Bentley's Newest Brand Manager
Traci Wilkerson is a New Face at O’Gara Coach La Jolla
In an age where hard work is undervalued and life carries itself a little too easily for many of us, there is a fear that we are losing sight of the American dream. Our forefathers worked hard and pursued their dreams, eventually making it to the top of a daunting ladder; they could go home at night, proud of a job well done.
But today, ideas like the American dream are falling victim to mediocre careers and an overarching acceptance of stagnancy. But there are a special breed of modern Americans who hold fast to those traditions; who seek a better life for themselves and, in doing so, uphold those favored visions of the American dream. O’Gara Coach La Jolla has proved itself to be a harbinger of such visionaries. Bentley La Jolla Brand Manager Traci Wilkerson is one such iconic emissary of those dreams.
Traci Wilkerson, Bentley's New Brand Manager
To most it comes as no surprise that Wilkerson was formerly a school teacher. She taught with a smile for many years in private schools and she is still educating her clients on a daily basis and managing with a caring touch. She confesses that her background in education may have given her the edge in exotic car sales and helped make her successful. “I can definitely work with a wide range of clientele and I have a lot of patience,” she said. “It comes naturally to me to want to help others.”
Wilkerson’s talent lies in helping her clients find the perfect car for their needs. Her time as a teacher taught her the art of listening; whereas other salesman blindly connect customers to cars, Wilkerson carefully takes the time to listen and take into consideration all of her client’s thoughts and needs. And now, as Brand Manager, Wilkerson can pass these invaluable skills down to her entire team.
Wilkerson uses the teaching skills she acquired during her career as an educator in managing her new team. “I’m constantly making sure that everyone on my team has the tools needed to be a successful salesperson. Bentley is a wonderful family company, rich with tradition and attention to detail, and anyone associated with Bentley needs to be educated and resourceful,” she said. “I will be instructing training clinics at the dealership for our salespeople and product clinics for our clients, which is something that may not have been a huge focus here before O’Gara Coach took ownership.”
Traci Wilkerson's Success
Wilkerson’s teaching skills aren’t the only reason she’s catapulted to the top of the field in just six short years. She largely attributes her success to her hard work and dedication to the job. “At my first dealership, I did everything for the owner. I was the porter, the secretary, the salesperson, the buyer, the auction goer, I wrote up the sales and purchase documents, pretty much a one man band. Although it was extreme, I can attribute most of the knowledge I have today to that job and the many roles I played,” she said.
The time and effort she invested were rewarded when she was offered a job by a Maserati dealership, where she honed her craft and was eventually scouted for the Brand Manager position at Bentley La Jolla.
Wilkerson has already proven to be the perfect pick for the tricky and challenging position, where she and her team have risen to meet even the most unique challenges. For example, the unveiling of the new Bentley Bentayga SUV model. “We were given the green light to give an exclusive sneak preview of the prototype in San Diego, but this meant only 10 days to plan the huge event.”
Wilkerson and her marketing assistant met the challenge head on with unmatched grace and success. With only days to prepare, they put together a lavish event that made O’Gara Coach La Jolla proud and distinguished them in a field of lofty competitors. “Guests walked along the red carpet and were photographed by paparazzi, then men were pinned with Bentley wings and the women were given Swarovski bracelets. In the foyer they were greeted by an aerialist who poured them a glass of champagne…while suspended from the rafters upside–down! It was so awesome.”
It’s appropriate that this acrobat was such a delight to the visitors of the Bentayga unveiling, as Wilkerson had to pull some acrobatic maneuvers of her own to plan the event on such short notice. “I was very proud,” she said after receiving a thumbs up from the owner of the dealership. “I was very thankful that he and my staff were pleased with how well it went. It was my first upscale event and it went splendidly.”
Traci's Paws Nonprofit
Wilkerson’s schedule is jam–packed, but she’s always sure to make time for her nonprofit Traci’s Paws. “Ever since I was a child, I’ve needed to help others, people and animals,” she said. “I started Traci’s Paws in April of 2013 just as a Facebook page, then decided to make it into something greater.”
Traci’s Paws hosts Pet Rest Booths at multiple charity events, like AIDS Walk San Diego and Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and they sponsor pet food and bedding drives, proceeds from which they divide and deliver to other rescues. “We also secure booths or spaces at events and invite various rescue groups to bring their animals for adoption,” Wilkerson said. And these adoption spaces aren’t just limited to dogs. “We also work with rescues for small animals, cats, reptiles, birds—any rescue needing our assistance. We will have microchipping before the end of the year.”
Her passion for giving back is certainly multi–faceted; in addition to Traci’s Paws, Wilkerson also devotes herself as a member of the Bentley Philanthropy committee. She’s devoted herself to the AIDS Walk for nine years, Walk to End Alzheimer’s for nine years, (Traci’s Paws has hosted the Pet Hospitality Booth for the last three years at both walks), Susan G. Komen, Movember, MS Walk, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, as an Ambassador for Diva Dash supporting multiple women–related charities including YWCA & Girls on the Run for four years, as an Ambassador for Dining Out For Life for four years and on the Young Professional’s Council as an LGBT Ally for two years. Wilkerson’s zest for her community is indicative of the type of successful, driven Brand Manager O’Gara Coach La Jolla builds and trusts.
Wilkerson embarked on a new journey six years ago and, by taking a chance and believing in herself, she found her true calling and epitomized the modern definition of success. Today, she’s proven to be one of the most talented assets to the auto sales business and a genuine leader. Wilkerson has proven that the American dream is alive and well, right here in San Diego at Bentley La Jolla.
Known world–wide as a luxurious and exclusive brand, Bentley is also attainable. To inquire on purchasing or leasing a Bentley, contact Traci Wilkerson at (866) 941–1968 or visit her at Bentley La Jolla, 7440 La Jolla Blvd. La Jolla, CA 92037.