Last week’s Coffee Connect series featured Hilary Haron, a valley entrepreneur who helps run her family automotive business, Haron Jaguar Land Rover. Hilary is an intelligent and resilient woman that wears many hats. Not only is she a successful business woman, she is also a mother, philanthropist, feminist, and friend.
Hilary’s family business was founded by her grandfather in 1945, who quickly grew the business from selling used cars to owning car franchises up and down the valley. Fast forward a few decades, and Hilary enters the business during her high school years. During her time spent filing papers and answering the phone, she began to learn discipline and developed a great sense of work ethic. To this day, Hilary still owns the first pair of Oakley sunglasses she bought with her first paycheck, as a reminder of the value of hard work.
From buying sunglasses, to her interest in the company in 2014, Hilary has grown immensely, and to this day continues to grow. She received her Bachelors in Business Administration from Fresno State and now sits on the California New Car Dealers Association, involved with the National Automotive Dealers Association and is the board chair for the Downtown Fresno Partnership. Hilary is also one of the founding members of the Community Alliance, that supports Community Regional Medical Center and is a member of the philanthropic group, PINC.
As Hilary acknowledges the opportunity she was given by being born into the family business, she strives to use her platform to empower more women to speak up and lead in a male dominated industry. Although Hilary may be described as a social person and leader by her friends, her success does not make her exempt from anxiety, and the occasional imposter syndrome.
For Hilary, diving into scenarios where she feels that she does not fit in, or can’t fill the big shoes left to her, is an ongoing testimony to one of the reasons behind her success. Recently, a seat became available for the National Automotive Dealers Association board, and although she felt a bit intimidated by a long time male dealer applicant, she was driven by the “Be scared, but do it anyways,” mentality her parents instilled in her from a young age and applied for the position. As Hilary waits for the application results to be announced in June, she reflects on the people she has surrounded herself with. She advises other female entrepreneurs to seek out other driven women, as a source of energy and mentorship for those days when their motivation tank is running low. Hilary also acknowledges the fact that there are days when you might need help, and that asking for it will not discredit your worthiness, or the hard work you have put into your career and life. Do things you don’t think you can do and if things don’t go your way, you will have gained another learning experience to grow from.
So get out there and remember to ‘do it scared!’
Written by Karla Guerrero
-Marketing and Operations Coordinator at Her Space