Jason Olesnavage's auto career got off the ground quickly, like one of his field goals for the University of Michigan football squad.
Olesnavage, whose family has indigenous roots in New York's Cayuga tribe, was drawn to the industry when, in 2010, a professor alerted him of an informal training program for potential general managers at Victory Automotive Group, which has stores in Alabama, California, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.
Olesnavage was a kicker for the Wolverines, appearing in 12 games as a fifth-year senior. The economics major was unsure of what career options he wanted to pursue, so he began researching the car business once his professor mentioned the opportunity. He said he liked what he discovered because he felt auto retailing was a career in which hard workers could move up the ladder.
And he did just that. In three years, Olesnavage went from bright-eyed rookie in the service lane of a North Carolina Chevrolet store in 2010 to general manager at a Honda dealership in California.