An Exit Interview for a Parting Operator
Oct. 16, 2020—During a video interview with NOLN, reigning Operator of the Year Sue Ackley announced that she'd gotten out of the quick lube business and into another sector: CBD sales.
We at NOLN thought it would be good to follow up with an exit interview of sorts to see how Ackley is settling into her new role.
What lessons in management and leadership will you take with you in this new business venture?
Ackley: I have ALWAYS treated my employees as I would want to be treated. This doesn’t change! I treat them with kindness, thoughtfulness and care about them, no matter what business I would own. If I need to discuss an issue or problem I always start out with something good they have done, next discuss the problem and finish with a “thank you for being a valued employee and part of my work family.”
What do you miss most about being in the quick lube business?
What I miss the most is AOCA. This came to be such an important part of my life and I totally dedicated so much of my time over the years to helping make it a better organization. This is a bittersweet transition, but I believe one always needs to look forward and never back,
There are so many special people I will miss: suppliers, other lube operators, learning about new products and better ways to do things. But most of all, I miss my friend Dave Jensen from Canada, who was my vice president. He always had my back and we discussed everything that was happening with the organization and set a plan together.
I will truly miss Joanna Johnson ( AOCA’s policy advisor) who not only knows more about all aspects of AOCA, but has helped in many ways that most of you have no idea. Through the years we became closer friends, (not just with AOCA) and I have such admiration and respect for her.
It is sad that there are no female shop owners on the board any longer. As I believe that women bring a different prospective and are a great addition to AOCA. My one suggestion would be for those that want to see change, more members, better speakers at iFLEX, to get involved. There is a greater need than ever. Change the board members more frequently, as AOCA continuously needs new ideas. (There used to be terms; what happened to them?) The members would also vote, but now its just the board of directors that vote a new member on the board. Let the executive director know of your interest and you will never regret it. Create change!! After 25-plus years as a member of AOCA, I know this for sure.
Where will you get your quick maintenance services now?
There is a small shop, with a man who cares about his customers and goes above and beyond. Not strange that Masters Automotive is my choice to service my car in St. Peters, MO.
As I say goodbye, I wish everyone continued success in the automotive industry.