It is by no means the first time I’ve been involved in developing a business at Enterprise. After joining as a Management Trainee in Santa Barbara, California, I rose quickly through the ranks to become first a Regional Account Manager and then (nine months later) the Area Manager for West Los Angeles. At the time, the area was a bottom-tier performer. Within six months, we’d moved into the group’s top five, and went on to frequently rank No. 1 over the next eight to 10 months.
How did I manage to the turn the area around from worst to first? The big thing was moving the needle on customer service – because customer service is where it all starts. It was also important to get the whole team to perform, and perform consistently.
Because of our performance, I saw a large percentage of my people in the area get promoted. That track record helped me earn my next big promotion in Seattle, where I became Regional Vice President and Enterprise Holdings’ youngest Corporate Officer.
In term of career progression, my bilingual skills have also come in very useful, particularly as the company has continued to expand beyond the continental United States. My father worked throughout Latin America during my childhood and I am fluent in Spanish as a result. This proved to be a distinct advantage when I was named General Manager in Puerto Rico in 2009, as it enabled me to communicate effectively with local officials and employees. It is also, of course, proving very beneficial now I’m in Spain.
My impressions of the Spain business so far have been overwhelmingly positive. Employees here take a lot of pride in what Atesa accomplished over the years, becoming the largest grown-in-Spain rental car company. Still, they feel excited about what it can mean to be part of Enterprise going forward. This puts us in a great position: we were already the best in Spain at satisfying customers and we now have an opportunity to create that much more separation between Enterprise and the competition.