International Women's Day 2021: Women Behind the Battery
Traditionally, the automotive services industry has been a male-dominated field. However, in recent years, the landscape has evolved to a place where more and more women are showing their strength, vision, and leadership. Club Assist proudly employs women at every level. From field operations to the executive suite, women account for 30 percent of our workforce, helping to drive the AAA/CAA Mobile Battery Service Program.
Battery service is one of the most popular AAA/CAA offerings available to more than 61 million Members in the United States and 6.4 million in Canada. This year, in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, Club Assist is shining a spotlight on the women who help provide the products, knowledge, and tools that support and promote the Battery Program for Club customers across North America. Take a moment to meet some of the amazing women behind the battery!
Building Top-of-the-Line AAA/CAA Batteries
East Penn Manufacturing (EPM) makes millions of AAA/CAA batteries each year. Many of these premium batteries are assembled and inspected by women. In 2019, more than 2,000 women were employed by EPM, where they worked to promote product quality, prevent pollution, and enhance environmental performance, resulting in an exceptional automotive battery for AAA/CAA Members.
Supplying AAA/CAA Car Batteries to Fleets and Providers
Club Assist Service Route Representatives (SRRs) do so much more than deliver batteries to Club partners across North America. Using their specialized expertise, they help customers understand battery warranties and products, and answer questions related to the AAA/CAA Mobile Battery Service Program. Club Assist is proud to have recently welcomed the first female Service Route Representative to the team. Michelle Anders delivers approximately 1,500 batteries a month to AAA Fleets and Providers throughout Northern California and Nevada. Club Assist's U.S. western region has a long female chain of command: Michelle reports to Dongie Mangabat, Regional Account Manager, who reports to Juanita Perry, General Manager, who reports to Jennifer Caratola, Vice President of Operations!
Leading Field Operations
Two of Club Assist’s largest territories are overseen by women in leadership. Jennifer Caratola is Vice President of Operations in the western region of the U.S., and Breanna Gaudet is Vice President of Operations for Canada. These two dynamic women serve as the relationship managers to Clubs in their regions. They develop strategic initiatives for customer solutions that help facilitate Member satisfaction and Battery Program growth.
Jennifer began her career with Club Assist as a Marketing Coordinator in 2010, and has progressed on an upward trajectory of growth for the past eleven years. Breanna joined the team as Project Manager in 2014, before transitioning to leadership roles on the Operations team. Her demonstrated leadership, and keen automotive industry knowledge, paved the way for her advancement. Both women have elevated the AAA/CAA Mobile Battery Service Program for their Clubs and have worked to enhance the Technician and Member experience at the roadside.
Product and Technical Development
The Product and Technical team are recognized for their ongoing research, assessment, and development of industry-leading roadside and battery-related tools to improve the Technician and Member experience. Joselyn Davila, Operations Support Analyst, provides industry data analysis to deliver insight for determining which batteries belong in key territories. She also works alongside our sourcing team to monitor inventory shortages and ensure proper product flow. Joselyn is an integral member of the team responsible for tester development and the Toolbox app.
Strategizing for Battery Program Success
Club Assist’s Office of Strategy Management holds strategic planning workshops with AAA and CAA Clubs to evaluate strengths and identify areas of opportunity to formulate targeted business plans for competitive advantage. Leading the charge for amplifying the AAA/CAA Mobile Battery Service Program is Desiree Edwards, Vice President of Customer Experience. Drawing from her notable background in analytics, segmentation, and business intelligence, Desiree leverages data to identify actionable insights which drive initiatives for a Club’s Battery Program. This includes supporting the development of long-term strategic growth plans and profitability goals. She also oversees Club Assist’s Project Management Office; Learning and Development; and Marketing Services, to ensure continuity and alignment with AAA/CAA Club initiatives. Desiree sits on Club Assist’s Executive Leadership Team and serves as the trusted liaison and advisor between Club Assist and the AAA Federation.
Getting Creative with Batteries
How do you make a car battery have the same kind of appeal to consumers as robot vacuums, stationary bikes, or energy drinks? The answer is a cleverly crafted marketing strategy. Club Assist’s creative tour-de-force is led by Meredith Fordham Hughes, Director of Marketing. Meredith is an award-winning marketing leader specializing in brand strategy, graphic design, campaign development, digital content, social media, Search Engine Optimization, lead generation, content marketing, and multimedia video production. Her team, consisting of graphic designers, videographers, and account managers, has deep-rooted knowledge of marketing strategies developed specifically for the AAA/CAA Mobile Battery Service Program. This talented collection of experts knows exactly how to influence the actions and behaviors of Members, Technicians, and call center representatives. Working closely with Meredith are Rachel Bragg, Senior Marketing Manager; Kelly Radziski, Marketing Manager; Isabel Terrones, Marketing Manager; Maura Peragine, Graphic Designer; and Amanda Goble, Marketing Coordinator. The women of the Marketing Services team partner with AAA/CAA Clubs to solve their business challenges using breakthrough thinking to outpace the competition and help them better serve their Members.
Training Technicians, Call Center Agents, and Battery Program Managers
Teaching skills that lead to better Battery Program performance is second nature for Heather Wolfe-Hall, Director of Learning and Development. This former high school English teacher has more than 20 years working as a corporate training professional. She now leads Club Assist’s team of Technical Trainers, Instructional Designers, and e-Learning Specialists in creating programs that are accessible, engaging, and impactful. Heather’s mission since joining Club Assist in 2015 has been to develop the most relevant, industry-specific training methods for imparting the specialized skill sets needed by Technicians, call center agents, and Battery Program Managers. Heather’s team provides a comprehensive approach, including traditional classroom training, online courses, webinars, video tutorials, mentoring, job aids, and an online learning portal for on-demand training content.
International Women’s Day serves to celebrate and increase visibility on women’s achievements. From the roadside to the boardroom, women are breaking barriers in the automotive services industry! Club Assist is proud to have a strong network of outstanding women helping to support the success of the AAA/CAA Mobile Battery Service Program.