National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) - InTouch Magazine, Summer 2022

34 NAMA InTouch • Summer 2022 Up Close How did you get into the convenience services industry? When we moved to San Antonio, I began my career at Coca-Cola, where I learned to appreciate customers. They are the anchor to our ship. I also learned how to be both a buyer and a seller and appreciate the view of the other person. Listen. Give us an overview of your role and key responsibilities. To expand new business and increase growth of existing business while implementing creative expansion. What are the skills you use most in your career? My word. My honesty. My experience. Experience plays a large part toward success. Share your thoughts and ideas. Teamwork! “heart.” You care as a team. You work together as a team. What are your personal/professional goals? I have accomplished almost all my dreams and goals. Every time I close or sign an account, I win. We win! It is still exciting to me. You just have to love what you do. Tell us about the most memorable work experience you have had. I was told I could never close or sign certain accounts. That makes me want them even more. I have closed or signed some of the largest accounts in our city. Over the years, I have signed seven of the top 10 accounts. I love to win, and I love our company to win! It ’s not always about the largest account. I love to sign them all. What is one thing you learned in the last month? Sometimes, it just takes a smile. What advice would you offer young people starting their careers in this industry? Follow what makes you happy. If you do not like what you do, switch careers. If you are happy, you will succeed. What do you believe are the biggest challenges you face in your business? High demand for equipment in all fields. Since COVID-19 began, it has impacted the speed and efficiency of the delivery of some equipment. And competition of course. What are the greatest opportunities? The constant growth of new business in all aspects of the industry. Investing in the company. Getting advice from consultants. Utilizing the internet. New website. Accessing LinkedIn for knowledge, insights and opportunities. Joining local and national organizations to help build company awareness. How has COVID-19 impacted your life and business? COVID-19 affected everyone. Many lost loved ones. Some lost their businesses. Some lost everything. I lost family members. I have several family members in the medical field, and I have seen suffering I had hoped to never see. As a company, we felt an impact with many employees being sick. But the employees who did not have COVID-19 kept coming in every day to pick up the slack and go out in the field and service accounts. We all learned the true meaning of having Mary Villarreal Senior Business Development Manager Mcliff HELLO