By Ashley Reyes
This month’s SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) #SheIsSEMA Spotlight features Dee Zee Inc.’s Denise Waddingham, SBN chair-elect. As such, she plays a vital role in the success of all SBN initiatives while raising awareness of the career possibilities for women in the automotive industry. Throughout her professional career, Waddingham has developed programs to create better relationships between Dee Zee and the company’s accounts, outside sales representatives and customers.
Get to know Denise in her Q&A with SEMA and SBN below:
SEMA: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Denise Waddingham: Be a mentor. Although it may seem easier to just “do it yourself,” you are denying another person the opportunity to grow and learn. Involve others, show others how to do something and then watch them prosper.
SEMA: What keeps you involved in this industry?
DW: Comradery and networking. Being a female in the automotive aftermarket industry is gaining momentum. The more I learn from others, the farther I can go within this industry. Being involved in networks and events allows me to broaden my knowledge and gain the respect and admiration of others in the industry.
SEMA: On a Saturday, where can you be found?
DW: Hanging out with my husband Jamie and Sarge, our 1-year-old Fox Red Lab. We can be found at the dog park, taking a walk in the open fields by our house or lounging in front of the fireplace watching a movie or football. Oh, that’s of course after grabbing a coffee and puppy latte at our local coffee shop.
SEMA: How do you prepare for going to an important meeting?
DW: Prepared with an agenda. While in the meeting, I listen and take notes on important topics. I am never afraid to ask questions and input my ideas into the conversation.
SEMA: If you could go to lunch with one industry leader, living or dead, who would it be?
DW: GiGi Carlton. I had the opportunity to meet her briefly at the 2017 SEMA Installation & Gala and at the 2017 SEMA Show. Not only is she an industry icon, but she’s also got a smart sense of humor. Oh, the stories she could tell. I’d just love to pick her brain and hear all about the beginning of the SEMA Show.
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