Aimee Carlson Jiffy Lube Franchisee>

Aimee’s father began his quick lube business in 1978 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He converted to a Jiffy Lube franchise in 1979 – becoming the 19th store in the Jiffy Lube system – and added additional stores in Des Moines, Iowa from 1981 through 1991. She began my career working for my father after graduating from college in 1986  – She started as a cashier and quickly worked up the ranks, becoming a store manager in Des Moines in 1989. In 1996, she became the District Manager for all five of our Jiffy Lube locations and worked in that capacity until 2009, when she began the buy-out process of Ord Enterprises from her father. Over the years She’s worn many hats – managing the daily operations, marketing and book-keeping responsibilities. However, her favorite part of being a Jiffy Lube franchisee has always been the personal interaction – with the customers, employees and vendors.

Today, she is an active member of the Jiffy Lube Association of Franchisees (JLAF) and have completed all aspects of the award-winning Jiffy Lube training program, called Jiffy Lube University (JLU). JLU is the only quick lube training program to earn the distinction of an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certified Training Provider and recently, JLU was approved by the American Council on Education (ACE) as a training program worthy of college credit. She has also completed many outside management and customer relations courses through various programs, including Dale Carnegie Training.

Who have you mentored?  Did someone mentor you in this industry to help you get started?
I’d like to think that I have made an impact on my store managers’ and employees’ careers.  Also, through my involvement with the franchise community, I believe I’ve been able to act as a voice for other small franchises, such as myself, to help them make important decisions within their own entities.

I believe my biggest mentors have been my father, who I believe to be an outstanding businessman, and my late brother, whose creative ideas helped build our brand. I’ve been the owner of Ord Enterprises for the last three years, but still regularly ask my father for input on business decisions.

As a woman what features are your favorites in a car?
I’d have to say the invention of seat warmers! Living in the Midwest, this has been a life saver.

Why does the auto industry seem like a difficult environment for females?
I think the auto industry, for females, was more difficult in earlier years than it is today. In interacting with customers, employees and vendors, I had to prove I was knowledgeable about the business and aimed to do so through my actions. Once individuals realized I knew about vehicles and their maintenance requirements, the pressure eased up. I believe you have to “walk the talk” – actions speak much louder than words. The biggest thing for me was to not allow these pressures to bother me – I had to let a lot roll off my shoulders in those days.

First automotive job?
My first job was as a cashier in my father’s Jiffy Lube service center.

Why did you want to work in the auto industry?
For me, this really is a family business. I grew up in the fast lube industry and worked with my father to build our franchise into what it is today. Through my father, I learned so much about vehicles, preventative maintenance and customer relations so it made for a natural transition to my current position as a Jiffy Lube franchisee. Now, I have my son working for me and I’ve been able to successfully pull in my husband, as well. I absolutely love what I do and have been immersed in the industry for a long time.

Proudest professional achievement?
This is twofold: first is one of our locations winning the first J-Team All Stars Championship in 2009, and making it all the way to the Divisional Round in 2010. J-Team All Stars is a system-wide Jiffy Lube competition that celebrates teamwork, enthusiasm and dedication by challenging Jiffy Lube service center employees in a series of service competitions – so this was a huge honor for us!

Second, my franchise, Ord Enterprises, was honored by Jiffy Lube International as “Operators of the Year” in 2008. This award recognized the hard work we put into our business EVERY day to meet and exceed customers’ expectations.

Current challenge at work?
The biggest challenge is keeping up with the latest technology to ensure we operate the best we can as a business. Also, it can be challenging to manage all the documentation and paperwork associated with running your own business.

Dream Job?
I’m living it right now!

What sports or activities did you enjoy in school or/and currently?
I ran track in school and was a cheerleader. I don’t think I could begin to attempt either one of these activities today! I have seven grandchildren and find that my husband and I spend most of our spare time with them. We absolutely love being grandparents!

On a business level, Ord Enterprises has always focused on community involvement. Currently, I serve on the Board of Directors for Rock In Prevention, which provides services to elementary schools to help kids live happy, healthy, drug-free lives. We have donated/raised more than $20,000 for Rock In Prevention over the last two years. Additionally, we are involved with programs in Council Bluffs and Des Moines, Iowa that raise money for the local PTA/PTO groups to assist with the needs of our community schools.

What you do to relax?
I read a lot and enjoy crocheting; I make afghans for family members and hats for the grandkids. The hats have become my thing for them…and I get requests! I’ve made various animals, Disney characters and of course the Angry Birds. I also enjoy gardening in the summertime and reading by our Koi pond.