Car Wash - Winter 2015 - (Page 75)

W O M E N I N C A R WA S H MANDI BROWER QUALITY CAR WASH BY LINDSEY QUICK MANDI BROWER DIDN'T plan to end up at Quality Car Wash. "I swore I would never work in the family business," she said. She had worked at a small accounting firm and then a small manufacturing company, using her accounting degree at both organizations. "When the manufacturing company closed, my father [Tom Essenburg] asked me to come help out with a few projects," she said. "That was 10 years ago, and those projects are still going. The door opened; I went through and have continued to love it ever since." Despite being the third generation to take on the business, Brower knew she couldn't take it easy. "Coming in, I had to work three times harder than everyone else," she said. "And I pushed it." Today, Brower is chief operating officer of Quality Car Wash's retail operations. The organization has five gas/c-store/car wash locations, one car wash/quick lube and four Tim Horton's restaurant franchises. A seventh wash, which will be an exterior wash only, is under construction. EVERY DAY IS DIFFERENT In her role, Brower is working on-site to solve issues and encourage team members and in the office to crunch numbers, meet with vendors, analyze the company's processes and procedures, and maintain the six office staff members. "Each day is different and hard to predict," she said. "My heart is in operations. I love the different tasks and challenges every day. No two days are alike." Most of that has to do with the people. Even though Brower said that people are both her favorite and least favorite part about her job, the team at Quality Car Wash is what gets her - and the company - going. "We often refer to our company as a bus that has no engine," she said. "Our team members are what move the bus. I've had the privilege to keep some great people who have been with the organization longer than I have, while also hiring some great new people to add to the team. It's our people that make the difference." Brower loves the people she gets to work with. Well, most of them. "I love the staff, our customers and most of our vendors," she joked. But it's not always smiles for Brower. "The people are also my biggest headache," she said. "They present the biggest challenges and I find myself losing more sleep over people than any number, piece of equipment or project that could be going on." "SHE WAS THE ONE YOU NEEDED TO TALK TO." As a woman in a mostly male-dominated industry, Brower said there are challenges, especially at tradeshows. "I was walking the DESPITE BEING THE THIRD GENERATION TO TAKE ON THE BUSINESS, BROWER KNEW SHE COULDN'T TAKE IT EASY. tradeshow floor, and my husband and a coworker were walking right behind me," she said. "The sales person skips over me and steps in front of them to start a conversation. My husband, not even in the car wash business at the time, said, 'She was the one you needed to talk to,' and points to me. I kept walking," she said. While Brower feels that she has to work harder to get the same level of respect, she does think women have the advantage in some ways. "Even though it's hard as a woman, we have emotion on our side," she said. "I feel I can lead with self-sacrificing love, be genuinely concerned about coworkers and I can lead with more of a gut intuition than the guys." Brower also stressed the importance of getting dirty. "You need to get dirty!" she said. "I have ruined so many clothes. There are days when my jacket comes off and I jump in the pit to fix something. It takes hard work over and over and over." And Brower wouldn't have it any other way. WINTER 2015 | CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG 75 http://WWW.CARWASH.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Winter 2015

Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Overheard Online
Seven trends affecting the future workforce
Talent development and company culture
The Affordable Care Act in action: Preparing for reporting in 2016
Still stuck in traffic
Car washes in the fast lane
Car Wash Show Europe launch a huge success
Enning, Loogman inducted to Car Wash Hall of Fame
Take a Tour
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duckā€¦
A gentler approach to damage claims
Wash Ideas
Women in Car Wash: Linda Parker
Blast from the Past
Marketing Minute
Women in Car Wash: Mandi Brower
Ask Champ
Download It!
5 ways to build trust in a business
Top Tweets
Safety Tip
Problem Solved
Index of Advertisers
5 Things

Car Wash - Winter 2015