The beginning of your career can seem daunting, and more than a little bit confusing—at least, it did for Jamie Weis. Fourteen years ago he was out of college and working nowhere near the automotive parts industry, but there was something about him that made him stand out to leaders. It was the NAPA quality.
“I had a close friend and mentor who was basically part of my family,” Jamie recalled.
He worked as a NAPA Distribution Center Manager in Minneapolis, and he knew that I loved being with people and automotives, so he came to me and said, ‘If you’re ever tired of your current career and want to work in a place with unlimited opportunities for your growth and development, then NAPA is the place for you.’ I took that to heart, I really did.
While he hadn’t grown “tired,” per se, Jamie knew the value of a career switch to NAPA.
I wanted a company that gave me opportunities to see different things and be in front of different people, and NAPA was it. I can do anything I want and go anywhere I want here. I also love being able to go through towns and help them on that personal level. I grew up living in Minnesota and seeing the west on vacation, and I drove past Omaha, and I never pictured myself living there. And when I got that opportunity to come here, I truly found that it was an unbelievable community and place to live, so much so that when I was asked to come back, it wasn’t even a question. It opened up my eyes that NAPA had a knack for making the unknown things a really neat thing for you.
That has certainly been true in Jamie’s long career with us. He’s risen through ranks from Territory Sales Manager, to Regional Manager, and finally as his current position as the President and General Manager of NAPA’s Omaha Distribution Center.
“It can feel like a merry-go-round,” Jamie chuckled, “with all my job moves, but NAPA has been so understanding of where I want my career path to go.”
It was very sales-oriented all the way through. They worked with me to fine-tune my strong suit, which was working with independent jobbers and helping them grow their business as a retail and wholeseller. They gave me all the tools I needed to be successful, and once it was in my court, I took it as far as I wanted to go.
Now, all those titles later, he’s able to give back to the people most in need of support: new employees to NAPA.
It’s something I’ve taken very seriously because of my past. I had someone that was in my court and was my biggest cheerleader, and I think that’s important to have as a leader. We have to grow and foster talent from within; that’s where our best people truly come from. If they stick around with us, those are the people that want to grow. To have our Emerging Managers Training program, which is unique to NAPA, is the greatest way we can grow and foster that talent. We can take someone who has never had experience before and give them information of every aspect of our program gives them what they need to see what our company has to offer, and allows us as managers to cultivate their growth.
That exact connection between mentor and mentee encapsulates why amazing people belong at NAPA. Visit our Careers site to learn more about our EMT program and see if you can learn at the helm of someone like Jamie!