60th Anniversary Reflections

Talk a trip down memory lane as we celebrate Toyota's 60th anniversary in America

September 26, 2017
As Toyota celebrates its 60th year in the United States, Driver’s Seat asked team members, executives and dealers about their first jobs, best memories and what they love about the company today. If you have a favorite memory to share, please send answers to the questions below along with a photo to driverseat@toyota.com and it could appear in a future Driver's Seat article or on digital signage.
 

Jack Hollis
Group vice president/General manager
Toyota Division
 
  • What year did you start working for Toyota? 1992
  • What was your job? Management trainee in distribution and sales
  • What is your best memory from back in the day? It was my second or third day in the sales department. I was to put the daily sales report on each executive’s desk by 5 a.m. On this day, I went to Mr. (Bob) McCurry's office by 4:45 a.m. and he was already waiting for me. He simply said, ‘Jack, (I couldn't believe that he remembered my name) you know why I love athletes? Because they are always competing. Go and compete and enjoy Toyota.’ That memory has always been vivid to me.
  • What is the one thing you want customers or others to know about Toyota? Toyota will never stop innovating and improving.  We can and will do what most people believe is impossible.  

Bill Noel
Group leader, receiving inspection
Lexus Quality Control, TMMK
 
  • What year did you start working for Toyota? 1988, I was one of the first five team members hired in Assembly.
  • What was your job? Trim One, Primary Jobs, AC cooler tube installation and wiper link installation
  • What is your best memory from back in the day? Building the very first car that is now in the visitor center. Every time I see that car it brings back great memories of our first Toyota team. I take great pride in that car.
  • What do you love about the company now? I love that the company has provided stable employment with good benefits and standard of living for me and my family over my entire career.


Jamie Watson

Procurement manager
Toyota Financial Services
 
  • What year did you start working for Toyota? 2006
  • What was your job? Lexus pursuits Visa product manager at Toyota Financial Services Bank (TFSB)
  • What is your best memory from back in the day? The very first Netwalk – I got to walk with George Borst! I was with TFSB for about a month or two – great opportunity!
  • What do you love about the company now? Mobility initiatives are cutting edge and set us up for success in the future.


Matthew Casebeer

General manager
Capitol Toyota, Salem, Oregon
 
  • What year did you start your job at a Toyota dealership? 1995
  • What was your first job? Lot attendant
  • What is your best memory from back in the day? It was always exciting as a kid to see the customers all around the store and getting in the new cars with that new-car smell.
  • What do you love about the company or brand now? Toyota does a great job making every interaction (whether at the dealer level or at the national level) genuine and personal. I also like that all of the Toyota executives are comfortable and open enough to walk around at the national meeting each year. Having the ability to approach them is a great advantage over other companies.
 

Melanie Batiste

National Manager, CEC Operations
Toyota Customer Experience Center
 
  • What year did you start working for Toyota? 1988
  • What was your job? Senior internal auditor
  • What is your best memory from back in the day? When Toyota was big, yet small enough to have strong camaraderie, one example that comes to mind is partying after work every Friday with my “girls,” my finance coworkers Monetta, Nancy and Kim.
  • What do you love about the company now? While a lot has changed, the fundamental great products and good customer service still prevails.


Jim Ranck

Assistant manager
6cyl Admin, TMMWV
 
  • What year did you start working for Toyota? 1998
  • What was your job? Quality control team member
  • What is your best memory from back in the day? There are so many, but the working and personal relationships that I have built with other team members, Japanese trainers and coordinators and so many other countless people that have worked so hard to make this company what it is today.
  • What do you love about the company now? It’s amazing to me to see where we started to where we are now. I used to think that I knew just about everyone who worked here and now there are more people I don’t know than ones I do. But I don’t think it matters as much as you would think. Even the people I don’t know have a spirit and drive that I know will continue to make us a great company. I love to see what we do to support our team members in times of crisis, not only here locally but Toyota globally. Toyota truly cares about their family of team members. Even though we have grown so much, I still feel as if we are a family.
By Karen Nielsen 

 

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