Meet January’s “Member of the Month:” Suzanne Coppola, Region Manager, Minneapolis Region, Bridgestone Retail Operations

Meet January’s “Member of the Month:” Suzanne Coppola, Region Manager, Minneapolis Region, Bridgestone Retail Operations

by Women Automotive Network Team January 11, 2022

Why did you join the Women Automotive Network?

“My motivation for joining the Women Automotive Network was to connect with like-minded women in the automotive industry. I wanted to build my network outside of Bridgestone, while also furthering my education and developing a deeper understanding of the trends and dynamics facing our industry. Most of all, I want to mentor and offer my support to women just starting out in the automotive field. I’ve had a lot of great mentors throughout my career, and I hope to pay it forward. We need more women in our industry!”

Why is DE&I important to you?

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are incredibly important to me, because I want every individual to be celebrated for being their most authentic self, and to have a seat at the table so that we can all thrive together. From a business standpoint, diversity strengthens business performance and improves outcomes. At Bridgestone, we’ve learned having a diverse and inclusive culture that advances equity and embraces individuality helps us to take better care of our customers, and that’s what it’s all about.”

What is the number one automotive trend you are keeping up with currently?

“It’s not necessarily one trend that I’m watching, but the intersection or convergence of multiple macrotrends. Mobility is evolving to be connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE). The way people and goods move 10-15 years from now will look very different from how it looks today, and it’s our job as a large automotive service network to take steps to be ready for these shifts, so that we can continue meet our customers’ needs. We are closely watching the continued shift to digitalization as new technologies emerge, and we are evolving our service offerings accordingly.”

What are your predictions for the automotive industry in 2022?

“I anticipate that we’ll see an increase in pre-owned vehicles, and a return to more miles driven as individuals resume commuting to the workplace. There will also continue to be pent-up demand for leisure travel by car, as recovery from the pandemic continues.”

Who is your inspirational woman?

“Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of my biggest heroes. She spent a lifetime advocating for gender equality, and she paved the way for me and so many women in our country. I will never take her contributions for granted.”

What is your proudest career moment?

“My proudest career moments are when I’ve had the privilege of seeing individuals I’ve managed achieve accomplishments they either did not see for themselves, or believe possible. It is incredibly rewarding to see someone you helped develop flourish and thrive!”

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome?

“The last 12-18 months have been particularly challenging. As a leader, my job is to take care of our teammates and prioritize their safety and well-being. This was incredibly difficult in the Minneapolis area, as we navigated the evolving impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the social unrest that transpired after the murder of George Floyd.”

What was your first car?

“A 1976 Ford Maverick 2 door.”

In one word, what is the opportunity for women in automotive currently?

“Growth.”

What advice would you offer to those considering starting a career within the automotive industry?

“Just DO IT! The automotive industry is incredibly exciting and fun. If you’re considering a career in this industry, I encourage you to just go for it. There are so many skills and attributes that transition and truly afford individuals to have a powerful impact.”

Don’t forget to connect with Suzanne Coppola on LinkedIn here.