By Akina Chargualaf
It’s all about the family dynamic.
As the current assistant general manager at Prestige Automobile Guam, Jennifer Shen worked her way from the bottom when she decided to continue the family legacy. The local car dealership has been in business for over 25 years and Shen is shifting gears to bring it forward into the next era.
Last vacation destination: California
Typical coffee order: Hot cappuccino or latte
Childhood dream job: Backup dancer for Madonna
Book currently reading: I’m actually listening to podcasts more and currently listening to “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard.”
After living in Seattle, Wash. for six years, Shen returned home and worked her way from sales administrative assistant, to marketing assistant, to marketing administrator before being promoted to assistant general manager in 2017. She says it’s because of her father’s guidance and her supportive team that she was able to learn the dynamics of the business.
“Working with the family business, I’ve gotten to know my dad a lot better — it’s definitely strengthened our relationship,” Shen says. “We have a really good team here, and most of them have been with us for more than 10 to 15 years. I feel really fortunate that I have the opportunity to work with them, and they’ve been so supportive through everything, and I love that.”
The St. John’s high school graduate left Guam in 2004 to attend Seattle University in Washington state. After returning home in 2010, she found her passion in networking, planning events and working alongside her team members at Prestige Automobiles.
In any family business, there are ups and downs to working with close family members. Shen says the success of running any business with loved ones stems down to “keeping an open mind and to be willing to work things out and have a discussion about it.” It’s also best to keep emotions at bay and be straight-forward about things that need to get done, she says.
In light of her busy schedule as assistant general manager, which include overseeing human resources responses, the sales and marketing teams, working with the managers, and building relationships with the customers, Shen stresses the importance of taking things one step at a time.
“There’s always a million and one things to do, so the best thing to do is just take it one thing at a time and cross it off your list,” Shen says. “Take a breath and focus on one thing and move on to the next.”
In her free time, she plays soccer for the Sidekicks in the Womens Amateur Division II and for Euro in the Masters Co-ed Division. Shen proved to be an active athlete since she was young; she played on the Guam Women’s National Basketball Team, danced ballet for ten years and played sports throughout her high school career. Although basketball was her first love, soccer is the one sport she continues to play.
Although her plate seems full, Shen is ready to bring Prestige to the next level. “It’s a huge opportunity and I don’t take it lightly,” Shen says. “I’m proud to be able to say that, and hopefully elevate this business forward for another 25 years.”