Welcome to NAWBO-SA... Started in 1998 as a collection of innovators; NAWBO-SA is the premier organization for women business owners in San Antonio. Our burning ideas led to starting this chapter and develop its programs, some of which are recognized on a national scale. We invite you to be part of the conversation...


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February 2016 Member Spotlight

                            In the Spotlight                          

Cavender Audi
Sponsored by:

NAWBO-SA Member Since 2014
Cece Smith, President & Owner
Toolbox Studios

Cece Smith
As the President and Owner of Toolbox Studios, Cece Smith provides the organizational leadership that emphasizes strategic planning and idea-driven solutions for clients representing a diverse range of industries and needs.

Born and raised in Illinois, Smith attended Illinois State University where she obtained her formal Bachelor of Administration (BA) in organizational design with a minor in Business Administration.   Upon graduation, Smith began her professional career at Cincinnati-based Procter and Gamble (P&G) embarking on ten years of highly specialized experience in sales management, marketing, organizational design and strategic planning for the global consumer goods company.

While still in the employ of P&G, Smith in 1992 relocated to San Antonio, Texas and in 1994, married Barney Smith, who would ultimately become her partner in business as well as in life when she joined him at SmithPrint, Inc. to implement marketing and strategic planning activities for the company's regional and national client base. This move proved to be so successful, as evidenced by their recognition as one of the Top Five commercial printers in San Antonio, Smith established a new, separate marketing division to focus on their strategic planning activities that spotlighted the unique attributes of Cross Media Marketing services. Within less than a year, this division had surpassed its own goals and was formally incorporated as Red Door Solutions (RDS) to provide a wide range of capabilities in all media settings including print, digital, online, direct marketing and analysis-based SEO as well as all social media programs.

Always seeking new opportunities and ways to most effectively respond to each client's unique situation and ensure the highest level of product delivery and customer satisfaction, Smith in 2014 purchased Toolbox Studios, a a longtime, award-winning branding and design agency. Combining the strengths of marketing and strategic planning with Toolbox's creative insight and technologically advanced solutions, the entity has diversified and grown in account holdings by over 85% with 50 additional clients representing the financial, insurance, real estate, education and nonprofit, and consumer products industries.

Smith has throughout her professional career and personal life that includes being a mother to two sons continued to give back to the communities she shares by serving as an active volunteer in numerous capacities as either a leader, board member, or member of groups such as: the Paseo Del Rio Association (VP Executive Committee); Assumption Seminary (Board of Directors); San Antonio Chamber of Commerce (member); Downtown Business Alliance (member), NAWBO (member) and many others.

Congratulations Cece!!! 
NAWBO-SA appreciates all you do for the
San Antonio Chapter!

NAWBO-SA Partner since 2016
Cavender Audi

Julie Herrera, Cavender Audi
Julie Herrera entered the automobile business, as a sales associate at Tom Benson Chevrolet in 1992.   She joined the Red McCombs Ford organization in 1994 and worked her way to a team leader position and then to assistant Truck manager.

In 1996, Ms. Herrera joined the #1 Lincoln retailer in the country, North Park Lincoln Mercury, where she served in a variety of positions during her 13 ½ year   tenure.   Julie started in sales and quickly was promoted to Finance Manager and then Leasing Manager. While working full time, Julie enrolled at The University of the Incarnate Word and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2001.   Julie was promoted to Finance/ Leasing Director where she excelled for three years.   Next, she was promoted to New Car Sales Manager and finally finished out her tenure at NP Lincoln Mercury as Used Vehicle Director in charge of over a 6million dollar inventory.

With the opening of North Park Toyota in South San Antonio came a new opportunity for Julie Herrera in 2009.   Ms. Herrera was promoted to her new role as General Sales Manager of North Park Toyota and quickly established this new point as the areas new car sales leader in Toyota volume in 2010 and 2011.   After completing 16 years with the Khalig-family's North Park Group, Julie left to pursue new learning opportunities in the automotive industry.

In March 2012 Julie Herrera joined Cavender Toyota as Service and Parts Director.    She has directed service and parts efforts with a total focus on customer retention.   Innovations for which she is responsible include: Service BDC with a seven member team that takes in over 12,000 service calls a month and makes in excess of 150 appointments per day. Julie established both an Express maintenance shop and an Advanced maintenance shop, concierge vehicle delivery, ASM tablet PC utilization with electronic multi-point inspection with a paperless transaction, complimentary quick check alignment analysis and a customer waiting room renovation.   Under her direction service and parts gross has increased 20% and customer retention scores are ranked in the top 10% of Metro dealers.

In June of 2015, Julie transitioned to become General Manager of Cavender Audi.   She now leads and manages America's 75th largest Audi Dealership with over $80 million in sales employing 75 dedicated Team Members.   Since her arrival in just 6 short months, she has improved new and used car sales by 15% over last year's same term.   Service and parts sales have increased by over 10%.   She has also expanded our team by 25%.

Julie participates in many worthy activities outside of work.   She is a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Minority Dealers Association and the United States Tennis Associations.   She serves as a Mentor at Business Careers High School and enjoys actively serving her church, St Elizabeth Ann Seaton Catholic Church.

AWARDS RECEIVED (Year(s) Received):
  • 2011 Recipient Toyota Sales Excellence Award 2012, 2013,2014 Recipient Toyota Service & Parts Excellence Award
  • 2013 GST Top 10 Parts Winner
  • 2014 GST Top 10 Parts & Service Winner
  • Master Certified Parts & Service Manager Hazmat Certified for (Dealers) Certified General Sales Manager by Toyota Motor Company Master Certified Sales Manager by Lincoln/ Mercury Inc.
  • Master Certified Business Manager by Lincoln / Mercury Inc.

Posted by NAWBO San Antonio on 2nd February, 2016 | Comments | Trackbacks
Categories: Member Spotlight
Tags: membership, Cece Smith, Toolbox Studios, women business owners, Corporate Partner, NAWBO Member Spotlight, Executive Member Partner, Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards, women entrepreneur, Julie Herrera, Cavender Audi

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