Jessica Anthony patiently waited her turn to serve as the General Manager of Car-Mart of Russellville South.
“I’ve wanted this store for a long time. This is the location I’ve coveted since 2010. This is my area,” says Jessica, a Russellville native.
When Jessica first applied to lead the Russellville store in 2010, she did not get the job. Yet, that did not discourage her. “I wasn’t ready then, but everything in God’s timing. Everything in good time,” says Jessica while adding that her experience during this time frame has prepared her to be a better manager and leader.
Jessica joined Car-Mart as a Manager in Training right after college in 2006 – in Russellville as a matter of fact. She’s managed lots in Morrilton and Conway, AR and she’s worked in the corporate office.
“After college, I did not know anything. It was a very humbling experience. There were times –that I asked myself if I’m doing the best thing I can do. No matter, you just push forward,” says Jessica, a graduate of Arkansas Tech.
“Car-Mart has raised me,” says Jessica. “I joined a company that has the same values that I do. I chose a company that, through hard and honest work, integrity and compassion, I can grow. And through my years at Car-Mart, they haven’t given up on me.”
A strong, solid work ethic
As a kid, she had strong role models from whom she learned the value of hard work. Jessica’s dad and grandfather were self-taught businessmen. Her family owned a cleaning business where Jessica was ‘Quality Control’ – always looking at the details and searching for a better and more efficient way of doing things.
Her grandfather managed a local grocery store and oftentimes scraped gum off the parking lot. He had pride in his facility and wanted his customers to want to shop in his store, Jessica notes.
She attained business acumen from her Dad and love and compassion from her mom. She’s grateful to them for this significant upbringing.
“Getting the job right no matter how long it takes, sweeping trash off the parking lot, working holidays, being willing to sacrifice, doing what it takes. That’s what it’s all about,” says Jessica. “After all, it’s your customer.”
This was perfect preparation for working and managing her own lot at Car-Mart. “We’re a people business and our main product is vehicles,” she says. “It’s more than selling cars. We can make a difference for our customers. And, it’s the people inside and outside that drives what we do.”
Of course, she never dreamed that with ‘two degrees, three majors and a minor,’ that she would find herself checking fluids in a car and crawling under a vehicle, yet alone detailing cars in July and August. “Detailing cars is such a crucial position. I’ve had to learn all this and more. Working here you have to become a car person,” Jessica says. “You just roll up your sleeves and get the job done.” To see Jessica’s current inventory, check out Russellville South’s inventory listing.
In fact, her advice for others is to work hard. “If you know what you want, go after it. Understand that you won’t always get that promotion, but don’t allow disappointments from pursuing what you want in life. Don’t give up.
“At Car-Mart, it’s your work ethic and your attitude that will propel you in this company, as well as a willingness to serve,” continues Jessica.
Known as a clean freak, she’s always cleaning her building and her vehicles. “I like a clean place. If you have time to lean, you have time to clean. Besides, I don’t like wasting time,” comments the hands-on Jessica. Yes, her dad and grandfather have certainly made an influence on her.
Additionally, she has an inner drive to be the best she can be – for herself, her customers and her company.
At home with her ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ philosophy and her hometown people
For Jessica, it doesn’t get much better than being in Russellville. “This [lot] is my baby – where most of my time and attention goes. Being a River Valley girl, I have an instant connection with my customers. I love to get to know them and learn about them and their families. Most other companies just get names and their social [security number]. At Car-Mart, it’s more of a story which is why I want to earn their business.”
“We’re a family business with so many chances and opportunity. Our impact is in the communities we serve,” Jessica says.
Jessica is at home now at the store and company she loves. Plus, she’s thankful for the team of men and women she gets to spend time with every day. “I’m truly blessed. I’m Car-Mart,” concludes Jessica.
Indeed, patience is a virtue.
Learn more about how you can join the winning Car-Mart team and grow into a manager position just like Jessica!