California Fix Auto Operations Manager Leads with Love for People, Potential

Erika Wright believes in facilitating communication and empowering employees with knowledge and confidence.


International Women’s Day is March 8, and every day, Erika Wright, business operations manager for Fix Auto Modesto, Fix Auto Modesto – City Center and Fix Auto Sonora in California, inspires her team with passion and the energy she brings to everything she does.

“There's a saying by Henry Ford that goes ‘If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.’ Apart from loving what I do, I truly enjoy the people I work with,” said Wright. “I love seeing and being a part of our team that wants more and strives to succeed. It is important to love what we do, but when you're surrounded by great people, it makes the work that much more enjoyable and allows you to feed off of each other's energies to achieve a greater purpose.”

Wright knows the value of hard work, learning on the job and leveraging opportunities.

“I have been in the auto industry for about eight years,” she said. “Before working at Fix Auto USA, I was working for a car dealership across the street as a cashier. I told myself that after this job, I would get out of the industry because I did not enjoy the culture. I was ready to explore other options after sticking it out for three years. One day my current boss and Fix Auto USA owner, Krishneel Chand, walked in to pick up a vehicle that was being serviced. I wasn't able to personally greet him and walk him through the process due to handling a phone call with an upset customer. But I was able to multi-task by helping the customer over the phone as well as assisting Krish -- and he offered me a job on the spot.”

On-the-job training and good leaders provided Wright a leg up.

“After coming on board and learning that there was more to the auto industry than just dealerships, I was provided the opportunity to learn and grow in a field that wasn't limited for me,” said Wright. “Being surrounded by good people that care about others and what they do opened my eyes and has given me the chance to learn, grow and help as well. Before being in my position, I did not realize the importance of employee culture and what that brings to the table. After starting from the front desk to becoming the business operations manager for three locations, I have been able to connect with our employees on a personal level and encourage them in their fields, just like someone did for me.

"I am very thankful to be in a position where my opinions are heard and valued," Wright said. "Starting from square one to growing to where I am now has taught me so much about the industry, insurance and especially people. I work with a very close team that has the same mindset of empowering each other. I have learned and observed throughout the years and can now provide a different perspective on how to make things better, whether that means suggesting shop meetings, implementing things that have been relayed over from the top down to employees, helping management see things from an employees' perspective, or just pitching in to get a project completed. My boss has allowed me the freedom to float between all three locations which gives me the opportunity to touch base with management and employees and see what is going on at the ground floor level. I love being able to hear them out and provide them other options to help address challenges.”

Wright strives to inspire other women with leadership and opportunity.

“Being a female in this industry has not always been easy. It taught me from the start that if I want to stay in this field and make the most out of it, I have to strive to be the best at what I do,” she noted. “Throughout the years, I have proven myself with my actions to customers and my peers. I am blessed to have been able to start working under this company when it was a lot smaller and watch this business and team grow for the past five years. There are plenty of benefits of having more women in the auto industry. Although it is male dominated, I believe women are a great asset. Women are strong and efficient and can get the job done. I also believe women are able to provide a different perspective to men and the industry, whether that be on different ways to communicate when it comes to customers and peers as well as seeing things from a different point of view.

“From having only one woman in the company to now six, I have the amazing opportunity to invest in and empower these women that work just as hard alongside our male peers," Wright said. "My manager at the time, Mickey Skelson, would always tell me ‘knowledge is power’ and ‘if you train someone to be better than you, you're doing it right.’ I have always kept that in mind when training our women and think it's important to empower them with knowledge and confidence so that they have all the tools they need to be the best and can use what they've learned to help others.”

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