Car Wash - Winter 2015 - (Page 75)
W O M E N I N C A R WA S H
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
"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
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Winter 2015
Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
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 duck…
A gentler approach to damage claims
Women in Car Wash: Linda Parker
Blast from the Past
Women in Car Wash: Mandi Brower
5 ways to build trust in a business
Index of Advertisers
Car Wash - Winter 2015