In honor of Women’s History Month and to recognize the magnificent women in our franchise system positively influencing their communities while driving their own professional growth, we want to highlight one particular owner who has stood out in the CBA family, McKenzie Coleman. After opening her shop in Covington, Louisiana in November 2022, we sat down with McKenzie to ask her a few questions about what led her to franchise with CBA and how her journey as a woman in the automotive industry has been so far.
Continue reading below to learn more about McKenzie Coleman:
Q: What was your first introduction to the Christian Brothers Automotive brand?
A: I was introduced to the brand by a fellow franchisee who was a friend from church. My husband and I started researching CBA and meeting people associated with the brand. Every person we met was excellent and every customer we talked to had raving reviews for the company. Finding something unpleasant or ordinary about the brand was like looking for a needle in a haystack; we never found it.
Q: How do your personal values align with the Christian Brothers Automotive brand mission and motto?
A: My husband John and I are people that love others and intentionally place ourselves in the midst of their lives in hopes of serving them or showing them love in some way. We are good listeners and eager to pray for others. We are honest and aim to do the right thing. Christian Brothers Automotive’s motto is the shining star for our affection for the brand; Love thy neighbor is our heart! CBA gives us a practical way to love on our neighbors in good times and not so great times. Many companies are able to lend a helping hand when their community members are in distress—and we do too—but the real fun is to “wow” our neighbors in the mundane. We hope the experiences we provide our guests get them excited for car-related services like oil changes! We have been open four months and have already had the privilege of loving our neighbors by changing tires on the side of the road, praying for families before stressful travel and absorbing the cost of repairs for a young woman in crisis.
Q: What skills from your professional background play a role in running your Christian Brothers Automotive business? Did you have previous automotive repair knowledge before joining the team?
A: I did not have any previous automotive repair knowledge, but that said, I am a wicked fast learner and I have a general insatiable quest for knowledge. I love puzzles and this business is opening up a whole new set of “puzzles” for me to learn. I am fascinated by the inner workings of a vehicle and working hands-on with technicians as the newbie has been thrilling. I spent most of my professional career in the financial services industry working in a financial planning capacity. I have brought this mindset to my CBA shop. I am the person behind the scenes trying to make the business grow, finding sales opportunities and paying close attention to expenses and revenue. I also worked in the service industry for much of my college career and during seasons I was on the mission field. I delighted in meeting and visiting with all types of different people and I get to do the same thing now.
Q: What advice would you give to other women who are interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry?
A: It is fun! My technicians get a real kick out of my eagerness to learn and are very kind and patient with my questions. Our technicians are fantastic and it has made this transition super great for me. My advice to other women pursuing this field would be to not let the stories or stereotypes scare you off, and to jump into the journey if it is something you are passionate about pursuing.
Q: Do you feel that there are unique strengths or perspectives that women bring to the automotive industry? If so, could you describe them?
A: Organization, efficiency and compassion. Yet the truth is that these have nothing to do with me as a woman and are just the strengths that define my skillset. What I once thought were strengths derived from my gender are actually just my God given strengths.
Q: Are there any notable moments during your time as a CBA franchise owner that stand out to you?
A: As a new franchisee, every experience has so far been shiny and new. Our opening week we changed two flat tires on the side of the road, and in our second month of business we were fortunate enough to bless a woman who needed substantial repairs to her vehicle. To see my team come together to create this blessing made a huge impact on me. Somehow, by Gods goodness, we have been blessed with a team that believes in our values, has a deep desire to truly help our guests and are drawn to the transparency that we provide. We did not have to teach this or encourage it; everyone on my team came in wanting to work in an environment like that. I think we are creating a culture that is addictive and contagious in its compassion. As we strive to love on our people and our guests, we hope they will love on the people in their circle of influence in turn. Like skipping stones, we strive to make a difference one drop at a time.
If you would like to learn more about the Christian Brothers Automotive franchise opportunity, explore our website and fill out our inquiry form when you are ready to speak to a member of our development team.