Life at OPENLANE Black History Month Edition: Q&A with Breanna Fitts, BDC Inside Sales Representative at AFC
To kick off Black History Month, we’re proud to feature Breanna Fitts, BDC Inside Sales Representative at AFC. From Customer Connection to Inside Sales, Breanna’s growth has been phenomenal. Learn about her journey at OPENLANE and AFC, how her familial legacy intertwines with the Underground Railroad and more.
What has your journey at OPENLANE looked like?
My journey has been filled with growth. I started with the company in 2017 as a Customer Connection representative. Through growing relationships with my peers and learning about other positions at HQ, a coworker recommended me for my current position of Inside Sales Representative in another business unit. Other than the job description my coworker shared, I wasn’t sure at first what the job entailed, but I was ready to try new things. I’ve learned so much in this position that I feel like an expert in my field and I even have the opportunity to assist with training our new hires! I’m thankful for my colleagues for believing in me and giving me the tools to be successful.
What is something you are most proud of during your time with OPENLANE?
I am most proud of the bonds and relationships I’ve formed with colleagues. I now have lifelong friends who feel like family.
What do you like the most about working at OPENLANE?
The culture makes me really proud to work here. Opportunities like our Employee Resource Group, BLK@OPENLANE, make you feel seen and valued.
What’s a piece of advice for newcomers to the company?
Take the long way and meet new people! And as awkward as it may be, talk to the people in the elevator. Embrace the culture, collaborate with people in your office, try new things, and take new opportunities.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever heard?
Put out what you’d like to receive. Be the light you want to see in the room.
What does Black History Month mean to you personally?
Personally, Black History Month is very important to me because I am Black History. My parents, grandparents, and great grandparents all have or had a story to tell about their personal Black History. During this month, I think it is very important that everyone takes time to learn something new and honor those who came before us. When people think of Black History, they often think that it was a long time ago, and doesn’t impact them today. But, the reality is, this was NOT that long ago and Black History is still being shaped today. My grandfather was born in 1913, and although I didn’t get the chance to meet him, the history my family tells me he carried makes me so proud to be his direct descendant. Although none of my grandparents are with us today, I know they are proud of their history and that we continue to celebrate it today, and I’m so blessed to be their wildest dream come true.
What is your favorite part of Black History Month?
My favorite part of Black History Month is learning new facts about my family, and myself. I’ve had the opportunity to visit my family’s old settlement town in Longtown, Ohio. This settlement is very important to me because our family played a significant role in the Underground Railroad. My favorite part of Black History Month is learning what kind of blood I have running through my veins, and the lineage I carry on my shoulders.
Tell us about the work that BLK@OPENLANE does and the importance of this group to you?
BLK@OPENLANE is amazing. The inclusiveness of the organization makes you feel seen and heard, and it creates a safe space to be around other people who value you and the culture at work. I’ve been at companies where I don’t feel heard, or I don’t feel like there is anyone around who cares about the same issues I do, or sees the importance of inclusiveness. OPENLANE values inclusiveness. I’m so blessed to be a part of an organization that provides that safe space. I admire and appreciate our BLK@OPENLANE leadership who have secured some amazing speakers and coordinate our meetings. I always leave those meetings feeling so motivated and excited to press on. I love seeing people who look like me succeeding and doing amazing things. I can’t say how appreciative I am for this group within this amazing organization. #FowardTogether