“Integrity is an all-the-time thing. You don’t get to pick and choose when it’s applied —you either have it, or you don’t.”
I wear a lot of hats at Company of Cars. In addition to straddling the dual roles of Controller and Finance Manager, I’m the wife of the boss, daughter-in-law to my colleague, and mother to a beautiful 2-year old. Truly, the buck stops here.
My family moved to Canada from Korea when I was 8, and the initial culture shock gave way to an appreciation for my extended family and friends that are part of my DNA today. When I was 16, my parents decided to move back to Korea. I think it was hard for them, but for me Canada was now home, so I decided to persevere. Faced with the challenge of raising myself without a family, I learned pretty quickly “how to make things work.”
I suppose this should be the space to profess my life-long love of the automotive industry, but my first car purchasing experience was actually horrible!
When I was younger, I bought what I believed at the time was a beautiful pre-owned red Honda Accord coupe and felt genuinely privileged to own such a beautiful car. Several months after purchasing it I was in a minor fender bender. I took the car to a body shop owned by a friend to fix the minor cosmetic damage, but to my mechanic friends trained eyes, the car “didn’t look right.” He asked if I knew of any other accidents that my car had been in. I said, “No. The salesperson said the car was accident free.” Suspicious, my friend ran an ICBC history report for me and I found out that my car had actually been a rebuilt from salvage. Furious, I went back to the used dealership where I had bought my car, and all they said was “too bad, you signed the papers!” I argued in vain and felt completely betrayed, but the crooked dealer said it didn’t matter because it was all verbal.
That experience motivates me everyday to make sure that none of our clients at Company of Cars ever feel that way. Integrity is an all-the-time thing. You don’t get to pick and choose when it’s applied — you either have it or you don’t. I always base my decisions on whether or not they are ethical and right. I try to protect my clients and educate them as much as possible and take a lot of pride in being honest and transparent. I know that this industry has gotten a bad rap but I have tremendous pride in the way we here at Company of Cars handle ourselves. Regardless of whether you buy from us or not, I’m proud of the bar we’ve set and really enjoy finding ways to improve our systems every day.
My conservative Korean roots are the foundation of my personality, but immigrating to Canada and the excitement of building a new life (and this company) are what fire my creative nature!