Amy Mullins has spent almost half her life at Taylor Motor Company.* For that 25-year-old kid, Taylor Motor was her third adult job in 1995 after a fast-food restaurant and medical equipment supply company. *Taylor Motor Company became part of Car-Mart in March 2020.
Her duties – “whatever needed to be done” – accounting, answering photos, helping customers, etc. “We were little bitty with three employees and a manager – a collector, salesperson, a manager and me,” recalls Amy, Area Operations Manager in Benton, Ill.
Those early days were both challenging and exhilarating. One day, the collector left, and Amy was handed a list of customers to call. Another day, the salesperson was gone, and Amy was asked to talk to customers. “From the very beginning, it was ‘I gotta figure this out’ whether it was sales, collections, paperwork or accounting. I did the best I could.”
Flashback to a ten-year-old Amy and her first job at age 10 – delivering newspapers where she learned the basics of selling and accounting. She liked the money and the responsibility. “The bank across the street from the newspaper office would let you open a checking account, no matter your age. So, my mother taught me how to balance my checkbook. Maybe that’s where my accounting background came from,” smiles Amy.
Fast forward to today, Amy maintains her can-do attitude. “I just come in, do my thing and do the best I can,” Amy continues.
According to Steve Taylor, the third-generation owner of Taylor Motor Company, Amy has logged more hours than he has at the company. “If you ever had a question that you needed an answer for, you went to Amy and she had the answer. While I knew where the ship was going, Amy knew how to get the ship there.”
That’s high praise for Amy, who recently celebrated her 25 years at Taylor Motor.
“We have a really good team,” she says. “We have built a family atmosphere. After all, we spend more time at work than at home. I have some great co-workers and we all work together as a team. We come to work and try to laugh and help each other.”
Working at Taylor Motor has taught Amy patience and increased compassion. “You learn a lot in 25 years. As you learn and grow – and as a manager – you learn to be more understanding and diplomatic. No matter how bad it is for you, someone else has it worse,” continues Amy. “It’s especially rewarding when customers come in and say, ‘hey we appreciate you; we just bought a house because we were able to improve our credit.’”
That Takes the Cake
When the company reached its first $1 million in receivables, the team celebrated with a cake. “It was a huge milestone and accomplishment,” smiles Amy, an important contributor to the company’s growth and evolution. We opened Marion in 1997. The company then opened Mt. Vernon and Carbondale in 2003 and 2006, respectively, providing Amy with increasing responsibility.
Indeed, the business has changed dramatically since those early days. “We started out with Tempo’s and now we’re selling F-150’s. It’s also more digital now. When I first started, they had just transitioned to software. Technology has put such a different spin on how we do business and that’s a good thing,” says Amy.
For Amy, the best part about working at Taylors Motor is helping people.
“When we can get someone in a vehicle they need, and they get to the end and are able to buy a house, or something equally important makes you know you are doing the right thing,” says Amy. “We’ve been able to help them build their credit.”
“I, also, like being able to see our employees be successful. I like being able to see them grow within the company, make more money, buy houses, have a family, be successful because of working with us.”
Throughout her career, the words that have motivated Amy are words of wisdom by Henry Ford – “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
Amy is also driven to do well for her family. She and her husband, Jeff, have been married since 2007. They have four children and 14 grandkids. They enjoy camping, boating, gardening and riding their Harley’s.
A Good Place to Work
Amy says Taylor Motor’s values are similar to Car-Marts values. “We work hard to keep our customers happy,” Amy says. “Taylor Motor Company is a good place to work. The biggest and best thing is our co-workers. Plus, our management team has been here for 10 years or more.
It’s the knowledge and friendship we have that’s important and that makes you want to stay.”
“I never set out for a career. I think that just happened as the years clicked by. I am fortunate to have such good co-workers, it makes it fun to come to work. So, I just stayed and stayed and stayed,” says Amy. “And, at this point, I will stay some more!”
“It’s never a dull day. There’s always something going on – a funny something, a frustrating something,” concludes Amy, who even after 25 years, is ready to do “whatever needs to be done.”