Jess's Blog

A Renewing Experience

Posted on: March 6, 2014

Yesterday I had the privilege and honor to speak at the Women in Business Breakfast thanks to the Kent and Streetsboro Chambers of Commerce. Now I am used to giving presentations here and there talking about the dealership, and I look forward to each opportunity I have to let people know about the work I do.  This was one that I was really looking forward to though because it was a room full of strong, business-minded women.

Because I don’t live right around the corner from the dealership, my co-worker Karen and I decided to stay at the Kent State Hotel the night before.  If you haven’t visited this hotel, you are missing out.  It is fresh and new, located right in the new downtown Kent. There are restaurants right in walking distance of the front door, including a huge parking garage at a minimal fee that can be added on your room charge.  We were able to get a workout in before dinner as well.  We both were sad we forgot our swimsuits because the hot tub sure looked inviting! We polished off the speech and the power point the night before and were ready for the early morning breakfast.

We arrived at the Fairways at Twin Lakes bright and early ready to go.  The staff at the Fairways was amazing and accommodating, along with all the women hosting the breakfast.  We commenced at 8AM with delicious breakfast prepared by Chef Daniel. If you get a chance to meet him, you will not be disappointed.  He’s charismatic and friendly, oh and prepares sublime food! As everyone finished up their waffles and parfaits, I took to the mic.  Karen assisted me on the power point presentation.  I went over a lot of you may already know about me.  But they had asked I focus on my point of view as a woman in business.  I shared a lot of the obstacles I faced and the road I traveled to get where I am today.  We even had the chance to go over our marketing campaigns that Karen and I directly write.  I was BLOWN away by their response to our commercials, both TV and Radio spots.  It really reassured me that I am going in the right direction.  After some really great questions from the audience I wrapped up the speech with an overwhelming positive response from the crowd.  After a few announcements, folks were welcome to talk to me personally to network.  I was floored by how many women came up to me with positive comments on my speech.  They called me an inspiration which had my jawed dropped because I was among women who have accomplishments I can only dream of in the future! I was truly warmed by the reception I received.  Not only did I get reaffirmed in my path, I gained a number of networking contacts that I cannot wait to collaborate with!  This breakfast really recharged my battery.  So grateful for the experience. Take a look at a photo of us after my speech.


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Lots to talk about!

Posted on: March 4, 2014

So it’s been a little while since I’ve written – sorry for the absence!

Lots to talk about today though.  We are in the middle of the Cleveland Auto Show and DJ Toyota is there representing! I went the opening night Friday for dealers.  It was a blast.  We had an opportunity to view all the different sections of the auto show and mingle with some great friends in the business.  All the major news stations were there, and I did a small live feed with channel 19.  It was great.  Toyota has a great set-up this year if you haven’t been down there yet.  This year Toyota is highlighting a couple different vehicles.  Of course the 2014 Highlander is on display with all of its amazing new features.  This SUV has it all.  I had an opportunity to drive one for a couple days and it was amazing! The spacious interior felt so cozy and inviting.  The technology is out of this world.  Toyota hit a homerun with this SUV.  So glad they have it available at the Auto Show for everyone to check out! Another area Toyota focuses on at this Auto Show is the Toyota Hybrid Family.  Toyota has the most hybrid vehicles available of any brand out there right now.  If you are an eco-friendly consumer, check this stuff out!!  The Nascar section at the Auto Show was also really neat.  To see these vehicles in person was really fun, I can only imagine what driving one would be like!  Of course the Concept Cars are a big hit at the Auto Show and Toyota had theirs present in Cleveland.  Check it out here. All in all it has been a really fun Cleveland Auto Show.  We will have Product Specialists there awaiting to assist you and answer any questions you have so stop by!

Now onto our BIG EVENT this Saturday.  50 years ago, Don Joseph opened the doors to the dealership here in Kent, OH.  50 years ago and countless customers later we are still here and going strong!  We are having a celebration at the store this Saturday, March 8th starting at 11AM.  This event is coinciding with the Kent City School Car Raffle.  As our way to give back to the community that has supported Don Joseph Toyota for the last 50 years, we are raffling off a Brand New 2014 Toyota Corolla LE.  The ticket sales for the raffle has ended but we are drawing the winner on Saturday the 8th.  To help us celebrate the Kent City School band will be here to play some of their favorite tunes.  The Swenson’s Food Truck will be parked outside as well as the WGAR truck giving away prizes.  We are supposed to have temperatures above freezing so come on by and help us celebrate!  If you have purchased a ticket, good luck in the raffle!!

