At CARSTAR Torcam Group, which owns CARSTAR Simcoe, CARSTAR Brantford and CARSTAR Brantford West outside of Toronto, they take their efforts to create a female-led workplace seriously. With nine women serving in managerial and customer service roles across their three facilities, CARSTAR Torcam Group is proud of the ladies who lead it.
CARSTAR is saluting the female owners, managers, estimators and technicians as it wraps up Women’s History Month this March.
Tammy Cooper, who manages insurance company relationships for CARSTAR Simcoe, says women have a positive impact on the collision industry and bring a great ability to multi-task, provide excellent customer service and are detail-oriented.
“I enjoy the hard work and challenges,” says Cooper. “My husband and I owned and operated a rust check business, and I wanted to expand my automotive experience. Joining CARSTAR has been great. The industry offers many pathways to take while learning new tasks.”
Pamela Meyers, customer service manager for CARSTAR Simcoe, has worked in the automotive industry for more than 30 years as a quality engineer.
“I have always enjoyed interacting with the car manufacturers and customers,” says Meyers. “I love it! I try to interact with the customers on a personal level. I have a very good rapport with the insurance companies and customers. I think having more women in the industry makes it more diversified and customer-oriented.”
Holley Bush is a customer service manager with CARSTAR Simcoe who ended up in the automotive industry by accident.
“I love our family-oriented work environment,” she says. “I think women bring more patience to the body shop. It’s fantastic to see more women in the industry.”
Diahann Elliot, with CARSTAR Simcoe, grew up helping her father as a mechanic and got into automotive industry through his connections.
“Everyone at CARSTAR has given me every opportunity to learn and push my career forward,” says Elliott. “I learn new things every day and am given a chance to try new techniques and skills. Showing that I am not afraid to get dirty usually helps show my motivation. Women are beneficial to have in this industry because of our attention to detail and perfection. I love being a good influence on younger girls to show they can do any job they want.”
Laura Torres Camacho
Laura Torres Camacho joined CARSTAR Brantford West as a customer service representative to help her parents, who co-own CARSTAR Torcam Group.
“My favorite part about working in this facility is that they have a great balance of work and fun,” said Camacho. “I started training as a CSR so I could help them out when they need it. Personally, I feel like I am able to provide a more detailed view of things, which helps in catching mistakes or missed information. The benefits of having more women in the collision repair industry is having a different perspective on things as well as making it a more comfortable environment for our female and even some of our male clients.
“It’s great being able to work together and be able to learn from each other. I got into the automotive repair field after my husband and myself bought into the business after his parents purchased it. I feel like I am more open-minded and think of different solutions to find the best path to solving a challenge. I feel like having women in our business brings a fresh perspective to the customers as well as our vendor partners. It also empowers women to join the industry and balance what was once a male-dominated field.”
Samantha Parsons-Lawrie, a manager and estimator for CARSTAR Brantford West who started fixing cars at a very early age with her father, began her career as an automotive technician and transitioned to auto body repair then vehicle painting.
“I love the positive environment and supportive team who I work with,” Parsons-Lawrie says. “With my knowledge and experience, I now manage the shop and write estimates. I possess a different point of view, which, combined with my attention to detail and tenacity, aids me in accomplishing challenging tasks. The obstacles I’ve had to overcome have made me a stronger individual. More than half of our customer base is women. Having a female in that management role makes the transaction easier for them. We are more approachable and sometimes more empathetic to the needs of the customer.”
Kelly Avery, manager for CARSTAR Brantford, says repairing a vehicle to pre-accident condition is truly an art form.
“My favorite part of working at this facility is the genuine support and team effort put forth by everyone,” she says. “I enjoy coming into work. It is a friendly and positive atmosphere and everyone works hard to accomplish a job well done. Teamwork makes the dream work! I feel confident that this area of work was meant for me and love my job.”
Paige Cooper, a new team member at CARSTAR Brantford, became interested in the automotive industry after her parents owned an automotive business.
“I like the environment and fast pace,” she says. “I enjoy learning new experiences and I feel I have a great ability to become a strong asset to the team.”
Liliana Camacho joined CARSTAR Brantford in 2007.
“I love our team and how everybody is so engaged to make this company a success,” says Camacho. “I was looking for a career change and a job that will offer stability and opportunity for growth. I found it at CARSTAR. I am very detail-oriented and I like to understand the reason behind things just so I can determine the best approach. I would say that the industry has changed a lot over the years. When I started, it felt more isolated as there were not many women. Now, you can see women all across the board!”
For more information on CARSTAR Canada, visit carstar.ca.