I love stories. I love listening to people's stories. It's probably why I'm a documentary junkie. One evening, years ago, I was sitting at a Barnes & Noble drinking coffee and reading a book. I don't remember how, but I struck up a conversation with a stranger sitting in the big oversized, puffy chair next to me, and he turned out to be one of the most fascinating people I'd ever met! Telling stories of travels, adventures, and meeting famous people with such animation and glee! It filled my soul for a few days. That's when I realized how powerful storytelling can be. So, here's my story. Not the whole story; but why I decided to create Zolo Group and what it means to me.
I'm a native Michigander. I was born and raised in Riverview, a southwest Detroit suburb, in a Metro Detroit area affectionately referred to as "Downriver." My childhood was steeped in the automotive world. Like many of us from the Motor City, I grew up surrounded by three generations of automotive employees. My father was an engineer at Ford Motor Co. and brought home new vehicles to test every six months (which, by the way, I assumed was completely normal). My mother was an executive secretary for several Ford executives throughout her 35+ years at Ford. My Grandfather worked for Ford for 47 years and was the technical program manager for Ford's racing program in the 1960s, and my Great Grandfather was a mechanic at the Ford Rouge plant in the early 1930s. Most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins worked in manufacturing, logistics, and engineering. I grew up listening to countless stories around the family Sunday dinner table about dealers, sales and service, marketing, racing, powertrain, testing, engineering, prototypes, purchasing, unions, suppliers, etc.
When I graduated from college and entered the workforce, I gravitated to the "family business," but I also ventured out into other industries over the years. I've worked for tech companies, non-profits, and higher education, to name a few. And while the automotive industry continues to evolve and change, shrink and shift, the basic lessons I've learned from a lifetime in and around the industry have always stayed with me.
I'm a natural wanderlust - I love to travel with my Canon EOS 650D around my neck, visiting new places, countries, and cultures. I've lived and worked in incredible cities like Chicago, London, and Bangkok. I migrated back to my hometown in late 2017 and found myself in the middle of an incredible renaissance happening in Detroit.
We will never shake our famous Motor City nickname, and that is a badge we should all wear with honor. We are a city built by visionaries, inventors, and entrepreneurs. At the turn of the 20th Century, we were the Silicon Valley of our time.
Today, we're still a city of visionaries and inventors. New and exciting businesses are popping up every week. We've survived depressions, recessions, riots, and pandemics, and we continue to rise from the ashes with new ideas that transform our unique culture without losing sight of our history.
That work ethic and perspective drive every project I tackle. The lessons I've learned from being a native daughter of this City and industry, combined with the experience of living and working among diverse international cultures, drives my passion for storytelling. I partner with my clients to help them find their distinctive voices and share their unique stories.
Every brand has a story. Zolo Group can help you tell yours.