I am about to finish up a speech for the Women in Business breakfast tomorrow for the Streetsboro and Kent Area Chamber of Commerce.  I was honored to be asked to talk about my story and my business.  I am really looking forward to networking with other powerful women in all areas of business.  They will no doubt be an inspiration for me as I continue my journey.

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New Year!

Posted on: January 16, 2014

Happy 2014 Everyone.

I am sitting here at work as the snow is silently falling on all of our vehicle inventory.  Part of me dreads the morning where we will be brushing off all of that inventory, but it’s all part of the job.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year.  I made sure to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day for good luck in 2014.

Speaking of 2014 did you guys see Toyota’s new Concept Car?  Check it out here !  Recently released at the Detroit Auto Show this beautiful Concept Car, the FT-1, is a sporty and futuristic look at what Toyota is made of.  You can read more about at the link I provided above, but I think one Jess Joseph would look really sharp cruising down the streets of Kent in that!

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Season’s Greetings

Posted on: December 29, 2013

Hello Everyone! I hope the Holiday Season is treating everyone right.  I was so pleased to be able to spend this past Christmas with my friends and family.  It was so nice to meet at my sister’s house with all the kids running around excited with new toys and games.  Us adults got an opportunity to laugh and reminisce about fun times in the past.  I am so grateful to have the family and friends that I do.  They keep me going.

Now it’s almost 2014.  I am SOOOO excited for the New Year.  2013 had its challenges and set backs for me on just about every level. But I look back on those events and it reminds me that I am strong and with the help of those around me, I can overcome anything.

What really pumps me up is when we have a really great Saturday of car sales.  We couldn’t be more thankful to our customers for making our jobs fun and rewarding.  This past Saturday we sold a large amount of cars.  It was great seeing the team I put in place working hard to make deals and make people happy.  The time flew by.  It isn’t always easy being here on a “weekend” but a Saturday like this last one made it awesome.  I truly think I have the best team of Managers and Salespeople and the store wouldn’t be where it is without them!

One thing that can bring down a great Saturday of sales is vandalism.  Yes, you read that right.  Saturday night around 10pm we had 22 of our vehicles damaged SEVERELY.   I received a call late Saturday night after being a guest at a close friend’s wedding.  I was on my way home and when I received the news my heart sunk.  We are a family owned business.  We’ve been in the Kent Community for almost 50 years.  It hurts me that someone would take the time to destroy our property.  It is clear this person doesn’t understand the consequences of their actions.  Fortunately, none of our New or Used car inventory wasn’t affected.  It was all trade-ins and lease turn ins.

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Feeling Thankful

Posted on: November 26, 2013

WOW! Time is flying by.  With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I can’t help but reflect on what I have in my day to day that makes me grateful.

I know a lot of people have  been doing the 28 days of grateful thing on FB and I enjoy reading my friends share the things they cherish from day to day.  Committing to a day to day journal of what I am grateful for just isn’t something I think I could accomplish in my busy schedule but I CAN take a moment to reflect on what I have in my life that makes me smile.

Family. First and foremost, my family makes me so filled with joy and love that I feel like I can burst at the seams.  My crazy, fun-loving family may drive me crazy from time to time, like most, but at the end of the day they are mine and I am in love.  I am so so excited to spend time with them tomorrow for Thanksgiving.  Everyone around the table sharing stories and making new ones as the day goes on.  Thanks family!

Work.  Oh of course I have to mention good ole’ Don Joseph Toyota/Scion.  Not only does work provide me a livelihood to care for my family, but it provides me with so much more.  My OTHER FAMILY.  There is the family you’re born into, the family you create, and then the family that you see almost every day of the week.  My work family is so amazing that I often feel like they are my brothers and sisters.  I am so happy the group of people I work with are so kind and hardworking.  We are having a Christmas party next month, and I cannot wait to share a night of fun with everyone! Thanks work!

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Short and sweet

Posted on: November 5, 2013

Well hello,  you may have thought I had forgotten about blogging, and maybe you’re right about that.  But I’m here and I have a few things to discuss.

1) It’s November. In case you guys didn’t realize that.  It’s amazing how quickly time moves when you are busy.  And my life has  been busy!  The store is great and trucking along, and now at the head of it, my responsibilities include more and more things each day!  It really puts me in awe of those who came before me.  To run a store isn’t easy ya’ll.  I am lucky to have great co-workers and mentors to help me through it all.

