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Lori Wittman

VinSolutions

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Vice President and General Manager, VinSolutions
Overland Park, Kan.
Age: 48
Education: B.S., accounting and business administration, University of Kansas

What attracted you to the auto industry? I saw how much technology was changing in the industry and that dealers were really adopting it.

First automotive job: Vice president of operations at VinSolutions in 2013

Big break: When the people at Cox Automotive hired me at VinSolutions, taking a chance on somebody from outside the auto industry

What is the major challenge you've faced in your career? Prioritizing. We have so many great things to work on we have to stop and figure out what is the most impactful work to put our energy to.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career? My dad. He's a farmer. He was the youngest of 12 children and started out with nothing. Through determination and smarts, he built a small business, raised a family and instilled in us the right values.

What should be done to encourage women to enter the auto industry? Recruit outside the auto industry, too. There are lots of talented women in the technology and retail industries who could succeed here.

Tell us about your family. My husband, David, runs his own business. We have two sons, now 20 and 22. My family is very important to me, which is why I left a consulting job after 13 years. It was too hard on my family. I left for a position that allowed me to travel less and spend more time with David and the boys.

What's your favorite weekend activity? I'm a huge sports fan. KU sports. The Kansas City Royals. I'll go to KU football games to tailgate with my son.

When and where was your last vacation? In late May, we took our sons and their friends to Sanibel Island to celebrate my oldest son's graduation from college.

Best advice you've ever gotten? Think of everything as a choice. After my first son, I loved my career, but felt I was not a great mom. That was the advice I was given. I decided to change jobs.

Name one talent you wish you had. I wish I was fluent in a foreign language. Where I came from in Kansas there was a large group of people of French descent.

By David Barkholz

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