by Elizabeth Stone
The Richards College of Business welcomed Mike McConnell, vice president of Sales, Financial Products and the Corporate Planning Office for Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation, as this year’s Executive-in-Residence on October 3, 2013. For 17 years, the Richard’s College Executive-in-Residence program has been bringing top executives from a variety of fields onto UWG’s campus to personally interact with students for an entire day.
Mike, an alumnus and member of the 1982 UWG National Championship football team, graduated from UWG, which was then West Georgia College, in 1985 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing. He credits West Georgia with many of his successes, most importantly meeting his wife, who was then a cheerleader on the co-ed cheerleading squad.
“I learned that if you can get everyone focused on one common goal and one objective, it’s amazing what you can achieve. I’ve been able to take that through my entire life and my entire career,” he says. “I also met my wife here and with her I have a wonderful family. Some of the greatest things in my life started here at West Georgia.”
Mike offers 27 years of experience working at original equipment manufacturers with executive positions in sales, finance and marketing. In his current position, he designs and executes all financial products for retail, lease and commercial products for all Nissan and Infiniti dealers nationally.
While on campus, Mike was asked to speak to five business classes about his experiences in the job force. During his presentation, he made sure to include some personal advice for being successful in the future. He encouraged students to be open to new ideas and new locations when it comes to searching for a job, continually honing public speaking skills and, above all, never compromising honesty and integrity no matter what level of business they achieve.
“I hope the students gain just a little bit of insight, and I hope I can provide some experience and wisdom about how I got to where I am today,” he says. “I’m really interested in what kind of questions they have, what kind of thoughts they have. Really anything that they think I can help with.”
Mike was previously regional vice president of Nissan’s Mid-Atlantic Region where he oversaw activities for 147 Nissan dealers relating to sales, marketing, distribution, parts and service, market representation, customer satisfaction, service contracts, and training. He was also director of sales where he managed a 60-member national field force including seven regional managers.
Also at Nissan, Mike was the regional financial services manager for Nissan’s Mid-Atlantic Region where he managed the performance for financial services managers regarding contract penetration, floor plan acquisition and dealer relations for 147 Nissan dealers and 21 Infiniti dealers. He was also the senior financial services manager for Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation in the southeast region where he focused on contract acquisition, training, floor plan acquisitions and dealer relations.