Heidi Zaransky was born in Chicago. She graduated from the university of Arizona.
Heidi has owned her own business for over 20 years. Primarily her business provides financial products and advice to the corporations regarding their transportation and mobility needs, including providing leased vehicles to these companies. Her company is proud to call many Fortune 500 companies based in Chicago as her clients. Heidi owns the largest female owned auto leasing and consulting company in Illinois.
Heidi’s firm has been on the cutting edge in providing her clients with green alternatives in this changing world of electric vehicles and ride share programs.
In addition to the company’s main focus, it also operates in other sectors of the financial world. Heidi has been licensed by the state of Illinois departments of Banks and Financial Regulations to own a mortgage company and she has been licensed as a realtor in the state of Illinois. Additionally, Heidi has worked on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for many years helping clients with their brokerage needs in the Euro Pit.
Heidi has many other interests outside of work. She regularly does Yoga. She also loves home design, interior design, and fashion. She often attends fashion shows and home design and interior conventions to keep up with latest trends. She has taken many classes on these subjects as a hobby.
Heidi has a great love for animals and has supported the anti-cruelty society and Peta for many years. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, kids, and two dogs.
Why did you decide to create your own business?
I was excited to be my own boss and work hard and reap the rewards. I wanted to have the opportunity to live the American Dream by building up my own business and facing the successes and failures that come alongside that challenge. It was a combination of these two goals that ultimately ensured that I would create my own business.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I love the diversity in my industry and dealing with people from all over the world and all walks of life. The companies I deal with all in many different industries and it gives me interesting exposure to what they do. I have the opportunity to run my own business while also learning a little bit about other industries at the same time; what’s not to love?
How has your company grown from its early days to now?
When I first started out, I was simply helping friends locate vehicles. From there, the company has grown and been built and now, years later, it is the largest female owned corporate fleet leasing company in Illinois.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
My role models have been my parents. When I was growing up their always showed me the importance of persevering through both the good and bad times with a positive attitude. Their actions taught me how hard work and a positive attitude are able to take you a long way towards success.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
My suggestions would be to put yourself out there and network. Join executive groups, chambers of commerce, and other professional groups in your region for the industry. While it is a lot of hard work and many long nights of talking with others, it pays off and you will be better off for it.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
One piece of advice that I have never forgotten is to never be closed minded. Listen to other people when they are speaking and give them your full attention. Not only will you learn new things, but you will also be more respected if you are able to respectfully listen to others.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
The advice I would give to others is that you need to know what you do not know. By this I mean that it is impossible for anyone to know everything but if you know you are uninformed about something then you can learn about it.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
I believe that the biggest life lesson I have learned is the importance of admitting errors. Many people think that making errors is inherently bad, but I disagree. If you do not make errors, you can never grow as a person or a business. The important thing is to be upfront and admit your mistakes. People are more willing to be understanding if you admit to your mistakes and show how you will correct them.
What trends in your industry excite you?
There are a lot of trends in my industry that excite me. The landscape of the auto industry has changed drastically over the past 5 years and will change even more in the next 5. Some of the major changes that excite me are the growth of the electric vehicle industry and the green initiatives involved with it and the growth of ride share platforms and how they will shape the growth of the auto industry.