As a leader in the auto industry, Neda Tavana Ingram set the standard not just as a woman in business but as a creative and vivacious leader. In a business that started with six cars and a staff of two, Neda finished her career managing 8 salespeople, 2 sales managers, 2 finance, 3 receptionists, and a lot filled with 450 cars.
Ingram attributed much of her success at the Orange Coast studio to the unique hiring process, the way the staff viewed their customers and the way they treated them. “I wanted a different atmosphere, not a car dealership atmosphere,” said Ingram. “Instead, I wanted a studio atmosphere. So when people came in, they saw family.”
When Ingram interviewed new hires, she personally handed the initial interview, but then she encouraged the staff to talk with prospective hires. “I wanted everyone, even the salespeople, to be involved. I wanted everyone to feel like this is a family,” she said.
What is your greatest lesson in business?
Don’t do good business with bad people. “No matter how good the idea is, it will never work with a bad person,” said Ingram.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Finding a balance between work and home. “Because I loved the work that I did, there was no balance. I enjoyed going to work so much I would be working 12 to 13 hours every day,” said Ingram.
What is your advice to a young woman coming into business today?
Enjoy what you do. “If you enjoy what you do, it won’t feel like work. And you won’t get tired of it. Find what you love, and you will always be a success,” said Ingram.
Now, Neda has embarked on a new career—Go Healthy Catering. “I love to cook,” she said. “At the studio, I always had a Crock Pot or pressure cooker going somewhere because we worked long hours.”
Ingram has always enjoyed healthy eating and having nutritious food around for the staff to eat. She understands that busy schedules make it difficult for business owners and busy staff to stop for a healthy meal.
“I wanted to provide something other than the fast food,” she said. Partnered with Azita de Malignon, Go Healthy Catering provides organic, healthy, hormone-free products for their prepared lunches and dinners that are available for people who don’t have time to prepare one for themselves.
“We built it, and there is a market for it,” Neda said.
For more information on the daily menu and delivery services, please visit gohealthycatering.com.
A version of this article was published by Good Day Orange County. It has been republished here with permission.