This is surprisingly hard for me to accept. I’ve known it for a while, but my origins in the car business were very different from the way that I run my company. Ours is an industry that is loaded with technology, emotion, competition, and a visionary’s mentality, but at the end of the day it comes down to the people.

I came into the industry as an outsider. Nearly two decades ago, I started with an automotive vendor and I’ve never looked back. Some of the best people I’ve worked with over the years have been non-car-people, so it took some adjusting to get me to where I am today, which is the exact opposite side of the spectrum.

Now, we hire car people. I won’t say that we won’t hire from outside of the industry; one upcoming hire is bringing talent from the jewelry business, of all places. However, I’ve learned in recent years that the hotbed of talent that can truly change the industry the way we envision lies within the dealership ranks themselves. Those who have been in the trenches selling, financing, and servicing vehicles have the right perspective that my company needs in order to make the biggest impact for our clients.

We can train a car person the ins and outs of digital marketing much more easily than we can train a digital marketer the ins and outs of the car business. This is a relatively recent development. A decade ago, most working at dealerships had very little experience and understanding when it came to search, social, video, and content marketing. Today, the scales have shifted in the opposite direction. In fact, I would say that eCommerce Directors, BDC Managers, and Internet Managers at car dealerships could go into other industries very easily and revolutionize the way they operate online.

It is with great pleasure that I announce that Christine Robertson has joined our team. She is the latest in a line of hires that we’ve recruited from the dealership world, including Subi, Willis, Ray, and even my partner and co-founder JD.

People make this business great. Car people will make our business great. This is truly an industry where the cream rises to the top.