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April 2, 2023

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Pamela Nicholson: Loyal Leader

You hear the stories all the time, from the mail room to the board room. They started as the intern and now they run the company. Enter Pamela Nicholson.

She’s living proof that the right mix of determination, perseverance, and loyalty can be leveraged for major success within an organization.

Her title stands alone, but her humble beginnings tell the whole story. Starting at Enterprise Rent-A-Car as a Management Trainee shortly after graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1981, Nicholson spent the next 25 years steadily climbing the corporate ladder. Today she oversees the operations of the whole company as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

As she’s grown professionally, the company has too. Enterprise was a regional rental car company with only 10,000 vehicles in service; and as one of the company’s top performers throughout her career, she has been essential in helping Enterprise achieve its tremendous success and growth. Today it is the largest rental car company in North America with more than 850,000 vehicles, Enterprise Fleet Services, Car Sales, and Rent-A-Truck Divisions.

Only the third COO in Enterprise’s history, a company now celebrating its 50th year, Nicholson stands out as a woman in a very male-dominated industry, the automotive business. Because she started her career at the rental counter, and has held nearly every position in between—from Assistant Branch Manager to Branch Manager to Area Manager, Regional VP and Corporate VP—she has a very down-to-earth approach with the employees she interacts with and appreciates their responsibilities. They, too, value her because she’s been there and done it.

Nicholson of all people knows that mutual respect is essential. After all, given Enterprise’s long tradition of promoting within, the counter clerk today could be the big boss in the future.