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Friday Feature: Justin Cowell

"I’ve always worked in the auto industry, whether it be in sales, finance, or internet leads department, but I felt like those jobs were consuming my life. VOAMI Auto Sales was hiring and the smaller, close knit family culture was the change of scenery that I needed."

Justin Cowell

Family culture
Justin's story

Your name: Justin Cowell

Your role at Volunteers of America Michigan: Finance Manager for VOA Auto Sales in Pontiac.

What brought you to this position? Over five years ago now, I was tired of working in the “Big Box” New car dealers. I’ve always worked in the auto industry, whether it be in sales, finance, or internet leads department, but I felt like those jobs were consuming my life. VOAMI Auto Sales was hiring and the smaller, close knit family culture was the change of scenery that I needed.

What is your biggest takeaway from working with Volunteers of America Michigan? This position has really opened my eyes as far as the amount of individuals in need in the Metro Detroit area. Yes, we sell vehicles to the general public. However, most of our customers are low income and have to buy vehicles here, because they’ve been turned down by other places. In talking with them, it’s not only getting transportation that’s needed, but trying to find somewhere to live, making sure they have enough money left to eat, and keeping clothes on their children’s back. These are the struggles of the individuals I deal with everyday, so if I can make their lives just that much easier by getting them into a reliable vehicle, then I know I’ve done my part to try and help them.

What is your biggest challenge in this position? My biggest challenge has to do with both work and life in general. I’m always rushing around and want to get things done and move on to the next item. As I get older, I’m realizing that I need to slow down and enjoy the moment (Smell the Roses as some say), rather than reflect back and wish I hadn’t rushed through everything or done something differently.

Where is your dream vacation spot? I love being up north, enjoying the weather and scenery. So my ideal vacation spot would be a scenic snowmobile trip in Alaska!

What is your favorite book? I really don’t read books, but I have read John Daly’s book “My life in and out of the Rough” and liked it. I also subscribe to the RacerX Magazine if that counts.

How do you spend your time outside of the office? I love being up north with family and friends, riding dirtbikes and snowmobiles. That’s my way of decompressing. I also play hockey, so you might find me on an ice rink somewhere.

However, this past year has been a bit different as I got engaged to my fiance, Kat, back in May, and we are excited to be expecting a little baby girl in late February so things are about to get turned upside down at our house.