When Motorlease Corporation CEO Beth Kandrysawtz was looking to add to her operations team, she needed someone who could meet priorities and remain calm under pressure while responding positively and promptly to clients.
“I want to make sure each employee is in the right role to use their skills to be successful,” she explains. “The perfect match is important.”
The candidate she chose? A stay-at-home mom who had previously worked as an educator and elementary school tutor.
For Kandrysawtz, who takes a hands-on approach to employee and staff development, it was a less obvious but no less appropriate choice.
“I understand enough about the classroom environment to know there’s always negotiating, keeping students, parents, and the administration happy,” she explains. “Teachers are the middle-man.”
That certainly seemed ideal for a job that requires constant juggling and negotiation to keep clients satisfied.
“It would be a difficult role for someone right out of school,” she continues. “But for someone with a little more life experience and classroom experience, it fits. You raise a family, you know how to do this.”
Motorlease Corporation, a family business founded by Kandrysawtz’s grandfather in 1946, provides fleet management for small to mid-sized fleets nationwide, overseeing customized lease programs and managing maintenance, registration, and insurance paperwork, simplifying clients’ lives, and saving them time.
For Amy Glasgow, a Canton mom of three, the Motorlease job was an opportunity to return to her professional caliber after time away from the workforce to raise her family.
“I honestly never thought I would stay home,” Glasgow says of her initial decision to opt out of the workforce. “But it’s very different when you think about having kids to how you feel when you have them.”
Glasgow had set aside her master’s in elementary education to raise her three sons, now 18, 16, and 14. She was a frequent volunteer in their classrooms and returned to flexible paraprofessional and tutoring roles once her youngest was in kindergarten.
Following a life change in 2016, Glasgow had to make a more permanent employment decision.
“I was deciding between going back into the classroom as a full-time teacher or trying something new,” she recalls. “The scarier thing was trying something new, but I wanted to be challenged. I just really didn’t know how to go about that.”
That’s where Untapped Potential assisted. The Hartford-area organization helps women who have taken a career break with the skills and confidence to return to the workforce. There Amy found a network of supportive and like-minded individuals.
“You can go to events and hear other people’s stories. There are courses to enroll in. They help you prepare to interview,” she explains. “I never would have applied for my current job if it had not been brought to me by somebody there who knew my skill set and my capabilities.”
Motorlease CEO Kandrysawtz had known Untapped Potential founder Candace Freedenberg from their “PTO days,” when both had kids in the same Connecticut school system. She signed her company to be the first to partner with the organization in 2015.
“Untapped Potential takes the time to get to know their candidates and find the right placement for each,” Kandrysawtz says. “They give them the skills and mentoring to make them successful.”
“Our talent just needs a bit of flexibility upfront,” adds Untapped Potential’s Freedenberg. “Motorlease had an open mind for Untapped Potential’s talent delivery model early on. We’ve benefited from them as a Pledging Partner. And they’ve benefited, too, given well-matched candidates from our pool of experienced professionals.”
Since that initial placement, more than a half-dozen Untapped Potential Flexreturn™ candidates have joined Motorlease for short-term assignments touching all aspects of the business. Several of those opportunities turned into full-time positions.
For Motorlease, a company with 30 employees, the relationship with Untapped Potential has provided previously untapped manpower.
Or, in this case… womanpower.
Glasgow’s Flexreturn™ involved 30 hours a week for a six-week period. The ramp-up assignment allowed Amy to build her confidence and prepare herself – and her family – for the demands of returning to full-time work.
“Stepping outside of your box is one of the hardest things to do, but you don’t get anywhere by not moving forward.”
Her current role as a full-time Operations Coordinator, Glasgow explains, is “anything but routine.” She works with clients around the nation to meet their needs and deliver solutions in a timely manner.
The job shares some similarities with her years in the classroom.
“You can be teaching in any role, in any position,” she says. “There’s somebody out there that needs help and I’m helping them.”
“They care about their employees,” Glasgow says of Motorlease’s leadership. “They encourage you to take ownership of your position and bring ideas to the table.”
Kandrysawtz notes that 20% of the current staff at the company’s Farmington headquarters arrived through Untapped Potential, making her company not only the first partner but also the most frequent.
“One of the real revelations of Untapped Potential,” Kandrysawtz summarizes, “Isn’t the challenge of getting the job, it’s believing in another path for yourself. We make sure that everybody is in a job that takes advantage of their skills and puts them in a place where they can contribute and feel successful.”
“Stepping outside of your box is one of the hardest things to do,” Glasgow concludes. “But you don’t get anywhere by not moving forward.”
Candidate Profile: Amy Glasgow
Current Position: Operations Coordinator at Motorlease
Prior positions: Project Manager, Teacher, Paraeducator, Tutor, Stay-at-Home Mom
Title of her Current Chapter: “Balancing Act.”
Advice for Fellow Career Returners: “Don’t be afraid to try and be open to new ideas. You’re going to have to get a little uncomfortable in order to move forward in that situation which is scary but also so worth it. You will feel great once you get yourself unstuck!”
For more information on Untapped Potential including Flexreturn™ and mentoring opportunities, visit www.upotential.org.
For more information on Motorlease Corporation, visit https://motorlease.com
Valerie Gordon is a long-time storyteller and the founder of career and communications firm The Storytelling Strategist. She helps high achievers with strategic storytelling skills to grow their careers and ascend the leadership ladder. Read her other Next Chapter stories here.