May 10, 2019 / Career Spotlight
Job title and employer
Co-founder of Sil’s Complete Auto Care and bookkeeper
What does your job title mean?
Remittance of taxes to the different government areas, account payables review and account receivable review filing and any other job that is required in a small business.
Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Rijswijk, Netherlands. We immigrated to Canada in 1963 so more of my life I lived in Canada
Where do you live now?
Where did you complete your training or education?
I started out in a one room school house “Cairn’s Corner”. Then I attended Stayner College— then Collingwood College—then Barrie Business College. Some course for my banking career at the University of Toronto. Many automotive courses for technician training and management training. Training and learning never stops.
When I was in high school, I enjoyed…
- Foreign languages
- Home Economics / Family Studies
When I was in high school, I was someone who…
- Felt at home in the outside, natural environment
- Wasn’t sure what I wanted to do
- Learned best “by doing”
Describe what you do at work.
I’m a partner with my husband in our automobile collision repair business. I have lots of different roles in the building of our business over the years but mainly with the financial side. Now a days it is just paper work. I keep our books, do our financial reports and tax submissions. I also make sure we get our invoices out and that we pay our bills on time. I can do most of it from the house because it is mostly done on computer. But I generally go in to the office once a week to keep contact with the employees and address any concerns they might come up.
How does your job affect peoples lives?
I guess one of the greatest affects I have is on the people who work at our shop. I manage the books to make sure we have cash coming in so we can pay them a good wage for the great work they do. Making sure they have up to date training helps make sure the work they do is top quality and that has a ripple effect to the customers who trust their vehicles to us to repair.
What motivates you in your career?
I’m motivated by the fact that there is always so much to do and that you never get bored. There are always problems to solve and issue to solve. I find that looking after customers is very motivating. I enjoy people and helping them out.
How did you get to where you are today?
The short answer is that we got to where we are today by lots of hard work. Running a business is not what I expected to be doing while I was in high school. I graduated from Barrie Business School and then went on to work for a bank. As my husband and I went forward in our lives together and started a collision repair business we both learnt as we went along. I took many courses in management to help with that part of the business. There were several up and downs but with hard work we built our business to where it is today.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
This has changed over the years. I used to volunteer with soccer when my children were young. I was on the Italian social club board. Today I help out at our church.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
The automobile collision repair industry is a great place to work. If you are interested in working with your hands, there are lots of careers you can follow. If you are good at math there are lots of financial careers. If you are good with technology there are many technology-related roles. The work can be hard but it is very rewarding when the problem is solved and someone’s car is running smoothly. All the people who work in a collision repair shop are part of that solution.
Let’s Talk Science is proud to partner with the Automotive Industries Association of Canada to help shed light on the many interesting STEM related careers available in the automotive aftermarket industry. Let’s Talk Science is a national charitable organization focused on engaging youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and outreach to support youth development.