2021 Women in Auto Care Female Shop Owner of the Year
Name: Tara Topel
Title: Owner, Topel’s Service Center
Years in the industry: 25
Favorite Apps: Peloton, Audible, Snapchat, Alexa
Words to live by “Treat people how they would like to be treated.”
As the co-owner of Topel’s Service Center as well as a towing business in Lake Mills, Wis., with her husband, Dan, Topel’s current duties and responsibilities include accounting, marketing, human resources and service center operations. “My long-term goals include growing our business at our new facility to sales of $3 million dollars. I will continue to help our team achieve their goals both personally and professionally,” said Topel.
Whether it’s supporting her children’s dreams of attending theater, being involved in her local chamber of commerce and church, or mentoring other women in the auto care industry in her free time, you can find Topel leaving a positive impact on those around her. “I love… helping others when I can with the talents I’ve been given,” said Topel.
What do you feel are the rewards for being a part of the association?I have gleaned more than I can [say] from the association. I have used the data and information to write our business plan to grow into our new facility being built; networking with not only successful shop owners, but people from throughout the entire industry helping me get a global perspective of many angles I had not considered before. Both our business and myself are more professional because of the standards that are implied and kept from the top down. This has resulted in relationships and networking that make us industry leaders.
In your opinion, what is the biggest issue facing the auto care industry today?Lack of professionalism and how we are portrayed as a blue-collar industry, rather than a professional organization. I appreciate all the time and effort that all members are willing to give at every level of The Auto Care Association to increase awareness and professionalism. My late Coach, Bob Greenwood, worked with determination to build a foundation of this industry to be recognized and valued for the experts that we are. I believe it is up to each one of us to strive and challenge ourselves daily to level up and continue reaching out to those that need guidance and leadership.
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