A cycle of change was a normalcy in life for Nancy Stone. Residing in different states and attending various schools attributed to her love of change in all aspects. In a conversation, the self-proclaimed “chatterbox” divulges her joys in life and all she has learned throughout her 36 years at Bartow Ford.
Q: What is a piece of your childhood that stands out most in your life?
A: We moved a lot, I lived in 11 houses by the time I was 20. I went to two elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. The new environments gave us new excitements.
Growing up with “the living in the moment” mentality, the quintessential 70’s teenager lived every day with a free spirit. Accepting a position at Bartow Ford also fell in accordance to her carefree lifestyle.
Nancy laughed while recounting the memory, “I went to pick up a friend who worked at Bartow Ford and someone stuck their head out of the service drive and said ‘Hey you, you want a job” to which I said, ‘sure.’”
After the initial proposition she worked every department ranging from parts clean up to switchboard, enjoying every new task that came with the position.
Q: What made you want to keep changing positions?
A: I wanted to know it all; I stuck my nose in every job and got in the middle of everything. Whenever someone would ask a manager something, they’d say “go ask Nancy” because I did everything. I worked in different departments in my free time, just to learn something new.
As Nancy grew her knowledge in the Polk County Dealership, she also found herself a new mother. Entering motherhood was an adventure she was excited but fearful of.
Q: How has having children changed your life?
A: Being a mother was the hardest job of my life, because it didn’t come naturally. My kids changed my outlook and how I treated other people. I always taught my children (Heather, Garrett, and Dalton) to see the best in the world, and not to let the bad consume them. That is the way I live with my life.
Finding the best in even the littlest occurrences, such as a morning cup of coffee, is also the way she instructs her staff. Tucked in the Parts Department, an inviting office decorated with photos of family milestones is where the manager spends only a portion of her day. “Even as a manager, it’s never the same job any given day at Bartow Ford.”
Closing the interview with her personal and business philosophy, Nancy Stone credits mentors like former superior Dan Gobble, Denny Mullis, Benny Robles and Ernest Smith for instilling a systemic- comradery approach in the company. “By treating your customer’s right, they will treat you right, and that blends into life; if you treat people right they will treat you right and respect you. It makes a difference.”