The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) named Jessieleigh Freeman, mechanic at #SavingSaturn, as the newest #SheIsSEMA spotlight member. Freeman has a passion for Saturn vehicles, which ceased production in 2010, and has taken on the task of restoring and collecting Saturn vehicles – 17 of them at the moment. Learn more about Freeman in her interview with SEMA below.
SEMA: What is most challenging part of running your business or job?
Jessieleigh Freeman: The most challenging part is finding the parts and keeping up with all the Saturns.
SEMA: How many years have you been in the industry and what was your first industry job?
JF: I have been in the automotive industry for about six years now. My first job was office manager and service writer for a speed shop.
SEMA: What are three qualities that got you to where you are today?
JF: The three qualities that got me where I am today are organization, perseverance, and determination.
SEMA: Being a woman in the industry, what have been your biggest challenges and accomplishments?
JF: Being taken seriously is a big thing for me in what I do. Many people have not taken me or what I do seriously and think that it is a joke. I worked very hard to get where I am and do what I do. People ask me all the time if I am just the face of #SavingSaturn and some man does everything behind the scenes.
SEMA: Who are your role models or mentors in the industry? How have they helped you along the way?
JF: It has been difficult to find a female in the industry that does what I do to be a role model. My family has been part of drag racing for years though, and I always looked up to Team Force. The girls have such confidence and their father never held them back.
SEMA: What is the best career advice you have received? How has this advice helped you either professionally or personally?
JF: The best advice I’ve received is “If they judge you by your cover, show them why they should read." I have no idea who said that to me; I wish I did, but it has been a great reminder that I should try to educate rather than walk away.
SEMA: Have you always wanted to work in the automotive industry? What keeps you here?
JF: Yes, I have loved cars for as long as I can remember. The passion to get my cars restored has been my driving force.
SEMA: Who was the most influential person on your career/goals?
JF: My Uncle Frank, he pushed me to be who I am today.