Meet Cristina, Vice President of Credit who has been with Flagship since April 20, 2014. With her sights set on the Big Apple and a career in communications, Cristina’s Flagship journey almost didn’t happen. After a short time working in financial public relations, Cristina realized that she missed the energy of the auto industry, and her sunny hometown of Phoenix.
In her own words:
During my senior year at the University of Arizona, Chase Auto Finance (CAF) recruited me for their Leadership & Development Management Training Program. I began right after graduation. The position had me rotating throughout CAF’s different departments and offices. My final rotation was in credit, working out of the Phoenix center where I was assigned zero-performing dealers. After only one month of working their territory, I cashed at least one contract out of 90% of those same dealers. Before my yearlong program was up, an underwriter was retiring and they offered me the position. I accepted and subsequently managed to surpass monthly volume goals throughout the recession. It became my mission to flip non-performing dealers on their heads.
After five years at Chase, I decided that I had plateaued in my position. It was time to go back to school. I moved to New York and completed a Master of Science in Communications from Columbia University. My thoughts were to transition into the communications industry via financial public relations. I worked for a public relations agency that specialized in financial PR, but I missed the energy of the auto industry. Wanting to return to Phoenix, I reached out to my contacts in the area who told me about a new office opening up for a lender by the name of Flagship Credit Acceptance. I applied and luckily, I got the job!
When I first joined Flagship there were only two territories in Phoenix, East, and West. When I was appointed head for the Phoenix West division, we grew that territory from about 150 contracts to more than 400 within the first year.
What I love about Flagship is they’re great about rewarding successful teamwork. Everyone here has a voice. If you speak up, management listens. Whether it be the measuring of performance goals, rewarding innovative ideas to help efficiencies, or recognizing out-of-the-box thinking to make the company better, associates are recognized on a large scale.
When I think about the communications career I almost had, I can honestly say I’m so thankful I went another way. I love the fact that every day is different. I love the fact I have a job that recognizes me and rewards me. I can say with confidence, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.