two schedules. One is for personal time, such as family events, while the other is for work. She said learning how to politely and quickly say no is key for her.

When asked the same question, Schade laughed and said she wished she had Malinowski’s ability to say no.

“I’m trying hard to learn that,” she joked. But basically, she advised other women in the industry just to do their best and it will hopefully all work out.

Griffin pointed out runs the largest independent auto auction in Wisconsin. Asked to offer some advice, she said, “Business is war.”

Continuing on, for Costabile, her key to success was building a good network of people she’s worked for, who have worked for you and others. She said an early mentor told her this and she has followed this advice closely, seeing the benefits.

So why do some of these women go into what has traditional been a field dominated by men? What drives their passion for the business?

According to Mitchell, she enjoys the challenge of “continually having to recreate yourself.” She pointed out that the auction business is always changing.

Paolino also kept her response simple, advising others to, “Do your best and do it with integrity and pride.”

Webb appeared to echo this sentiment, saying, “If you are true to yourself, I think your hard work will be rewarded. Be true to yourself and success will come.”

Bailey said women should set career goals and then go about working toward meeting these.

“Find your talent,” she stressed, and capitalize on it.

DeVere said the key is to encourage young women and mentor them. In school, not a lot of women are sat down and presented the automotive field as an option, she noted. She encouraged other women in the industry to set up programs to drive others to follow their lead.