Auto Remarketing Canada  is recognizing the 2022 Women & Automotive: Profiles honorees in the current issue of the magazine and at Canada's Used Car Week next month at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

In the weeks leading up to the June 27-29 event, ARC will be posting Q&As with each of the Women & Automotive honorees on this website.

First up is Annie Deslauriers, who is vice president of customer experience & operations at Sym-Tech Dealer Services

Auto Remarketing Canada: What do you enjoy most about working in automotive, and what would you change?

Annie Deslauriers: With 25 years invested in my career, I’ve experienced so much of what this industry offers. My automotive career started in retailer support at Volvo Canada and it continued to grow to what it is today. To highlight what I enjoy the most, it would be the challenging nature of this industry. You always have to be on your toes! You must be creative, resourceful, and not afraid to take initiative if you want to make a diff erence. As to what I would change, it would be the rate at which innovative customer experience initiatives are implemented.

We could all benefit from an accelerated pace in this area. The success of our industry begins and ends with customers! Many initiatives are overdue, we need to come together and shift our approach to drive change, not wait for the change to drive us.

ARC: What piece of career advice would you have for someone new to the industry?

Deslauriers: I would say that it’s a unique and challenging industry, but very rewarding. Focus on how you want to contribute, but don’t concentrate too much on the gender differences because the combination of the two is powerful. First, build your credibility, stay true to your values and “your personal brand” and apply it to everything you do. Really take the time to think about what you want to accomplish, how you’ll do it and how you want your work to be perceived. Make sure your actions are always a true reflection of “your personal brand” and always be yourself!

ARC: What is your proudest moment/ accomplishment, career-wise?

Deslauriers: I’m not sure I could isolate my one proudest moment; it is really a series of moments. I have never said “no” to the next opportunity that was offered, and I continuously pushed myself to do more, even though I wasn’t always convinced that I could. My career accomplishments have allowed me to grow through various roles and explore new leadership responsibilities.

Much of my automotive career has been spent in the area that I’m the most passionate about: customer experience. Many effective programs that I’ve developed and implemented with my teams are still in place today, which is always a positive sign. I’m confident and proud to say that we are always striving for the best!

ARC: What has been the top key to your success in retail automotive?

Deslauriers: I’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredible people over the years — too many to list. Most of them have been men but to be truthful, I have never felt less than an equal. My automotive career has been fulfi lling every step of the way. I’d say the top key to my success is my belief that engagement and collaboration are vital. I value inclusive teamwork and I am always committed to understanding and respecting the importance of dealer/client relations. I focus on establishing the best business relationships with dealers/clients to work towards achieving our collective goals. Th is doesn’t mean that we will always agree but we will always prevail.