Your next F&I guru might be your local bartender.
That was one takeaway from my 40 under 40 retail reporting.
This week, Automotive News named its 40 under 40 retail honorees. They hold a variety of dealership roles and two of them have positions related to F&I.
Margot Miller, corporate finance director and chief compliance officer for Mills Auto Group in Fort Mill, S.C., worked at a resort in California before deciding she wanted to pursue hospitality management. She packed her bags for Charleston, S.C., where her parents lived, to enroll in the program at Johnson & Wales University. When she got there, she found out the campus had moved to Charlotte, N.C.
If it hadn’t moved, her story would have been very different. She started working at a local dealership and climbed the ranks fast. To her, the career opportunities available at a dealership are the biggest draw. Eleven months after she started at the store, she began working in F&I.
Jennifer Oribello, special finance manager at Cueter Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Ypsilanti, Mich., also broke the F&I mold. She planned on becoming a nurse. In college, she studied biology, but after graduation, she was unsure of which career she wanted to pursue. So she bartended for a while, then tried to get into pharmaceutical sales but lacked sales experience. She eventually ended up at the dealership and now she is consistently the top special finance performer among her peers in the six-store Champion Automotive Group.
The message here? The strongest F&I candidates may be in unlikely places. Open every door.