Associate Spotlight: Monica Smithwick
Logistics Sales Manager, Monica Smithwick
Monica Smithwick, Logistics Sales Manager, is a lifelong learner. Throughout her nearly 20 years at Toyota Industries Commercial Finance (TICF), she’s found many opportunities to learn, improve, and grow.
“I’m a sponge for information, and I like being uncomfortable and outside of my comfort zone,” Monica shared.
Here at Toyota, we know that making things is about making people. Monica is certainly a testament to that philosophy. A willingness to learn has been a bit of a feature throughout her life.
Monica grew up in San Pedro, a small town in southern California. Raised by a hardworking single mother, Monica attributes her success not only to her mother, but to her large extended family. “The old adage, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ that’s me and my life,” she explained. “My aunts, my uncles, my grandparents, and my mother all had a hand in raising me. I appreciate the sacrifices they made to help me become a successful adult.”
Before her career at Toyota, Monica worked in a hockey rink running an adult hockey league. In her early twenties, a family friend who worked at Toyota Motor Sales suggested that Monica apply for a role as a Business Partner. Eventually, the contract position became full time. Monica later accepted a role in Commercial Finance with the remarketing team and has been with TICF ever since.
In Remarketing, she learned about systems, processes, and equipment, knowledge she continued to build upon when she was promoted to Regional Sales Manager. Her ability to build relationships with the dealers and her fellow associates has been vital to her success—as has her desire to learn.
Throughout her time at TICF, she’s approached every new experience with genuine curiosity and an open mind. “The dealers I’ve built relationships with, they’ve been so willing to teach, and I’ve also been willing to learn,” Monica explained. “When I meet with a dealer, they know I’m there to help them, but I ask them to teach me about their business, because once I learn, then I can create an easier experience or help streamline a process. Dealers welcome me with open arms and make room for me to do my job when they understand I’m there to help them grow.”
It’s not just her relationships with dealers that have propelled Monica forward in her career. The comradery she shares with TICF associates in every department across the company has helped foster the confidence necessary to step into a brand-new role. Beyond that, she believes that leadership’s ability to recognize potential, see opportunities for growth and improvement, and reward that growth with increased opportunity is part of what makes TICF stand apart from other corporations. “I wouldn’t be half as successful in this job without the associates who have helped me and continue to help me,” she stated. “I am who I am today because of the people I’ve worked with, from every touchpoint in our company.”
A prime example of the Toyota Way of Working, Monica is excited to step into her new role as Logistics Sales Manager. “Throughout my time at TICF, the opportunities I’ve been afforded have been fantastic,” she said. “Now, I’m thankful for the chance to learn a new side of our business.”
When she is not at work, Monica is deeply loyal to her sports teams: The Los Angeles Kings, The Los Angeles Dodgers, and The Dallas Cowboys. In their free time, she and her husband, Jason, enjoy going to movies, sporting events, concerts, and making time for road trips.