SPOTLIGHT by Jill Marcotte As I reflect on my career, it has gone very differently than I had initially envisioned. I learned quickly to embrace the wins, power through the challenges, and create a path that leverages agility and flexibility, while building on my strengths. My father, who passed away from COVID in 2021, was the reason for my education choice and professional path. His encouragement and belief in me at an early age, that I could do anything, led me to engineering, supply chain and eventually executive management. I started my career with General Motors in a forging facility in Detroit, Michigan. It was not at all what I envisioned for myself. The forge plant environment was very different than what I was used to. It was a very tough, hard core industrial environment. I learned some valuable lessons. On occasion, I wanted to give up and quit but knew deep down that this was going to be great foundational training for my future. I faced challenges from several people who did not think I should be there and said so. Many practical jokes (several very mean and dangerous) were played on me and I just kept chugging along – I never complained, I just won people over. I learned plenty to take with me into the rest of my career: how to handle confrontation, how to manage in a union environment, how to leverage metrics to drive productivity, how to motivate a team in a tough environment, and how to find advocates in unlikely circumstances. Everybody can be reached, has needs, can be motivated, and can even appreciate something new and different. I voluntarily took on a role of a floor supervisor. Leading a team of all men, many years older with many more years of experience, was a challenging assignment. Their jobs were very physical. In many cases, English was not their first language and they struggled with English speaking and writing. Some of my associates were unable to do basic math. I ended up conducting a voluntary class after hours for my team members who were interested in basic arithmetic and how to balance a check book. What started as a challenging, very difficult job, with a difficult workforce, ended up feeling more like me being the little sister of a fraternity. My next chapter was in the food industry with Nestle, Andes Candies and then Brach Confections. I was able to build my skill set, working closely with talented professionals in other departments such as marketing, finance, and senior management. I realized that just about anything is possible with the right people, planning, Jill Marcotte Dealer Tire Charting the journey of a lifetime as a partner in a $3 billion automotive enterprise 56 enterprising Women