Tuesday, 24 November 2015 00:39

Melissa Miller, CARSTAR’s New VP of Operations, Discusses Role and Changes

After Driven Brands acquired CARSTAR earlier this month, the company announced senior leadership changes at CARSTAR on November 20. Autobody News spoke to Melissa Miller who was promoted to CARSTAR’s vice president of operations.

In her new role, Miller will focus on leading the company’s field team “to ensure that we are meeting the KPIs necessary to lead our franchisees to greatness.” She will report to Dean Fisher, named Chief Operations Officer.

Based in Maryland, Miller said, “I’m really looking forward to continuing this next chapter, gaining more resources for our field team, and figuring out what this looks like together, helping our franchisees become more successful.

“We may not always agree. I say if we have 80 percent agreement and 100 percent commitment, then ultimately we’re going to reach our goal,” said Miller. “At the end of the day, we’re all in it to win and show that when you have an owner at the driver’s seat as our franchises do, we outperform other MSO groups in the country. I feel that we’ve proven that, especially over the past few years.”

Miller got her start in the industry working for her own family business, Randy and Bob’s CARSTAR in Chicora, PA. Originally established by her grandfather, it is run by her father Randy and uncle Bob. This year the CARSTAR location is celebrating its 40th anniversary and her cousin Nathan will soon be leading the family business. “It’s a complete representation of what CARSTAR is,” said Miller.

Miller worked as the company’s bookkeeper in a small office in the back of the shop. Over the years, she was the office manager, marketing manager and helped wherever she was needed while the business grew. In 1999, the shop expanded from 7,000 to 18,000 square feet.

She said that she learned a long time ago about working together as a family. “I always really appreciated that you have this family you can count on no matter what, no matter what challenge you are faced with,” she said. “Whatever is the news of the day we figure out a way to talk about it and overcome adversity or challenges in order to really work together.

“I believe that is really why I was appointed to [my current] position because I focus on our current and next generation franchisees, continuing to build our footprint, and try to figure out how we can continue the legacy that those before have built,” said Miller.

Miller joined CARSTAR in 2004 as integration manager, working with new stores and helping them navigate through the changes of becoming a CARSTAR store. Later, she was named regional service manager responsible for 35-40 stores and then transitioned to senior regional service manager. Two years ago Miller became national director of operations before being recently promoted to VP of operations.

“What I appreciate most about CARSTAR in general is that we’re a family,” said Miller. “You know that within a family there are always these multi-faceted personalities and how we accomplish our goals but at the end of the day we’re all related in some way as far as representing the brand.”

In addition to her role at CARSTAR, Miller sits on the board of the Women’s Industry Network as administrative vice-chair. She is also the co-chair of the communications committee with Jessica Rob from AkzoNobel. “The career growth I have experienced as being part of WIN has been absolutely fantastic,” said Miller. “I wouldn’t be in this position today without the mentorship and networking I have experienced through this inspiring, supportive organization.”