Yates Woods

Fabulous People: Whitney Yates Woods

Whitney Yates Woods is the dealer principal and president at Yates Buick GMC, a family-owned and -operated Buick GMC in Goodyear. Yates Buick GMC has been in operation for 38 years, with Yates Woods taking over the family business just recently. Learn about Whitney Yates Woods…

Hometown: Litchfield Park, AZ 

First job: I was a filing clerk at the dealership in high school. 

Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: I love spending time with my husband and two children whenever I get the chance. Shopping for goodies at Nordstrom is also at the top of my list. 

Your biggest accomplishment and why: I recently took over as dealer principal at our family dealership for my father, Michael Yates, who passed away of COVID-19 in March. This is by far my biggest accomplishment considering there is a lack of female presence in the automotive industry. 

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Being one of the few females in the automotive industry and getting approved through General Motors for the new role as dealer principal.  

Someone who inspires you and why: Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, who has broken so many barriers in a male-dominated industry. She is also committed to reducing our carbon footprint with a very large investment into the production of electric vehicles. 

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you are a mother or a woman. Several people asked me how I would run the dealership with two small kids at home. That is a question society does not ask a man, and I refused to let that be a reason I would not continue my pursuit. 

Favorite quote: “The biggest risk in life is not risking.” -Sara Blakley, the founder of Spanx, puts this inside her boxes and it is the best!

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: After being seriously ill with a genetic disease, I now live without my entire pancreas. That experience is what has helped shape me into the determined person I am today. 

What makes someone fabulous: The key component to being fabulous is the ability to put people first in all that you do. If you care about your organization, and take care of those who help it run, you will always be ahead.

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