2) Toyota has recently released some great incentives for the month of November that will turn you from: “ehh maybe it’s time for a new car”, to: “I REALLY NEED TO GET A NEW CAR”.  Now’s the time and with specials on the nearly all the models from Sienna to Corolla to the Rav4, you will walk away surprised at all the vehicle you can get for your hard-earned buck.

3)  Toyota is still running 100 Cars for Good and there is still voting.  Check out their FB site to get more info and to place your votes.  You can see here some of the winners!

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Toyota 100 Cars for Good

Posted on: September 29, 2013

I am excited that Toyota is about to launch this year’s 100 Cars for Good program.  Beginning tomorrow, folks have an opportunity to vote on Facebook for a charity that will receive Toyota vehicles at no cost to their non-profit organization.

Here are some cool FAQs about the philanthropic event.


The “100 Cars for Good” is a national philanthropic program launched in 2011 by Toyota.  Over the course of 50 days, Toyota will be giving away 100 Cars to selected 100 nonprofit organizations across the United States.  This is the third year that Toyota has offered the program.

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Our Record Courier Article!

Posted on: September 17, 2013

Finally got my hands on the Record Courier paper that featured a story about yours truly and all my female co-workers.  I am so thankful for author Tom Nader for writing up an article that captured my story and DJ Toyota’s story.  Here is the article:


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Who run the World? GIRLS!

Posted on: September 5, 2013

You’re right Beyonce, us girls do run the World.  I think just like Beyonce, it was about time we let people know it too!

Earlier this week, the Record Courier was here interviewing me and Karen (my co-worker) about women working in the male-dominated car business.  I was so pleased to discuss this with their writer because I have a great team of women working here at the store, and I think it’s important to spread that word!

The interviewer went over several questions about me and my history at the store, which if you have read my blogs or know anything about me, you’ll know, I’ve been in the business a long time!  He asked me questions about the hurdles as a female I go through and my female co-workers go through.  It was fun to talk about how, although sometimes with kickback, us gals have made a very strong stance: we are here and we are ready to work hard! Check out my team of females at the store:

from l to r: Maggie, Jen, Brittany, Jess, Dana, Marilyn, Karen (Rachel: not pictured)

Without giving the entire article away, I just think it’s important to note that each of the ladies pictured above are in important roles at the dealership. I have a finance team solely made up of women. I have a sales person, Marilyn who is consistently at the top of the selling board. I have a female in service ready to assist customers with vehicle needs. I have an internet sales person who handles each customer as they inquire online. And I have an internet and website guru who monitors and controls all things web related! I didn’t do this on purpose, but I must say it has worked out really well for the store. These females are strong, smart, and cunning. I am lucky to have them working side by side with me on a daily basis. I don’t want to give any more spoilers away because I think you all should read the article once it prints, either in this Sunday or next Sunday’s Courier! Sooo Excited!

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Toyota constantly impresses me!

Posted on: August 8, 2013

Earlier this week I set off with my dad Jeff Joseph to the Toyota National Dealer Meeting in Atlanta.  This was not my first time at this meeting over the past several years but each year is new and exciting.  This year I was not let down!  From the entertainment to the vehicle reveals this meeting had me feeling proud to work for such a great company.

The event was hosted by Jerry Seinfeld.  He was very entertaining!  At one point he dismissed what the prompters were telling him to say and went off on his own.  I thought that was funny and unique! Carrie Underwood performed a handful of songs for us and she was phenomenal!! I cannot believe how amazing her voice is!  This year George W. Bush was to speak at the event, but he was undergoing surgery and couldn’t attendCondoleezza Rice stepped in for the former President and delivered a brilliant speech.  It was both inspiring and touching.  She serves as a role model for me as a woman to be successful in my business.  Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto was there as well serving sushi to guests.  I have never had more delicious Sushi!

The event was hosted by Jerry Seinfeld. He was very entertaining! At one point he dismissed what the prompters were telling him to say and went off on his own. I thought that was funny and unique! Carrie Underwood performed a handful of songs for us and she was phenomenal!! I cannot believe how amazing her voice is! This year George W. Bush was to speak at the event, but he was undergoing surgery and couldn’t attend. Condoleezza Rice stepped in for the former President and delivered a brilliant speech. It was both inspiring and touching. She serves as a role model for me as a woman to be successful in my business. Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto was there as well serving sushi to guests. I have never had more delicious Sushi!

Toyota then presented their 50 millionth customer. He is a police officer and he had bought a Camry. Toyota presented him with the title for his vehicle AND gave his family a brand new Rav4. The gentleman was floored by this generosity and so was I. It feels wonderful to be working for a company that knows how to give back!

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