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Kelly Counts’ Story

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Kelly Counts with Mentoring Team

As a senior at Warren Mott High School in 1995, I was attending school for fun, popularity and socializing. During that time I was placed in the Winning Futures program and had little interest in it.  One day I was being distracting in our session while Sam Cupp was speaking to the class. Sam walked up to my desk and threw a thousand dollars on my desk and told me that is how much money he was losing by the hour, spending his time helping me. I told him I would listen, if he gave me the money. He told me “If you listen, you will receive much more than this measly thousand dollars”. He had my attention from that moment on. I truly never got distracted again. He taught me respect, self-worth, and most importantly DISCIPLINE!

After winning the Grand Prize in Winning Futures 1996, I was hired by Sam Cupp to work in the automotive field. Starting first in HR, then spent 6 months working in the body shop to learn more about how vehicles are made and put back together. In 1997 I ventured into new vehicle sales where I spent 12 years, working towards and winning Seven Sales Leader of the Year awards. Success in sales promoted me in 2009 to New Vehicle Sales Manager position at Hamilton Chevrolet. Now I coach and train a staff of 24 members into sales excellence on a daily basis. I continue to oversee advertising, inventory, logistics and ensure client satisfaction standards. In 2013, I graduated from the Disney Institute where I learned additional aspects of customer retention and marketing. Most recently in March of 2015, I received the Elite Leaders Award from General Motors.  I’m extremely proud of this as there are over 3,600 sales managers in the U.S, and I was one of 200 winners to receive this prestigious recognition.   I use my Winning Futures knowledge every single day at the dealership. The guiding principles of Vision, Goal, Plan, Commitment and Success help me set sales goals, forecast financials and most importantly prepare for the unseen scenario that happens every single day. In 1995, I was handed a pile of yellow bricks, and from there, I laid down my own brick road to success.

On a personal note, I am happily married to my high school sweetheart and have two amazingly smart and beautiful daughters. Since my marriage and becoming a parent, the most important things in life  are much clearer now. I recently took the time to specifically thank my parents for the tremendous work ethic and loving upbringing that they always displayed to me. Instead of my dad saying thank you or I love you, he said “Sam Cupp had a lot to do with how you turned out as well”. That statement has more merit and truth than any other words spoken. I am a better person after being mentored by Sam Cupp and being loved and included by the entire Winning Futures Family! I have continued my involvement with Winning Futures over the years through mentoring, scholarship judging and fund raising.   My life is great because of WINNING FUTURES and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank GOD above for crossing our paths.