But just as she walked into the dealership, she was stunned by the official pace car in the showroom – a brand new 1979 silver Mustang with horses on the side.
“I wouldn’t leave until they let me buy that car for the money I had,” Trzcinka said. “I bought it and learned to drive a stick that same night.”
That moment might have foreshadowed her success as the top-selling female sales consultant at Park Place Infiniti in Las Vegas.
“Joanna is one of our best sales consultants,” said Park Place Infiniti General Manager Joe Tortomasi. “She really knows her stuff and clients love her.”
Trzcinka, 54, emigrated Poland at age 16 and landed in Chicago, where her parents cleaned office buildings after hours to support the family. She successfully finished high school, and from there it was beauty school, then marriage and kids.
“But I always loved cars,” she said. “I’ve always known all the brands and models without even thinking about it.”
In the early 2000s, Trzcinka and her husband traded the cold Chicago winters for sunny Las Vegas, where she decided it was time to pursue her dream job and break into the automotive industry.
“It wasn’t easy in the beginning,” she said. “Being a woman, you have to know more than the guys and show the client you really are an expert. It’s not an easy business, but I still like selling cars better than selling lipstick or jewelry.”
Tortomasi said Park Place Infiniti takes pride in employees like Trzcinka, who are devoted to providing superior customer service and who are “experts in excellence.”
For Trzcinka, now in her 14th year with the dealership, that’s the best part of her job.
“It’s really fun selling a car you believe in,” she said. “I bought my first Infiniti in 2003, and my son is still driving it. For me, selling a car is about giving the clients a quality product and an excellent experience they can’t find anywhere else.”
Founded in 1987 by Ken Schnitzer, Park Place Dealerships represents luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, McLaren, Maserati, Lotus and smart. In June 2012, Park Place purchased the Infiniti dealership in Las Vegas. For more information, visit, www.parkplaceinfiniti.com.