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See me…

In our industry, a common phrase overheard is “Once you get into the fleet, you’ll never get out!” It isn’t unpleasant like quicksand, but rather quite positive—rather, it’s a fast-paced industry filled with very supportive and passionate people, like all of you!

I started in the fleet industry as an Executive Assistant to the VP of Sales, and now, 31 years later, I am the Chief Client Officer for Wheels. I am very proud of those accomplishments, but nothing happens in isolation, and it didn’t happen because I had a master plan.  

Growing up, being in an underdog-type position was something of a constant. Starting school, a year early meant that I was always the youngest in my class and unable to do the same things my friends were doing, like getting a learner’s permit and driving. 

But I have always been a hard worker. Not just because it was what my parents expected, but also because it’s what I expected of myself. Let’s face it—I needed a paycheck to put food on the table and pay the rent. That constant need for food and shelter ignited a drive within me to push harder and gain the courage needed to break down whatever walls (or ceilings) stood in my way. 

As I developed my skills, I willingly took on new and often unfamiliar roles, such as License and Title. It simply sounded like an interesting problem to solve, and I went about solving it. As I worked harder and solved more problems, more responsibilities came my way, and more importantly, I embraced more responsibility wholeheartedly. Even when the manager and the staff walked out of license and title (not at Wheels!)

Although I was learning and growing in my career and growing my family, it was a challenging time for me and my girls, who were 2 and 5. I was at a crossroads where I knew I needed to make a change. So, I became a single mother and embraced co-parenting alongside my ex-husband, defying stereotypical gender norms. Most moms stayed home with their children and Dads went to the office. Our new normal was the opposite, I went to the office and my husband went to the school meetings and took our girls to their doctor’s appointments. 

If you know me, you also know that I love Wonder Woman. It isn’t because I am a superhero fan, per se. It was my vision to put that “S” on my chest every morning and fight on for what was right for us, even if it meant society didn’t understand. The judgment was real, but I held steadfast, knowing that the decision was needed for me and our future, and not let the judgmental eyes sway me. I remained true to my conviction that this path, which seemed unconventional, was in the best interest of my family. This journey taught me to trust my instincts.

I have not taken the typical path in my life. I thought I would, but life tends to tell you differently. I would endure my darkest days again if that’s what it takes to build the resilience and courage I possess today. I take pride not only in my achievements but also in the fact that I pursued them unconventionally!

Build your own path. Help others on their path. Your life will be more rewarding and filled with purpose.

See yourself in your future. And see me.

Laura Jozwiak, Chief Client Officer