Quintin Siemer, 44
District sales manager, General Motors
Military branch: Marines
Quintin Siemer relies on a tried-and-true military strategy when problem-solving for General Motors: the kaizen method, which emphasizes continuous improvement fueled by teamwork.
In the U.S. Marine Reserves, when the lieutenant commander or colonel set a goal, Siemer said, the sergeant, corporals and others would figure out together how to achieve it.
Siemer, now a district manager for GM, applies a similar approach in the auto industry. “You want to be able to find those solutions by brainstorming with folks that you may not be working with,” he said. Involving representatives from manufacturing, distribution and the dealerships is key to solving certain issues, he said.
“I love the teamwork in it, and I love using that method to come up with an action because it involves everyone,” Siemer said. “Everyone has a say in it.”
Siemer was a corporal when he left the Marine Reserves in 2001, after six years in the service.
He enlisted with the National Guard from 2010 to 2016.
After leaving the service, Siemer became a flight instructor for Aviation Services Worldwide. He joined the auto industry in 2006 as a salesman at a GM dealership and in 2009 became a general sales manager for a Hyundai-Subaru dealership in Nashville. After moving to a Chevrolet store in 2012, he decided he wanted to work for GM directly. He became a product trainer through GP Strategies Corp. before GM hired him in 2016 for roles in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Michigan. Today he oversees 12 Buick-GMC dealerships west of Detroit.
“I absolutely love the auto industry. I couldn’t do anything else,” Siemer said.
He has stayed involved with veteran causes as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, which provides first aid for downed pilots or lost campers and sends out aircraft for search-and-rescue missions. The group also hosts STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) events.
“Folks like me with a commercial pilot’s license, I can help provide math and engineering and physics and science training to these kids and to other adults that may want to do it,” Siemer said.
Siemer also is a member of the Marine Corps League. He meets with the group monthly for ceremonies such as final rites or weddings, and he helps veterans cope with struggles post-service by helping with rent payments and in one case, building a wheelchair ramp at a veteran’s home.
— Hannah Lutz