VP CHEMICAL SALES & OPERATIONS/MARK VII EQUIPMENT INC.
Kelly Maria’s journey in the carwash industry started at Chevron almost 24 years ago. She was the first full-time category canager of Carwash responsible for eight states and 350 wash stations. Kelly quickly embedded herself into every aspect of the industry, learning as much as possible.
“I may be dating myself, but that was back in the day when carwashes were $1.99 with a fill-up. It was a challenging but very rewarding role. The industry piqued my interest, and it ultimately became a long-term career,” says Kelly.
After Chevron, Kelly worked for Northern California Car Wash Distributor in sales and operations for six years. She was later recruited by Mark VII Equipment to work in the Key Accounts Department, and by June of 2018, Kelly had been promoted to Vice President of US Chemical Operations and Sales.
“I love my job at Mark VII and am blessed to be afforded such great opportunities. It is an exciting place to work. We have such great employees and management. Staff members share the warmth of an extended family. We all truly care about our customer’s success!” she says.
Kelly looks forward to expanding Mark VII’s chemical business in the United States. She wants to help clients give their consumers clean, dry and shiny cars using the Total Car Wash Care program. This program is designed to help the customer with their carwash from beginning to end, including planning, marketing, management, chemicals, and service. Customer service is Mark VII’s top priority, and the goal is to make life in the carwash as easy as possible for the customer.
Being nominated and serving on the International Car Wash Association Board of Directors was one of Kelly’s proudest moments. Prior to joining this board, Kelly had served the association in Educational Sessions for many years. Outside of work, her greatest joy is being with her one-and-a-half-year-old grandson, Ciam. “Spending time with Ciam is a great way to unwind and appreciate life,” Kelly shares.
“As a woman in the industry, I have experienced tough situations. When I started in the industry in 1994, there weren’t any women in positions like mine. It was definitely a challenge. You had to have tough skin. Thankfully, there was a handful of kind gentleman that helped me learn the business.
“I am pleased to see so many women more involved in the industry today. Women add a diverse perspective that complements the industry,” she says. “Diversity is power, and all companies should be aware of this when they put forth recruiting efforts.”