Early this morning, July 3, 2019, I saw a post about Lee Iacocca, age 94, passing. I hadn’t thought of this automobile giant in many years. I did however jog this gal’s memory to the year 1990 or the first of 1991 to being chosen to participate in Chrysler’s milestone program, Customer One in Detroit Michigan. Yes, I met Lee Iacocca during the week our team of top dealer representatives but it was brief and somewhat unnerving.
First, allow me to give you a little background of my former “life” as a car salesperson and on to a finance/insurance manager which was my status at the time of having the honor of being chosen to participate in forming an innovative customer service program for Chrysler. I would like to say we were the “A” team (slight play on a running joke when I assemble a team) but it was definitely an “I” team. From the moment we landed, our entire trip was scrutinized down to the minute. We were shuttled and given a small amount of time to unpack since we were there from Sunday night to Friday. Accommodations were nice but not frivolous and all of the support team who supervised the week were efficiently cordial.
The week started with a speech from one of the VP’s giving an overview of what Mr. Iacocca wanted and expected to be accomplished from our team. We were to evaluate every question formulating a questionnaire for each Chrysler new owner at intervals. We were involved in the time schedule the questionnaires would be sent and the follow up phone calls complete with a proposed script. The purpose which the leader of this company was to produce a loyalty to brand by giving the customer a warm and fuzzy feeling that a car manufacturer really cared about them. We created rewards for the customer’s feedback and how we would use this information to improve customer relations.
On the last night, we were treated to a wonderful dinner with Mr. Lee Iacocca present. We had an opportunity to meet him prior to him speaking to us as a group. We were given a wooden box engraved with the designation of being on the pilot team and a Chrysler Silver Piece custom made for the event. I still have these pieces but would have to unpack them so I will produce them for a later post on all of the adventures which I have been a part during my life.
What my thoughts are on this morning after learning of Mr. Iacocca’s death are simple: We do create a presence in this life. Some are larger than life presences such as Lee had when he entered the room. He stood tall even though he was not a tall man. He spoke loudly with his words without a lot of volume. He was capable of making quite a splash in the pool of life without having to get everyone dripping wet but a chosen few to swim with him. RIP Mr. Lee Iacocca, you made a big impression on me and all of the group with you during that time in your life. You made a big impression on those who felt your presence.
(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos published on internet/google are sourced if known for credit reference.