That’s how much Heather Horne loves working at America’s Car-Mart.
That’s how much Heather is excited about opening an all-new Car-Mart in Chattanooga, Tenn. where she will be the store’s Manager. It just so happens she’s originally from Chattanooga so in a sense, she’s already home, as Hixson is a suburb of “Chattown.”
Heather’s Car-Mart journey started with a “fabulous” interview last October 2019 at Car-Mart of Hixson. Car-Mart made her an offer she couldn’t refuse – an awesome opportunity to fast-track in the company’s Future Manager Training Program. If she successfully completed the training, she would open and lead the company’s newest location in Chattanooga.
“I was super excited as it was going to be more than what I did in my previous jobs,” says Heather, who worked in collections and finance at other companies prior to joining Car-Mart. “I was super nervous about this challenge. All I knew about cars was that I drove a car.”
She adds that she never thought she could sell cars or anything for that matter.
Heather’s General Manager and mentor, Char Green, saw a future leader in Heather and so challenged her to “Stay your pace, and follow my lead.” “Well, I married that goal when I came here,” says Heather, while adding that the Future Manager training program was beneficial in her advancement at Car-Mart.
“I participated in the course with 200 percent. I watched every video. I read every segment. I did it faithfully. If you stay on it, it will teach you everything about this place. So, I stayed; I learned.”
A few weeks into the training, she admits she was overwhelmed. “But everyone was so great to me. The service people were great. Once I started figuring it out and when I got over that overwhelming feeling, I knew I could do it. And, now, I just love this place,” Heather says.
“I came in committed, and I was determined not to fail. I was going to win. I would have been in the program 14 times over,” continues Heather. “And, then I knew this was where I was supposed to be.”
In fact, Heather knows she’s in the right job. “One day, the light just came on, and I knew what I was doing. Why we do what we do. It’s a lot to learn. It literally all falls into place if you want to be a manager. And, fortunately, I have the right leaders and managers showing me the ropes.”
Char says,” Heather has the drive to succeed. She has exceeded my expectations since coming on board at Car-Mart,” says Char, while adding that Car-Mart is strongly committed to its associates and their success. “Our company literally gives you everything you need to be successful if you follow the plans. I am a firm believer in “The Book,” which is every Car-Mart training manual, every owner’s manual, every resource, and plenty of hands-on experience.”
3,000 times for her family
She grew up in Chattanooga until age 12 and then moved to Northwest Georgia where she raised four children. Her first job was in retail at Sears where she served as the cashier in the teen department. “I could blast music, and I was as content as I could be,” Heather smiles.
Inspired by her kids, and as a single mom, she worked tirelessly to provide for them. “I never wanted them to be a product of a single mom. I’ve always done 3,000 times more than what I needed to do,” says Heather.
Mason, Heather’s 19-year-old son, also works for Car-Mart as an inventory associate. “He loves it, too,” she smiles. Madison, her 16-year-old daughter, loves hanging out with her mom at Car-Mart.
Heather is actively involved with the Overdose Awareness Board for North Georgia in recognition of her son who she tragically lost when he was 20 years old. She helps with fund-raisers, balloon releases, and other events as a way of healing for her and her children.
“Every day is a new day for me – for laughter and smiles – and that has a lot to do with my loss, because I know life can end tomorrow,” says Heather. The best compliment she can receive is when somebody says she helped them by being a friend or by listening to them.
“That’s the best thing. If I can help you do whatever when I hear you say, ‘Thank You,’ that’s amazing to me,” Heather adds.
5,000 times in the best job
And now, Heather’s name will be on the door, so she has high aspirations for her dealership in Chattanooga. She will strive to make it one of Car-Mart’s best stores and sell as many vehicles to her customers as possible. “I feel like it’s made me accomplished. I accomplished what I came here to do. But I didn’t think I would do it this quickly,” says Heather. “I know it will be a super amazing dealership.”
Char agrees. “I am excited to watch Heather’s journey. I love our city, and I have been waiting a long time for this store, so the knowledge that Heather believes in Car-Mart as much as Car-Mart believes in Heather is very exciting,” she says.
Indeed, Heather has found her niche.
“I love it. I probably have never loved a job more than I have loved this one. Coming here every day and doing my work, selling cars, detailing cars, paying the bills. If you have a flow and a good team, it all works out. I love my people, I love my teammates, the job, the fast pace. It’s never boring, and I get to help people get quality, used vehicles. I love coming to work.
This is my life. This is my livelihood. Other people are looking up at me, and this is the community I serve,” Heather concludes.
Heather invites everyone to come see her and her team at Car-Mart’s new store in Chattanooga. If you live in or near Chattanooga and North Georgia, let Heather welcome you to Car-Mart.
Learn more about Car-Mart’s Future Manager training program: Unlocking Potential, Car-Mart’s Future Manager Training Develops Leaders.
It’s a Car-Mart tradition
When we open a new Car-Mart, we invite the community to our grand opening celebration. We also select two charities to be recipients of assistance from Car-Mart. It’s one of many ways we pay it forward for our customers and communities. This is just the beginning of serving and supporting our neighborhoods. We believe in being good neighbors by giving back and making a positive impact in the places where we live and work.
Additionally, it’s our managers who select the local organizations and charitable causes closest to their heart. For Chattanooga, Heather and her team will donate $1,000 to Adult and Teen Challenge, an organization dedicated to providing men and women (18-50) freedom from addiction and other life-controlling issues through Christ-centered solutions. Additionally, a supply donation of non-perishable food items will be donated to the Chattanooga Food Bank, dedicated to eliminating hunger and promoting better nutrition in the Chattanooga region.
Heather selected the Adult and Teen Challenge in memory of her oldest son, Casey Alexander Giddy, who passed away in September 2014. It gives Heather some peace in knowing this organization helps young people overcome their drug addictions and gives them the strength to live drug-free lives. It’s important to Heather to share her blessings and donate food to those families and children who may go hungry.
Car-Mart looks forward to a continued partnership with these two organizations and helping raise needed funds, food, supplies, etc.