Co-founder of sil’s complete auto care and bookkeeper
I was born/grew up in:
I was born in Rijswijk, Netherlands. We immigrated to Canada in 1963 so more of my life I lived in Canada
I now live in: Beamsville Ontario
I completed my training/education at: I started out in a one room school house “Cairn’s Corner”. Then I attended Stayner College--- then Collingwood College—then Barrie Business College. Some course for my banking career at the University of Toronto. Many automotive courses for technician training and management training. Training and learning never stops.
Describe what you do at work.
I’m a partner with my husband in our automobile collision repair business. I have lots of different roles in the building of our business over the years but mainly with the financial side. Now a days it is just paper work. I keep our books, do our financial reports and tax submissions. I also make sure we get our invoices out and that we pay our bills on time. I can do most of it from the house because it is mostly done on computer. But I generally go in to the office once a week to keep contact with the employees and address any concerns they might come up.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
I guess one of the greatest affects I have is on the people who work at our shop. I manage the books to make sure we have cash coming in so we can pay them a good wage for the great work they do. Making sure they have up to date training helps make sure the work they do is top quality and that has a ripple effect to the customers who trust their vehicles to us to repair.
What motivates you in your career?
I’m motivated by the fact that there is always so much to do and that you never get bored. There are always problems to solve and issue to solve. I find that looking after customers is very motivating. I enjoy people and helping them out.
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
The short answer is that we got to where we are today by lots of hard work. Running a business is not what I expected to be doing while I was in high school. I graduated from Barrie Business School and then went on to work for a bank. As my husband and I went forward in our lives together and started a collision repair business we both learnt as we went along. I took many courses in management to help with that part of the business. There were several up and downs but with hard work we built our business to where it is today.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
This has changed over the years. I used to volunteer with soccer when my children were young. I was on the Italian social club board. Today I help out at our church.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
The automobile collision repair industry is a great place to work. If you are interested in working with your hands, there are lots of careers you can follow. If you are good at math there are lots of financial careers. If you are good with technology there are many technology-related roles. The work can be hard but it is very rewarding when the problem is solved and someone’s car is running smoothly. All the people who work in a collision repair shop are part of that solution.
Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA Canada) is proud to partner with Let's Talk Science to help shed light on the many interesting STEM related careers available in the automotive aftermarket industry. From the skilled trades to management positions, this industry offers exciting opportunities in a number of areas.
AIA Canada is a national association representing the $21.6 billion automotive aftermarket industry comprising of companies that manufacture, distribute, and install automotive replacement parts, accessories, tools, and equipment. The industry currently employs up to 400,000 people from coast-to-coast.