Life at OPENLANE: Q&A with Ismael Chavez, Regional Director at AFC

This Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re proud to feature Ismael “Ish” Chavez, Regional Director at AFC. Get to know Ish, read more about his journey at AFC and learn what he appreciates the most about his culture in the Q&A below.

What has your journey at AFC looked like?  

My journey at AFC started in late 2011, when I nervously walked into ADESA not really knowing what I was getting myself into. Yes, for a minute there I thought floorplanning was about actual house floorplans. I was given the opportunity to kick start an AFC IAA co-located site as a Site Manager and I ran with the opportunity. Since then, I have had the privilege to hold multiple roles and have led some amazing team members along the way. The journey has been pretty good if I do say so myself.

What is something you are most proud of during your time with AFC?  

I have many proud moments with AFC but the one that sticks out the most is during the pandemic. It was a scary time within our industry, and I am proud of how our teams at AFC overcame adversity and stayed resilient. I still talk to my team about the times when spirits were low compared to where we are now.

What do you like the most about working at AFC?  

I love the relationships I have built over the past 10 years and the fact that if I need help, I know all I need to do is ask. For the past two years, I have really enjoyed being part of the pretty cool group that is Region 7.

Which one of your skills do you think has assisted in your success the most?

My charm! This is a trick question mainly because there are so many skills in our tool bag but if I had to pick one it would be Adaptability. We learn quickly that things change, and we have to be ready to take on the new role or task at hand. All of the roles I have held required me to change some things about the way I lead and/or follow.

What’s a piece of advice for newcomers to the company? What is the best career advice you’ve ever heard?

I have had great mentors throughout my career, but I must give credit to my dad for the best advice when I was growing up.  This advice is a little old school, but it rings in my head every day I wake up, “Si quieres algo, trabaja duro y ganeselo…nadie te debe nada,” which means, “If you want something, work hard for it, and earn it. No one owes you anything.”

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, share more about your background and what you like most about your culture?

My father was born in Veracruz, Mexico and my mother was born in Coahuila, Mexico. I am Mexican American, born and raised in Dallas, Texas. One of the best things about about my culture, of which most would agree, is the delicious foods. Mexican culture is based around united families, vibrant colors and music. But the quality I admire the most about our culture is the strength to always persevere. 


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