Jennifer Reid, 37
Vice president of strategic partnerships, Market Scan Information Systems
Big break: Being part of the team that formed Mazda Capital Services following the Great Recession
Jennifer Reid was going to be a car dealer because her career progress put her directly on that path.
Reid, an auto fanatic from Canada, sold vehicles to pay her way through Northwood University in Midland, Mich., as her immigrant status precluded her from taking out student loans. She worked at several dealership groups in the U.S. and Canada in both sales and the finance department.
The next step was to potentially apply for a dealer loan to launch her own business, she recalled.
Then Reid’s career trajectory turned.
“For me, the career path was actually more about what problems can I solve, what am I passionate about solving, and how can I make an impact,” she said.
J.P. Morgan Chase in 2007 wooed Reid to the financial services side of the industry, where she eventually joined the team responsible for building a private-label captive finance company from scratch for Mazda in the wreckage of the financial crisis.
After years of working in dealerships, Reid understood the strength of a relationship between a lender and a dealership — and the tension points. In this role, Reid said she focused on solving problems “as everything was falling apart.”
“In many cases, I was able to understand what those dealers were going through as we were building that program out,” she said.
She ultimately managed revenue and relationships in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast for the captive.
Maintaining relationships became a theme in Reid’s career.
From there, she shifted gears and joined credit bureau Equifax in 2013 as product marketing leader. She soon became vice president of alliances and partnerships and then vice president of strategy and marketing.
At the credit bureau, she focused on building out education and training for industry associations in partnership with groups such as the American Financial Services Association and the Consumer Data Industry Association.
Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Reid consulted with dealers, lenders and others to demystify how federal stimulus measures would affect consumer credit.
In July 2020, Reid joined Market Scan Information Systems to lead strategic partnerships. Market Scan has technology partnerships with more than 40 companies, including General Motors, Roadster, Dealer Inspire, US Bank and Ally Financial.
For those wishing to follow in her footsteps, Reid’s advice is to embrace risk vs. following a prescriptive path.
“When you make an impact, that earns you the right to do the next thing,” she said. “Chart a course and really focus on what value you can bring and what problems you can solve.”
— Jackie Charniga