Most extensive careers have their fair share of achievements as well as trials and tribulations. Sandra Gresham, Secretary of State Used Car Board member and Founder, former President and CEO of Auto Finance, knows this all too well. Over the course of 26 years, she’s been a driving force in the used-car industry.
“I was the owner of Auto Finance in Forest Park, GA,” said Gresham. “We purchased retail-sales contracts from used-car dealers in Georgia. I founded Auto Finance in 1989 with a mission to offer customers a chance to drive quality cars while reestablishing their credit.”
Thanks to her strong-management style and keen-business sense, she’s been able to mold dealers, associate and employees to success.
Though, her career can’t be described using a single word, resilient would be near the top of the list of words that define her career. Besides, you’d have to be durable to last in the used-car industry.
“There were a million challenges every day,” said Gresham. “Running a business is a tremendous challenge, with the search for valuable employees being the greatest. I was blessed to have many wonderful employees that worked hard and loved their jobs.”
As stated earlier, most drawn-out careers have their fair share of successes and challenges. Sandra said many of Auto Finance’s triumphs came from their involvement with GIADA.
“I benefited from GIADA from two sides of the used-car business,” said Gresham. “I had a used-car license for many years and I founded a company that purchases retail-sales contracts. My association with GIADA proved valuable in my exposure to customers who showed up to conventions and meetings. It was also a valuable tool in marketing Auto Finance.”
In 2010, Sandra successfully built Auto Finance into a company with a 94 million-dollar portfolio. Shortly after, she sold the company to American Credit Acceptance and worked with the company as an executive until her retirement.
As far as her plans for the future, Sandra said she plans to enjoy the retired life.
“Today, since I’ve retired, I’m on the used-car board,” said Gresham. “I live in a condo in Buckhead now. A great deal of my time was spent in my mother’s care until she passed. I’ve traveled some, but not a lot. I’ve been visiting friends and family and learning how to be lazy. It’s quite fun.
“I hope I can do something good for my society and the world,” Gresham continued. “I’d like to travel and watch all my nieces and nephews grow up to become good people.”
To learn how GIADA can be a valuable asset in marketing your business, contact Jordan Head, Public Relations and Marketing Manager at Jordan@GIADA.org. Not a GIADA member? Click here and watch the benefits unfold!