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Vassallo: Cannon’s Youthful COO Focused on the Future

Andrew Wood
Andrew Wood

Andrew Wood is a millennial who comes to work every day with a positive attitude and an open mind on how he can help to improve Cannon Motors of Mississippi’s successful operation statewide. HottyToddy.com caught up with Andrew recently at his Oxford office.

HottyToddy.com: Andrew, for those readers who do not know you, tell us a little about your background.

Andrew Wood: I grew up in Oxford, graduating from Ole Miss with a degree in Finance. My parents live here as well. Shortly after graduating from Ole Miss, I accepted a position in NYC with Merrill-Lynch. I moved to Brooklyn (2008) in conjunction with the position.

HottyToddy.com: Was the New York experience a huge adjustment for you?

Andrew Wood: It was a big adjustment and I don’t miss NYC at all. Not having an automobile greatly restricts your freedom. The absence of outdoor scenery like not being able to view the stars at night is difficult getting acclimated to. I did, however, enjoy the fast pace and excitement of the city.

HottyToddy.com: Tell us about your history with Cannon Motors of Mississippi.

Andrew Wood: I am now approaching my third anniversary with the company. My job as COO (Chief Operations Officer) is very challenging and one I enjoy immensely. My responsibilities include tracking operations at the various dealerships and monitoring the financials. I am actively involved with acquisitions.

HottyToddy.com: Speaking of dealerships, how many are there?

Andrew Wood: We have nine franchise dealerships and three used car stores.

HottyToddy.com: Where are these located?

Andrew Wood: In Vicksburg, there is Honda and Toyota dealership; a Nissan in Jackson; a Ford, Chevy/Cadillac, and Nissan; and a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep in Greenwood; and here in Oxford a Nissan and Chevy, Buick, Cadillac.

HottyToddy.com: What is the future direction of the company?

Andrew Wood: Currently, we have three new dealerships being built. These are a Honda and Toyota dealership in Vicksburg and a Ford dealership in Cleveland. These new sites will provide the company with much better locations and new facilities.

HottyToddy.com: Are you in frequent, regular contact with the other top management?

Andrew Wood: On an as need basis with management at each store. We have a weekly management meeting attended by our Executive VP, Lance Gregory, and of course, Michael Joe.

HottyToddy.com: Shifting gears, how is 2016 going for the company?

Andrew Wood: We’re having a very good year! And July has been outstanding. We want to continue to grow and get better as a company so we can provide the best service to our customers.

HottyToddy.com: Looking ahead, how are August and September normally?

Andrew Wood: Typically, these are good months, but you never really know what could affect the car business.

HottyToddy.com: Cannon is quite community minded. Your thoughts?

Andrew Wood: The community gives a lot to us and we want to give a lot back to the community. We were honored and thrilled to have won Best New and Used Auto Dealer by The Oxford Eagle for the last three years in a row.

HottyToddy.com: How is our small town as a market?

Andrew Wood: We are a small town, however the growth potential here is exciting. This is a sophisticated market. The hometown hospitality and loyalty reflected here are off the charts.

HottyToddy.com: What is a core value of Cannon’s (and your) success?

Andrew Wood: Having and bringing a positive mental attitude to the office each and every day and communicating effectively is essential to success.

HottyToddy.com: What has been your greatest, most pleasant surprise since joining Cannon?

Andrew Wood: The acceleration of growth in such a successful operation. In 2013, we had five stores; we now have nine.

HottyToddy.com: What do you enjoy most about your job?

Andrew Wood: Definitely, the people I work with. It all starts at the top. Lead by example, being positive while moving at a fast pace.

Steve Vassallo

Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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