Julie Sandoval has spent her entire career working towards one goal, becoming parts manager of our Oakland location. Earlier this year, through hard work, she finally reached that goal.
Flashback to 1985, Julie Sandoval was hired through the Kelly Girl staffing agency as a cashier for a GM factory-owned store in Oakland. After a year as a cashier, she realized she wanted a little more from her job. Julie set her sights on an apprenticeship in the parts department and never looked back. With determination, she worked her way from the back counter, to the front counter, and finally to where she found her passion, answering the phones for wholesale parts. For over 25 years, Julie’s friendly voice was on the other side of the line when you called Oakland needing assistance with parts.
Her original employer was sold to another group and then shortly after, was purchased by TEC Equipment in 2005. Julie didn’t jump ship through any of the transitions and has been in the same building since the start of her career. She describes the TEC acquisition as “the best thing that ever happened to the truck center at that time. I don’t know where we would’ve ended up.”
As a natural people person, Julie succeeded in the parts department. She built relationships with each customer, took time to learn their individual lingo, and most importantly grew their trust. Growing somewhat of a following, customers would call back later if Julie wasn’t available to help. They wanted the special touch and care Julie put into each interaction.
When George Ferris, TEC’s Oakland parts manager of 40 years, was thinking about retirement, Julie was at the top of his list to replace him. Throughout the years she was known as the unofficial assistant manager. Over a five-month period, Julie had to prove she had what it took to be the parts manager. She learned the ins and outs of the position from George and put together a strategy for the future of the parts department. At the end of five months, Julie presented her strategy to TEC’s Chief Operating Officer, Greg Schuttenhelm. Julie nailed the interview and got her dream job.
“George had a wealth of knowledge and we are so lucky he passed on that knowledge to Julie. Her connection to the employees and the 35 years of consistent connection with the customer base will continue to ensure her success. ” said Jon Warren the Regional Vice President of Operations.
Julie earned this position through her hard work and perseverance. She thinks back saying, “I think earning this position is my proudest accomplishment at TEC.”
However, some people weren’t exactly happy with this transition; her customers that she would have to hand off! They fought tooth and nail to stay in her “fab five” customers she has been able to keep as a manager.
Julie says, “If you’re not excited to drive in the gate or you’re not excited to get on the phones or clock in, then you need to be somewhere else.” After all these years, Julie is still excited to walk through TEC’s doors and see what’s going to happen that day.
Outside of work, Julie enjoys cross stitch and baking for her family. Occasionally you can find her scrolling through TikTok, watching videos of cute kittens.