Such was the word Tiffany Hughes used when she made the big decision to join America’s Car-Mart. She was attracted to the opportunity the company offered for advancement.
She’s been on the fast track since she started as Manager-Trainee at Car-Mart of Springdale East, Ark. in January 2019. She participated in the company’s Future Manager Training program where associates learn every facet of operating a Car-Mart store.
Fast forward to today, Tiffany is the General Manager at Car-Mart of Henderson, Ky., which recently moved to a new location in Henderson.
“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting on. I’ve been preparing for this,” says Tiffany, while adding the new facility features a newer building and a larger lot that will double the number of used vehicles for sale.
Tiffany and her team of seasoned associates are eager to welcome customers to the new facility. And, she’s excited about the potential it offers the Henderson community in providing transportation solutions to credit-challenged customers.
“Sponge Tiffany” – Building a career at Car-Mart
Four months after joining the company, Tiffany found herself in Van Buren, Ark. as Assistant Manager. Therefore eight months before she transferred to Car-Mart Fort Smith, Ark. where she worked in sales, inventory, and collections. And, on July 20, 2020, she interviewed for her current position nine days later she started her new job.
She was “Sponge Tiffany,” she says of the Future Manager Training. “I have the drive to learn. The training made me want to be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge and information about Car-Mart,” says Tiffany.
The training provided her with hands-on learning about the operations of Car-Mart. She learned about service management at Van Buren where she communicated with customers and worked with sales and inventory. At Fort Smith, a bigger lot, she focused on one area at a time whether it was inventory or collections.
While at Van Buren, she learned the importance of time management at a car dealership. “And, when I got the Van Buren position, it showed me the program was truly legitimate,” says Tiffany. “Car-Mart will work hard to get you that opportunity.”
Tiffany’s road to Car-Mart
Rewind Tiffany’s story back to college. She attended college while working to support herself. She worked at various jobs – many times, working two jobs. She twice worked for a prosecuting attorney. She worked in collections. She was an independent insurance agent. She was a waitress.
Tiffany obtained a political science degree at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway in 2003. She earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2010.
All these experiences led Tiffany to be intrigued by opportunity and to where she’s found her new home at Car-Mart.
Proud Moments at Car-Mart
Best Car-Mart memories – Happy customers, which happens daily. “I’ve seen happy dances. I’ve gotten hugs. It’s also rewarding to work with customers who may be experiencing financial challenges and to keep them in their vehicles.”
Most proud moment – Promotions. First to Assistant Manager and then to General Manager. “The company has faith in me, and I have the skill sets to progress.”
Best achievement – Collections Management Award, which she received while working at Fort Smith during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was really gratifying to work with our customers and help them through this period. I cried with them. Just being there – theoretically a shoulder to cry on. I always told people, ‘I understand you don’t have control over this, but control what you can control.’”
Best customer story – Selling a Fort Smith customer when she really needed a vehicle. “The customer started crying when she realized she was going to drive away that day. She was excited. She had been taking the bus to work. To help this customer was very gratifying.”
Best part about working at Car-Mart – Helping customers – providing customers with peace of mind and keeping them on the road. “Knowing that should something happen, such as a major mechanical problem, we are still able to keep them on the road. It’s important for us to help customers with unforeseen repairs and get them back on the road quickly.”
There are more good things about working at Car-Mart – “There’s the family feeling. You feel like you’re working with your family. I love that about Car-Mart.”
“Family and community are everything”
Growing up in the small town of Arkadelphia, Ark. – where everyone knew everyone – she was surrounded by people who help each other and give back to their community. She experienced what being a good neighbor is all about.
“You could go down the street and it’s your aunt or cousin. There’s no place like Arkadelphia. My church family was my family, also,” Tiffany smiles.
She also learned the value of hard work from her parents and grandparents. “I was raised by a community where I went to my grandparents and worked in the fields in the summer. That instilled a good work ethic in me. I always want to give 110 percent,” Tiffany says.
“Coming from that community made me who I am today,” continues Tiffany. “The person I am today is doing the right thing, being a light, having a positive attitude.”
Today, Tiffany, along with her boyfriend, Dwight, and their pocket bully, Nyla, will call Henderson their new home and community.
Tiffany’s story of intrigue
Indeed, Tiffany’s story of intrigue has provided her with opportunity and inspiration. Car-Mart has provided her with opportunities to try new experiences in life. Moving to Henderson was the chance to live in a different part of the U.S. and manage a prominent car dealership.
Car-Mart also affords Tiffany the opportunity to help people and make a difference in someone’s life. “That’s important to me – to let people know you care,” she says. “I wish everyone well. My mama used to tell me, ‘you can’t help everybody.’”
At Car-Mart, she will help everybody who walks onto her lot in Henderson. “When you sell someone something and they like it, I like to see their excitement,” concludes Tiffany. “At Car-Mart, I like to see our customers drive off the lot.”
“Car-Mart is a great company to work for and being at a place where you can truly impact people’s lives is awesome.”
Tiffany is excited to meet new people and she invites everyone to come see her and her team at their new facility at Car-Mart of Henderson. If you live in or near Henderson, let Tiffany and her staff welcome you to the Car-Mart family.