With a willingness to do whatever it takes and the dedication that’s needed to be the best, Jennifer Harriman has impressed her fellow employees, customers and associates at Mike’s Auto Body from day one.
Twenty-one years ago she was hired, and although her role and job title have changed over the years, Jennifer is an important and integral part of the team at Mike’s. She has seen the company grow from one location to 16 and witnessed our journey to success every step of the way. To be the best in the collision repair industry, we need top people and Jennifer fits the bill in every way imaginable.
Back in 1998, Jennifer was hired as a CSR for several years before being promoted to Office Manager. Within the last five years, she added the title Property Manager to all of the other things she does from the company, but now focuses primarily on compliance. “When I first started at Mike’s, we had only one location and was preparing to open the second one in Walnut Creek,” she said. “I did it all during the first few years–parts procurement, human resources, shuttle driver, even washing cars–and that has helped me to understand the big picture here, which has proven to be invaluable.”
As the company’s Compliance Manager, Jennifer manages 30 Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) and 16 Office Managers with the goal of guiding and mentoring each and every one. It’s a huge undertaking and the hours can be long in some cases, but she loves her job and isn’t afraid to take on every challenge that she encounters with enthusiasm.
This means that Jennifer has to be flexible, detail-oriented and highly efficient to keep things running smoothly. “Every day here is different, and I like the variety,” she said. “As a large company, we strive for uniformity, which means that we have to work smarter than harder, but we are also always open to fresh ideas from our people that can help the company.”
With so many locations and employees, consistency and uniformity company-wide is important, Jennifer explained.”We’ve created a system that addresses everything and it’s all in a binder that everyone can refer to if they have questions or concerns. We begin visiting every location Sept.-Dec. to sit down with our managers and determine what works and how we can be better.”
By providing comprehensive and ongoing training, Jennifer and her team make sure that each Manager and CSR is on the same page and knows their job inside and out. “Every new hire gets three full days of training and then we’re constantly working with them as they grow within the position. We show them how we do things the Mike’s way, and want them to know the how and why.”
When she isn’t wearing numerous hats at Mike’s, Jennifer maintains a busy family life, consisting of her husband Mike and three children. Her oldest is her stepdaughter Tayler, 26, who works as the Adminsitrative Assistant to the President at the Academy of Arts & Sciences in San Francisco and enjoys music and roller skating.
Her middle child is Tommy, 18, who is working to be an electrician and loves dirt biking, snowboarding and working on his truck.
Her youngest, Trevor, 13, wants to be a successful entrepreneur and business owner down the road. He is in the 8th grade and will be attending Liberty High School in Brentwood in the Fall, and plays AAU basketball and enjoys snowboarding.
Jennifer’s husband Mike works for a company that makes robotic inspection equipment and Jennifer’s mom Robin worked for Mike’s for the past 25 years before retiring recently.
When Jennifer is not working or running the family unit, she enjoys yoga, she said. “It keeps me focused on living a healthy life and I love the stretching after sitting all day. I joined a local yoga studio here in Brentwood and I love it. I also enjoy taking my dog for a walk on the local trails and being outdoors and trying new recipes on Pinterest.”
How does she do it all and keep her sanity? “It’s all about planning and preparation,” Jennifer said. “That means I have to make a lot of lists and luckily I get a lot of help from my husband and my mother. I have to be very organized, which means maintaining and updating calendars all the time. We stress preparing healthy meals and always take the time to help all of our kids when they need our guidance and advice.”
Thanks Jennifer Harriman for playing a major role here at Mike’s Auto Body and emulating our company’s motto every day, “One Team, One Mission”.