Inspiring Future Leaders through Business-Oriented Leadership Development

When you are 15, the world of work can seem like a faraway, mystical land. How does one enter? What are the expectations? Toyota Industries Commercial Finance (TICF) is proud to help Junior Achievement (JA) demystify the path forward and foster work readiness in our future leaders.

JA is dedicated to providing a positive, enriching learning experience, free of bias, and promoting greater economic opportunity and equity; every student can succeed in the business of life by being prepared to participate in the global economy.

The JA Business Oriented Leadership Development (BOLD) Girls Summit, sponsored by Toyota Industries Commercial Finance, is an eight-week program designed to empower female high school students through a transformative learning experience—one that inspires them to dream big and prepares them to succeed in the next phase of their lives. Participants in the program connect with professional women to foster work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.

“The JA BOLD Summit is an exciting program impacting young women in the Dallas area in two of our priority areas,” Jan Murfield, CEO & President of Junior Achievement of Dallas. “The program creates an inclusive and diverse future workforce, and works to address the racial, ethnic and gender wealth gap.”

Recently eight different female leaders and associates at TICF participated as panelists in BOLD sessions with such topics as “How do you make your career possible?” and “How to make your money work for you.”


Pictured from left to right (starting at top left): Monica Smithwick, Regional Sales Manager, Elizabeth Kovacs, Sr. Customer Experience and Operations Support Analyst, Debbie Diaz, Legal and Compliance Analyst, Heidi Hall, Marketing Communications Manager, Deirdre Adams, Dealer Financial Services Administrator, Xiang Ji, Commercial Risk Manager, Jennifer Voss, HR Business Partner, Tania Sode, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leader, and Natalie Merkl, Marketing Manager.

The experience was incredible, specifically, the breakout session.  I was able to share some best practices and life experiences with young women.

Deirdre Adams, Dealer Financial Services Administrator

Participants first learned how to break down and evaluate the cost of achieving their goals. In week two, they investigated the importance of budgeting and keeping within a budget; they explored the characteristics of a healthy relationship with money while considering how shared budgeting creates opportunities to talk about equality, independence, and respect.

One-on-one and group discussions after each panel allowed each student to share her story; her concerns; ask questions in a safe, supportive environment; and talk with women who were once in their shoes.

“It was a privilege and an honor to share my personal financial experiences with young women,” said Jennifer Voss, an HR Business Partner at TICF. “When I was younger, I had to learn by trial and error. It is wonderful to see a platform for young women to learn real life experiences from other women.”

TICF is here for North Texas, Junior Achievement, our future leaders, and for each other. We’re all in this together. #FinancialLiteracy #JADallas #Contribute2Society

To learn more about JA, the BOLD program, and to get involved, visit