It all started in high school. Kenny Vasquez knew he didn’t want to be a carpenter, but mechanics intrigued him. He was a quick study with plenty of talent, winning a competition between technical schools and receiving a scholarship offer from Toyota.
And he stayed with Toyota for 20 years, becoming a master technician along the way. After such a long time spent in dealerships, it seemed like that’s where Kenny would finish his career.
“A friend of mine called me on the right day,” he said. “My friend worked for Cox and said there was a job opening.”
It wasn’t an easy decision for Kenny, who had a wife and three daughters to consider before making any career moves. After some deliberation, he took a risk to join the Cox Automotive team at Manheim as a level three mechanic.
“I knew I would have more opportunities here,” he explained.
“This company keeps people top of mind. It felt personal, like I wasn’t just a number.”
After three years with Manheim, Kenny worked his way through several roles and is now a vehicle maintenance manager at the central Florida location.
“I never had career progression before," Kenny said. "Coming to Cox and being able to progress after just a few months was life changing. I’m not just seen as a technician here and I know this is only the start.”
Now he’s responsible for a team of technicians, performing standard builds and inspections. The team expanded under Kenny as they took on the task of tackling a large backlog of certifications and builds needed. The team went from completing 100 certifications a day to now doing 200, while greatly reducing the builds that had accumulated.
“I have the freedom to make a difference and I do that by listening to my team. I listened to their needs and respected their work-life balance. It may have taken me three times to adjust the schedule before I got it right, but it works for all of us, and production doubled!” he beamed.
For Kenny, his job is more than just overseeing his crew, running numbers and making sure paperwork gets done. It’s about being available and present, jumping in to do the work when his team needs it, and ensuring their needs are met.
“It’s a give and take. I think about what my team needs and how to develop consistency for them."