Women at the Wheel: Maxine Petrick

VANCOUVER  Growing up in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., when Maxine Petrick turned 16 getting her driver’s license symbolized freedom.

It also ignited her passion for vehicles and the world that they opened her up to.

But it wasn’t until after graduating from UBC with studies focused on International Relations and Economics that she got her first job in the auto industry.

“It all started with graduating university,” Petrick says. “I wanted to take some time off and go travelling and I decided to stay with my uncle for the summer in Germany. With his work ethic, I couldn’t just hang out! So the next thing I know, he got me a job at one of the local dealerships.”

After thoroughly enjoying her dealership experience in Germany, she ended up working for the same brand both in Vancouver and then in Toronto.

And when she decided to move back to Vancouver, and wanted to work in another dealership, the “only one place came to mind and that was Brian Jessel BMW.”

She joined the team in late-2005 and hasn’t looked back.

“I originally started here doing lease returns and customer follow ups,” she explains. “Then it went on to developing a department and now I’m the portfolio manager. I manage lease ends and the database.”

If she could sum up her day-to-day role, it would be “generally just being a great listener and a support to the sales team.”

While you might not necessarily see her out on the floor very often, her role behind the scenes is tantamount.

“When your lease is coming up, some clients like to know what they’re going into, their next vehicle,” so Petrick assists with that.

Asked what inspires her to come into work everyday, the 40-year old doesn’t hesitate: “The team I get to work with. Here we just have a fantastic team and great clients … It’s a great place to come to work everyday.

“There can be long days and long hours, but it’s all about the people you are surrounded with.”

To unwind after those long days, Petrick rides her bike. That’s a road bike not a motorcycle.

“I enjoy being in constant motion, whether it’s on two wheels or four wheels. That’s what also really attracts me to the brand of BMW. It’s a very environmentally conscious. They have great design and innovation, but also care about the environment. You can see that with the model lineup changing over the years to include Active Hybrids, to advanced diesels and more.”

As for her passion for being in motion, she’s driven across Canada 11 times.

“Many of the trips revolved around university (out west) and then home to Ontario for the summer then back West. One year my latest exam was Dec 21st — the three-day forecast looked good — so we bought snow tires and chains and drove across the U.S. and walked in the door Christmas Eve.

“Airplane tickets would’ve been easier but I was always fortunate to have a car, ample time and a sense of adventure, she continues.

“I didn’t realize at the time how much these individual trips, when placed collectively, the car has enabled me to explore my country, our neighbour and a few distant lands.”

Despite her love for moving around, she remarks, “I’ve truly found a great place to work and a ‘family’ here at Brian Jessel BMW.

“Having the Sea to Sky Highway in my backyard, with its stunning scenery, why would I want to go anywhere else, why would I need to go anywhere else?!”


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About Alexandra Straub