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American Financial Services Association

Jennifer Barrett Gauna

Jennifer Barrett Gauna

Women's Leadership Council

Jennifer Barrett Gauna

Chief Administrative Officer
Flagship Credit Acceptance

Jennifer Barrett Gauna became the Chief Administrative Officer of Flagship in August 2019. She previously spent 12 years as Senior Vice President and Controller of Flagship. Jennifer joined Flagship with more than 10 years of financial services industry experience, beginning her career in the audit practice of Ernst & Young, LLP in Philadelphia. Jennifer attended Villanova University where she obtained a BS in Accountancy and is a CPA licensed in the State of Pennsylvania. Jennifer entered the auto finance space unintentionally but has remained in the industry for the people, the energy and the entrepreneurial drive which surrounds all areas of this industry.

My Areas of Expertise: i.e. strategy, marketing, team building, executive management?
Strategy, operational process management, presentations

Areas of expertise upon which I would like to continue learning.
Team building through innovative ways that are effective with diverse teams.

What three keywords best describe you?
Direct, Driven and Focused

Personal Motto:
Humble and hungry. When Villanova University's basketball coach spoke about this motto - it made sense to me, personally and professionally and I adopted it as my own way of focusing and striving to continue to advance while still recognizing the accomplishments of
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about doing the right thing and surrounding myself with good people.

What is something interesting about you that members might not know?
I won a buffalo wing eating contest at a team building event.

Who has been a role model for you?
My grandmother was one of my greatest role models. She grew up during the Great Depre

What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the words people use to describe my two sons.

a. What would you say are the key success factors for a mentoring relationship?
A good mentoring relationship is one in which both parties can learn from each other. It is a two way street. As we continue to advance in our professional careers, it is important to not only reach back and ensure that we are bringing other women along with us, but we are also listening to them and learning from their perspective and insight.

b. What advice would you give yourself as a young executive?
Find your voice and use it. Gather your thoughts and then hold tight to your ideas and convictions and be heard. Bring up the ideas that you may have, say when you disagree and why, give praise when it is deserved and be ok with not always being right.

Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. The only way we learn is by entering unchartered territories and not always having the answer. If you see something that isn't right, don't just go with the flow. Question it. Challenge the status quo if you don't agree with it.

c. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started your career? The importance of networking! Women often do not place importance on establishing professional relationships early in their careers. Connections outside of the organization need to be maintained and fostered. They are important ways to gain insight, get feedback and learn of opportunities in the industry.