30th Anniversary For Locator Vice President
Locator veteran Charis Lloyd manages the nation's most knowledgeable industry publications and web sites from Whiting, Iowa.
PHOTO: THE LOCATOR
Friendships come naturally to Charis Lloyd, Locator executive vice president / chief operating officer. So when Locator president John Holmes hired her as a salesperson in 1981 and invited her to attend a Dale Carnegie class, she readily accepted. "The meat of the whole class fell in line with how I was raised," she said.
Lloyd continued her "on-the-job training" as she contacted clients in the Midwest and later nationally. "John believed in me," she recalled. Her genuine interest to find solutions for auto recyclers led to a stellar 30-year career.
She also enjoyed traveling to their facilities and seeing firsthand how they operated.
"I was elated when traveling became part of the job description. I love to meet people and see how the businesses differ," she said. "I would estimate that I've been to more than 450 auto recycling facilities. Organization and cleanliness are still key indicators to the business' success."
Lloyd began adding photos of the people she met at trade shows to The Locator Magazine. "I care about my customers and want to help them. I wanted to show everyone else in the industry these wonderful people I had met," she said. The company grew under Lloyd's leadership to include three national publications, two web sites and a series of Locator on Location conventions.
Over the years, Lloyd developed strong ties to the auto recycling industry. Kendig Kneen, owner of Al-jon Mfg., LLC (Aljon.com), Ottumwa, Iowa, recalled one of his first industry shows.
"When I went to my first big convention, I met [Charis], who seemed to know not just most of the people in the industry, but everybody in the industry," he recalled. "I was usually running back and forth between The Locator booth and our booth trying to learn as much as I could about the industry."
Lloyd has also noticed several positive transitions that have developed in the advertising field.
"Pre-Internet, it was easy to judge results based on how often the phone rang," she explained. "With software advancements and online advertising, a ringing phone can be attributed to many sources. Today, marketing efforts interconnect, and although tracking results is easier, interpreting results is more complicated."
Lloyd recommends the auto-recycling industry focus on distinguishing itself from the competition, which is new OEM parts, not used. "Be proud of what you have accomplished. You sell more than parts; you sell service. Let your customers know that. You are much more cost effective than new OEM. Believe in yourself and the industry. Auto recyclers can make a big difference; not single-handedly, but together."
Auto recyclers who know Lloyd recognize the passion she has for the industry, and the friendships made will last a lifetime.
"We have come a long way since those early conventions," Kneen reminisced. "Both of our companies have enjoyed success in the industry and more importantly, we've enjoyed getting to know friends that we both can count in the hundreds. I can't think of a finer lady to have made the journey with."